Oliver Lynch

Oliver Lynch

Content writer, language nerd and aspiring screenwriter. Usually found wandering old European towns or trying to snowboard.

7 Essential Travel Websites And Apps

Make that smartphone in your pocket help you even more. These are the best travel websites and apps according to us…

Yeah, Instagram is great for gloating and Facebook is handy for adding all those people you’ll never meet again. But, there are loads of apps and websites which will make your trip so much easier.

These are the 7 best websites and apps that we use all the time for travel, both on the road and for pre-departure research.

Rome2Rio

Wanna know how to get from obscure point A to sort of obscure point B. Yes, you can do that on Google Maps… But, Rome2Rio shows you how long it takes, how much it costs and what transport is available. It can also link you to local transport sites so you can check timetables, prices etc.

The app is a bit rubbish in all fairness, as it currently just links to the website. But as a tool, you’ll be thankful to Rome2Rio on at least a few occasions.

Sleeping In Airports

Photo by Harry Knight on Unsplash

Even if you’re not actually planning on sleeping in an airport, Sleeping In Airports is packed full of useful information about pretty much every airport in the world. Wanna know if there is a decent restaurant on the airside of a region airport? Wanna know if there are showers you can use on your stopover in AUH? Not sure if you can make the most of your 6 hour stopover in Incheon? Sleeping in Airports has got your back.

And, if you actually think you might need to sleep in the airport (early flight, ridiculous connection etc) then there is lots of advice about how to make the most of your time on the ground. A definite bookmarker.

Momondo

We ran an article a while back about the best flight comparison sites and this one might be the best one. If you already use something like Skyscanner, cool, but give this one a shot. In our tests it often came up with a better option, so even if you’re using it to shop around it’s worth a punt.

Momondo’s USP is that you can scroll easily through a graph of the cheapest dates and you can also select close alternative airports. Plus it’s got a cool black colour scheme.

Booking.com

You’ve probably noticed that we link to Booking.com on this site quite a bit, and there’s a reason for that. It is actually the best hotel booking site. You can browse everything from 5 star hotels to hostels and apartments. The prices are usually the best you’ll find online and they have a reward scheme.

Yes yes. Trivago… AirBnB… HostelBookers… They’re all good too. But when you haven’t got time to mess about and you need a room TOMORROW, Booking.com delivers. As a plus they also have a rewards program so the more you use them, the more you can earn discounts on stays.

RentalCars

Photo by Alejandro Salinas on Unsplash

Heading on a road trip any time soon? Looking for a rental car is a pretty long and tedious job. What you really need is a car rental compar….. Ohhhhhh… Yes, thats RentalCars.com. Compare all the big companies like Avis, Europcar, Alamo etc as well as independents. This site does actually find the best deals, pretty much every time.

There are also other sites such as HolidayAutos which do the same job, so check between the two.

CityMapper

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

If you’re heading to any one of the 40 major world cities (and counting) that are supported by CityMapper then you’ll find this app seriously handy. Using public transport in a strange new city has never been so easy… Put in your destination within the same city and it’ll tell you which metro or bus to use, how far it is to walk and even the cost. If Rome2Rio is the handy app to get you from city to city easily, CityMapper is the app that makes local travel a breeze.

The app is available for iOS and Android, so if you’re expecting to use public transport anywhere from Singapore or Seattle to Sydney or Stockholm, then this is a must have.

Uber

Taking taxis has been made so much easier with Uber. Gone are the days of haggling, demanding the use of the meter only to be told it’s broken, silly diversions and getting ripped off. Nope. Pop your destination in Uber, your driver turns up and takes you there and you pay the price displayed on the screen. There’s a reason why some taxi drivers are angry about it…

Uber covers around 300 cities in six continents including many in taxi rip off hot spots like India, South East Asia and South America. If you don’t already have it then get it on iOS and Android.

Others Useful Apps & Websites

Some sites are kinda obvious and don’t make it onto this list by virtue of being so well known. But in case you’re not up to speed:

  • Google Maps – is indispensable. You can download offline maps so you don’t even need to connect to the internet to find your way around.
  • TripAdvisor – if you’re looking for the best bite to eat in town then you already know about TripAdvisor. A solid and dependable classic for the discerning traveller.
  • Google Translate – Still not perfect, but for digging up handy phrases on cue this is the tool. You can also use your phones camera to translate text although this can sometimes be hilariously inaccurate.
  • Seat61 – for train travel this is the original site. Train times, prices, FAQ’s, pretty much everything you’ll ever need for rail travel anywhere in the world.
  • FCO (UK) – The UK’s foreign and commonwealth office gives you the lowdown on if somewhere is safe to travel or if you should take precautions etc. Always worth a look if you’re heading into the unknown.

If you know of any other super handy travel related websites and apps then please let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to share…!

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