Going away? Don’t even think of leaving home without your smartphone. Thanks to the wonderful world of apps, your device can help you get where you want to go, then make the most of life while you’re there. From cheaper flights and accommodation to dodging rainstorms and traffic jams, there’s an app for every occasion.
There’s even one to write your postcards and order you a beer. Here’s how…
Where will I go? Airbnb (Apple, Android), free
Airbnb is a global service that gets you into all manner of accommodation, from rooms in private townhouses to yurts in fields and stately homes. It can be cheaper, too, because you deal direct with the owners, the app itself is a work of art and independent reviews mean you know what you’re getting into.
How will I get there? Skyscanner (Apple, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry), free
This great app hunts for the cheapest flight from almost anywhere to anywhere and, unlike a lot of websites, your searches won’t time out. Results can be listed price or arrival and departure date, and booking takes you to the airline or an online travel agent.
How you say..? Google Translate (Apple, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry), free
You’ve just arrived at your exotic destination and you need a latte or a beer. Just type or speak the English phrase into your phone and this app will translate it for you, even speaking it aloud in some languages for you to mimic.
Taxi! Hailo (Apple, Android), free
In any of a dozen major cities worldwide, Hailo will bring a licensed cab to your door in minutes. Then all you need do is decide where you want to go.
What’s the hold-up? Trapster (Apple, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry), free
Holiday traffic can make any journey miserable, especially abroad. But Trapster will alert you to jams and snarl-ups, allowing you to go round them. And if you’re hungry, just type in “pizza” to find the nearest restaurant.
What’s on? YPlan (Apple, Android), free
Want to go to a gig? If you’re in London, San Francisco, New York or Las Vegas, YPlan will tell you what’s on, let you book and send e-tickets to your phone.
Wish you were here… Postagram (Apple, Android)
Having too much fun to shop for stamps and postcards? Select a photo from your phone, Facebook, Instagram or Dropbox accounts, write a message and Postagram will do the rest, converting it into a real-life image, complete with pop-out picture. Price from 60p.
The rain in Spain Dark Sky (Apple), free
Wherever you are, you can stay one step ahead of the weather with incredibly accurate 24-hour and five-day forecasts. You even get a five-minute warning before it starts to rain where you are.
Speak to your phone provider before you go, telling them you’ll be using your phone abroad and asking if you can buy international data packages to reduce costs. They can mount up if you’re not careful.