With the weather warming up, many of us will be thinking about booking our next holiday – and most will do it online. But what other tech is there to enhance your next trip?
Once you start looking for travel apps for your next holiday, there are so many to choose from it’s hard to know which are good, which are great – and which are terrible.
We will be looking at the best and the worst of the apps in Which? Computing magazine soon, and we’d really like to know your thoughts. What are your favourite apps? What are the best apps, and what are the worst? What kind of apps would you like to help you on your holiday?
To kick things off, here are a few of my favourites (note: these apps are all available for both Android and iOS).
We all know and love Google Maps and Apple Maps, but they can cost you a fortune to use when you’re out of the UK because they rely on you being online with a generous or unlimited data allowance. So for heading abroad, I like HERE Maps. You can download the maps for the country you’re visiting which means that you won’t be slurping up data at expensive roaming rates.
This is great for pulling all the details about your trip into one place. If you give it access to your Gmail, it will also scan those and pull in your flight and hotel bookings. This app can also help you plan itineraries, which it does by learning from data shared by others who have the app.
That means it can give you information about, say, how long it will take you to get around a museum, based on how long it took other users.
You don’t have to agree to share that information with the app when you set it up, but if you choose to do so, it makes the app better for everyone.
This comes bundled with Huawei’s phones (it came on my Mate 10 Pro, which is how I got to know it, and it’s also on the newer P20 and P20 Pro) but you can also download it directly from Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Download the languages you need before you leave home and it works offline, thus saving your data allowance, and you’ll be able to take a photo of anything in that language – a menu, for example, or a web page – and it will give you a surprisingly good translation.
You can also link to someone else’s phone with the app and either speak or type into it and the person you’re talking with will get what you say in their language, and vice versa.
It’s the airline we love to hate, but as so many of us fly with the budget carrier on holidays, one thing it’s definitely worth having is the Ryanair app to manage your boarding pass.
I’ll never forget running around a French village trying to find somewhere to print out a boarding pass just hours before I was due to fly back to the UK as I’d forgotten to do so before I left home, desperately trying to avoid paying a huge fee to print it out at the airport.
All the major airlines have apps for boarding passes, bookings and seat allocations, but Ryanair is the one where not having your boarding pass sorted before you leave for the airport can cause a real headache.
So these are my favourites – what about you? Do you use apps to help manage your travel plans and documents, or to help you plan what to do once you arrive? What are your favourites – and what would you warn others to stay away from?