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10 best travel apps for 2020

20 February 2020 09:12

Your phone is just the ticket for an unforgettable year in travel

Your phone is just the ticket for an unforgettable year in travel

Free up space on your handset to download these essential travel apps...

1. Airbnb

Ever visited a destination and longed to live like a local? Airbnb offers users the chance to curl up in a cottage, wind down in a windmill or even relax in a riad. Choose from a holiday home of your own or a private room to experience your holiday with the help of trusted hosts. The verified members are invited to share what they know, through the app's separate experiences service.

2. Google Maps

Google Maps is so much more than a satnav for your car. In fact, some of the app's best features are perfectly suited to travelling abroad. Offline maps avoid the need for WiFi or using expensive data away from home, so you can confidently explore a new town or city using your phone. Meanwhile 'Your places' allows you to 'favourite' restaurants, bars and places of interest in a map or list view. Remember to use the popular times section for forecasts and live updates on busy visiting hours.

3. FairTrip

If your travel resolutions include responsible tourism, FairTrip is a must-get. The app shares attractions that meet five guidelines; only places that are authentic, green, local, social or fair earn a listing. Whether it's a stay at a local guesthouse or dinner at a sustainably-sourced restaurant, you'll find them here. Those wanting to take part in the positive-impact travel trend, can become FairTrip Explorers – registering, verifying and reviewing the world's fairest destinations.

4. XE Currency

XE Currency is especially useful for those who want to keep an eye on travel expenses in 2020. The app is perfectly suited to longer breaks where exchange rates can fluctuate over time or trips that involve hopping between countries with different currencies. Pin your favourites to the top of a list, enter a figure and see the value of your cash in multiple locations at a glance.

5. Hostelworld

With over 36,000 properties to choose from, across 178 countries, Hostelworld is the go-to app for budget accommodation. Dorm rooms, private rooms, party hostels and eco-getaways are all listed at a fraction of the price of most hotel stays. Pay deposits through the app to reserve your bed and you can add your booking to your smartphone's wallet. Avoid trawling through emails and find all the details you'll need alongside your boarding passes and train tickets.

6. WiFi Map

Using phone data abroad can be expensive. WiFi Map solves the problem by providing maps that reveal wireless networks near you. The location-based app points users in the direction of over 100 million free-to-use networks and the opportunity to test their speed. Developers promise fast and secure servers and welcome new listings, comments and password updates to ensure you're never far from your next download.

7. Kayak

Travellers often download Kayak to book cheap flights. The app searches across a range of sites and allows users to set alerts and read Price Forecasts – a feature that advises whether you should buy now or hold off for the best deal. However, many users are unaware of other features: hotel booking and car hire comparisons are available to help organise your holiday in one convenient place. Gate numbers and hotel confirmation numbers can also be viewed in-app and on smart watches.

8. PackPoint

Arriving at your dream holiday destination without your favourite sunglasses or a Kindle loaded with your favourite books, can be a real pain. PackPoint makes remembering your essential items a simple and methodical process. Enter your destination and travel dates and the app searches the weather forecast to build a checklist of toiletries, documents and clothing you'll need. Add details about a business lunch or a day at a water park and lists will adapt to remind you to bring the necessary gear.

9. 1 Second Everyday

1 Second Everyday condenses your time into one-second snippets to relive your favourite holiday memories in a flash. Take recordings from your phone, edit your favourite second of footage from the day and the app stitches everything together in date order for a quickfire roundup of your travels. You can even add dates and destinations to the final cut for added detail. Perfect for reliving longer trips.

10. RefillMyBottle

This free app helps responsible travellers fill up on drinking water no matter where they are. Simply take your refillable bottle with you, check the location-based map for your nearest 'Refill Station' and turn on a tap. Your actions help tackle the problems associated with single-use plastics. Check if you're drinking enough water in a day through the app and collect points for using stations, which can then be redeemed at local attractions.

Make 2020 the best chapter in your travel story so far. Just don't forget your travel insurance.

Is your calendar filled with travel plans? At World First we offer annual travel insurance that will give you peace of mind for months to come.