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10 essential free travel apps

Lynn Wright / 15 March 2016 ( 29 November 2018 )

Get more from your next holiday with this round up 10 of the best free travel apps to use on your smartphone or tablet.

Travel accessories and a mobil phone
Make travel apps part of your essential holiday planning list

1. National Rail

iOS, Android and Windows

Don’t get caught out by train delays – this app is invaluable for frequent train travellers and those planning an train journey. It shows schedule details for all train services in England, Wales and Scotland, along with live departures and delays for any station.

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2. Trip Advisor

iOS, Android and Windows

Plan your perfect trip with the world’s most popular travel app. Browse through millions of user reviews to find the best hotels, restaurants and fun things to do whatever your location. Then add to the community knowledge with your own reviews for the places you visit.

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3. FlightView

iOS and Android

Avoid hours waiting at the airport because of a delayed flight with this app that lets you track your flight status in real-time. You can view gate assignments, receive alerts of delays and cancellations, and visually check a flight’s progress on a map.

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4. Google Translate

iOS and Android

Struggling with a language on a trip abroad is no fun. Google Translate breaks down barriers by providing translations in 90 languages. 

Simply select an input and an output language and then either type or dictate your message. The app shows the translation on screen or speaks it out loud. 

Even cooler is the ability to point your phone’s camera at text – say a menu item – for the app to translate it into one of 26 languages.  

5. Duolingo

iOS and Android

If you'd like to get a basic understanding of the language of the country you're due to visit - or even have something to do as you while away the time waiting in airports or lounging by the pool - Duolingo is a great option.

Each section is offered up in bitesize chunks so you can dip in and out when you have a bit of spare time. It also challenges you to check in with it every day, and best any friends who also have the app, so if you have a competitive streak you'll find yourself fluent, or at least able to get by, in no time. 

6. XE Currency

iOS, Android and Windows

Ideal when you need to work out prices abroad, this app supports every world currency, with the ability to track up to ten at a time. Rates are regularly updated with recently checked currencies saved so you can view them offline – handy if you’re in a location with a limited mobile or wi-fi connection.

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7. PackPoint

iOS and Android

This simple app takes the pressure out of packing for a trip. Enter your gender, destination, travel dates and activities, such as beach outings, the app then checks the weather forecast and generates a list of items you might need.

8. Met Office Weather

iOS and Android

Stay one step ahead of the weather with the Met Office’s weather app. It offers daily and seven-day forecasts, along with weather and satellite maps so you can plan your day whatever your location.

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9. Skyscanner

iOS, Android and Windows

Bag a bargain on your next flight with this easy-to-use app that aggregates fares from airlines worldwide. Search and compare thousands of flights and then click to book direct with the airline or travel agent. Its clever ‘Everywhere’ search function offers flight inspiration for those with no fixed destination in mind.

10. CityMapper

iOS and Android

Available for 30 major cities worldwide, CityMapper offers more detailed journey information than Google Maps. Making large cities easier to navigate, it includes real-time transport departures, travel and traffic disruption alerts, as well as bus, tram, subway, cycle and walking routes.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.