With COVID-19 measures gradually lifting across the UK, you’re probably itching to begin travelling after spending over a year at home. While getting out and seeing more of the world is a good chance to have some time off from your digital life, your phone can be a handy travel companion with the right apps. Here’s our pick for the essential apps to download if you’re heading out and about this Spring.
This innovative and unique navigation app is a must-have if you’re spending time in more remote locations where apps like Google Maps don’t cut it. What3Words assigns every square metre its own unique, three-word code, meaning you don’t have to be a navigation expert to find out where you are.
Ideal if you’re on a hiking trip and you get a bit lost, What3Words makes navigation simple, and could even be handy in an emergency. Asking your mate to meet you at “lamb.scaffolding.chariot” is also great value.
Citymapper is a navigation tool that specialises in getting you around some of the world’s biggest and most popular city destinations, such as London, Paris and New York. An app that’s installed on every Londoner’s phone, Citymapper gives you all the information you need to know to get about.
Simply enter your destination, and the app will bring up all the different ways you can get there, from walking to public transport to car, showing all the links along the way. This is much more versatile than the likes of Google Maps as it’s based around everything a city has to offer. Handy if you’re taking your nan to the Tate Britain for the first time and have no idea where you’re going.
Now the perennial booking app, Airbnb allows you to book nights away at private properties, at rates much lower than your average hotel. An essential for anyone looking for a cheap domestic getaway, Airbnb’s app is your full gateway to the experience, where you’ll be able to book, contact owners and modify your stay.
Airbnb is ideal for those looking to get away locally this year, so if you’ve got a city break in mind and don’t want to break the bank with expensive hotels, it’s something you should get involved in.
If you’ve still got your heart set on going somewhere a bit warmer than the UK this year, or have decided to wait until next year, now is the ideal time to get prepared. With Duolingo, you can learn a new language gradually through your phone with bite-sized, everyday sessions.
Choose from a huge array of different languages, including Spanish, German and Italian, and learn them incrementally with just a few minutes of work a day. Duolingo will remind you with notifications (you’ve probably seen the memes) to study every day, though this is nowhere as near as strenuous as it sounds. With Duolingo, you have an accessible way of learning a new language, without the hassle of signing up to a proper course.
Another app that attempts to circumvent a potentially expensive part of travelling, Uber aims to replace the typical taxi by allowing you to get a ride with just the tap of an app. Uber is a great way to explore your favourite cities where taxis might be expensive (looking at you, London) by offering a cheaper alternative.
Uber allows you to pay through the account, meaning you no longer have to worry about having enough change to pay the cabbie. You can also rate drivers and even select the sort of car you’d like, with drivers able to pick you up from wherever you are, knowing the exact location through the app.