A Packing List for Your Smartphone

When we go travelling we like to think of ourselves disappearing off the grid, disconnecting from the world, and living like adventurers of old. The truth is that we remain glued to our phones, using them for everything from posting pictures of our latest cocktail on Instagram to checking our bank balance and booking a spur of the moment bungee jump.

The truth is, keeping our phones with us can improve our travel experience immeasurably. We’ve put together a list of the apps you must download before you leave home. Some are obvious, some aren’t hugely exciting, but all of them will improve your backpacking adventure.

TripIt

TripIt screenshot

Keeping track of elaborate travel plans and documents can be a huge headache. Forward all your confirmation emails to TripIt and they’ll put together a master itinerary accessible on your phone. Sorted!

Postagram

Postagram postcard

Turn photos from your phone into physical postcards to send to your loved ones anywhere in the world. Old school travel communication meets the 21st century.

Bravolol

Bravolol

It’s always wise to learn a few phrases of the local language when you travel, and Bravolol makes it easy by letting you tag your favourites, all accessible without an internet connection.

XE Currency

XE Currency app

Calculating foreign exchange rates is tricky at the best of times, so on the move it can be a nightmare. The XE Currency app is an easy and reliable converter to carry with you.

Navmii

Navmii

Navmii is designed to take the hassle out of driving, by providing detailed satellite navigation shaped by constantly updating traffic information and more. It’ll even rate your driving ability.

Google Translate

Google Translate app

Okay, it’s not foolproof, but Google Translate can comfortably translate simple phrases. Add it to your Android phone and it’ll tie into other apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor app

You’re probably already using TripAdvisor to look up the best hotels, find the most interesting sites, and post your snottiest reviews of them all. Keep it up!

Skype

Skype app logo

You might have heard of a little app called Skype. It lets you keep in touch with friends and family all over the world, usually for free, as long as you have an internet connection. It’s good!

Periscope

Periscope app

Get ideas for the next leg of your journey by watching live video from other travellers, or broadcast your own experiences to an audience all over the world, as they happen.

TravelSafe

TravelSafe app

TravelSafe gives you a huge database of common emergency numbers to carry with you, all available without an internet connection. Better safe than sorry.

Citymapper

Citymapper app

Foreign cities can be confusing. CityMapper offers constantly updated info public transport, walking and cycling routes, and more, to help you get around quickly and easily. Essential.

Foodspotting

Foodspotting app

Craving a particular dish while you’re overseas? Foodspotting not only tells you where to find it, but lets users post images and reviews of individual dishes to help you find the very best.

Seasonal Cities

Seasonal Cities app

Imagine a comprehensive travel guide updated every three months with new content to reflect the current season. Now meet Seasonal Cities! You’ll always be up to date.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp

We know, you probably have this already, but it still deserves a mention. Instant communication, for free, anywhere in the world, allowing you to be together even when countries apart.

FlightTrack

FlightTrack

Flying can be stressful, so keep up to date with all your flight details in one simple app. You can even set push notifications to inform you immediately of any changes.

Diptic

Diptic app

You’re going to be taking a lot of photos while you travel, and Diptic is a great tool for turning them into fun and attractive collages using a huge range of features.

WiFi Finder

Wifi Finder app

A lot of these apps – unbelievably – require the internet, so make sure you can find it! This app will seek out accessible Wi-Fi, tell you which is strongest, and take you right to it.

PackPoint

PackPoint app

Worried you’ll forget something? Tell PackPoint where you’re going, for how long, and what you’re doing, and it’ll give you a checklist of everything you need to pack. Better than a fussy parent.

Rome2Rio

Rome2Rio app

This comprehensive global trip planner can help you get pretty much anywhere, showing you every travel option along with estimated travel times and cost of fares.

Sleep Talk Recorder

Sleep Talk Recorder app

Sharing a dorm isn’t ideal for people who talk in their sleep. This app springs to life when it hears talking to record you – or others, for blackmail purpose – so you can listen back when you wake.

Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers app

We all love a map, and Roadtrippers uses maps to help you plan out a road trip, or to find an amazing place on the spur of the moment. It’s USA-focused right now, but hopefully it’ll expand soon.