3 mins

4 of the best travel apps

New technology has changed the way we travel – will these four travel apps make you want to embrace smart phones and tablets on the road?

Safari operator Discover Africa has just unveiled a revolutionary app that lets users track the Great Migration in real time. Herdtracker features an interactive map which displays current sightings and predicted routes – the updates are sourced from safari guides, local pilots, rangers and lodge staff.

Love them or loathe them, travel apps are more interactive and useful than ever – and we're wondering where on earth we'd be without these tried-and-tested favourites...

Wi-Fi Finder
iOS, Android, Windows Mobile; free

What does it do? Exactly what it says! You can use this app to find both free and paid-for Wi-Fi hotspots near your current location, globally, and you can download maps of the areas you’re heading to in advance so you’re ready prepared.
Who’s it for? Anyone who needs to connect to the internet but doesn’t want to pay roaming charges.
Pros: Plenty of places are covered. According to its website (on the day of writing), the app lists 824,558 Wi-Fi locations in 145 countries.
Cons: Once you’ve zoomed into your current location map, it’s not easy to navigate back to the opening screen.
If you like this, try: Hotspot Shield VPN – helps protect your data (iOS, Android; free or Elite subscription).

iOS, Android; free

What does it do? A development from the website, Gogobot’s app is designed to help you plan trips and share travel ideas.
Who’s it for? Social media whizzkids – it’s community driven, and you can sync up your Gogobot account with your Facebook and/or Twitter.
Pros: You can share photos, maps and advice on a variety of topics, and then pull it together with things you fancy doing in the future. There’s also the option to create and share postcards of places you’ve visited.
Cons: You have to sign up for a (free) account to use the app. There isn’t an offline option.
If you like this, try: Behemoth review site TripAdvisor also has a clutch of apps including a general one and Offline City Guides (iOS, Android; free).

Trail Wallet
iOS; £1.99

What does it do? Helps you budget for your travels and track your expenses. Created by real travellers.
Who’s it for? The budget-conscious, whether you’re watching the pennies or travelling for long periods.
Pros: You can set yourself a daily budget, adding expenses as you go. You can organise your spending by custom categories (in your home or local currency) and see how it all breaks down by day, week or month. Works offline, unless you’re updating your exchange rate or emailing reports (as CSV files) to yourself.
Cons: It’s only available on iOS.
If you like this, try: XE Currency – you can convert over 180 currencies on-the-go; it stores rates to work offline (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry; free or pro).

Treasure mApps
iOS; free

What does it do? Helps you unlock local secrets in a range of popular cities using expertise from Intrepid’s Urban Adventures guides.
Who’s it for? People who want to find the local places without the tour.
Pros: Insider knowledge such as the best spots for happy hour, perfect places for people watching, and where to find unique souvenirs and other hidden gems. Works offline too.
Cons: So far there are only a few cities covered, but more are on the way.
If you like this, try: The Insight Guides World Cities app brings the guidebook to your phone (iOS, Android; app free, each guide £3.99).

How do you feel about travel apps? Are there any you wouldn't travel without – or do you prefer to be technology-free? Tell us in the comments below...

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