5 Best Travel Apps

March 3rd 2017  |  Shop, Travel  |  by  Richard Smith
best travel apps

I asked for travel app suggestions from the teams in our Hampshire and Scotland offices. From the many ideas I’ve chosen the five most passionately argued for, or those recommended at least twice. All the following are available on iThings and Android and are free, except where noted.

Vamoos – all the staff at Aardvark Safaris recommended this one

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Our clients can opt to have all their travel documents stored digitally. Everything from itinerary, destination information, hotel information, sightseeing lists, car hire documents and boarding passes. Clients can view everything offline without the expense of data roaming direct to their mobile or tablet.

Just one Vamoos reference unlocks all their documents. Entirely personalised, an event ticker counts down to the beginning of their trip.

Maps.Me

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The advantage of this mapping app over others is it is completely offline. You download the maps beforehand when you have free internet access and you can access your maps without internet connection and save money and hassle on roaming charges.

It is easy to use, zoom-in and zoom-out smoothly, the map never freezes or becomes an unhelpful blank grey square. It is highly detailed and you can discover thousands of points of interest with an auto-suggestion search tool. Bookmark your favourite locations.

You can rotate maps with your fingers, and while it is on the map automatically orients itself to the direction you are moving, and GPS positioning and compass shows you were you are on the map.

XE-Currency Converter

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XE is the go-to site for currency conversions on the web, so it’s no surprise that its app is also just as popular: with over 20 million downloads since launch. For the traveller it is most useful for the simple fact that it’s able to convert every world currency.

It also functions offline by saving the last updated rates, which is great if you’re in a place with limited connectivity or trying to save on data.

Google Translate

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This app translator can be a useful tool to support your language learning, but realistically, it’s most useful on a practical level quickly translating day-to-day words you encounter on your travels. The app has over 100 languages are covered including Afrikaans and Swahili.

As an example of its power, you can hold your camera up to text – such as a sign, or a menu – and Google will translate it for you instantly in its ‘see’ feature. Also, you can draw letters or characters with your finger, speak into, listen how to pronounce the translation and have a bilingual conversation as well as text translations offline.  It’s an essential app for any traveller.

Wolfram Sun Exposure

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This app offers the most detailed information to keep you informed on safe tanning limits – essential for African sunshine. You enter your skin type and it calculates how long you can spend sunning yourself before getting burned, based on the time of day, where you are and the strength of sun cream you’re wearing. It also provides UV forecasts for your location.

Not free, at time of press £0.79 but well worth it to prevent the dreaded sunburn and skin damage.

Any questions?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.