Travel tips

The 9 phone apps you need whilst travelling!

We prefer not to use our phones too much whilst travelling, however there are a few apps we have found to be incredibly useful whilst on the road.

Considering we generally travel to developping countries, we have found that we definitely don’t use our phones much, using it perhaps once a day to check a few things. Recently we travelled to our first developed country – Japan! In Japan it was much more important to have our phones handy and we were constantly using them for train timetables, translating labels and booking accommodation.

After going through a few different apps over the years, I have settled on these 9 for must have apps on your travels. Extra big bonus – they’re all free! Or at least were free when I downloaded them! In no particular order:

  1. XE currency. The most accurate currency conversion app there is! Simply type in the amount in the selected currency, and it will tell you the equivalent amount in any of the currencies you have put on your list!
  2. Google translate. We thought this app was the most amazing this ever! It will translate speech, text and photos, however we used it mostly for translating Japanese menus and food in supermarkets. Hover over the writing or take a photo and it will instantly translate it. It’s not perfect, but you get a good enough idea of what it is to decide whether you want it or not!
  3. Splitwise. This app is great when travelling with someone. You can log how much each person spends so you keep your spending even!
  4. Dropbox. Put your flight confirmations, destination ideas, scanned passport copies etc in your dropbox, and you’ll be able to access them everywhere you go. 
  5. Snapseed. A little editing can go a long way! Everyone loves to show people at home what they’re doing on their travels, a quick run through snapseed can improve the appeal of your phone pictures greatly.
  6. The mobile banking app for your credit/debit card. After hours of research, we settled on using the Citibank Debit Card for all our overseas travel. The app isn’t amazing however all I need to know is how much is left on it, and it definitely tells me that!
  7. Accommodation booking app. Our trip to Japan was the first trip in quite a few years where we have actually booked accommodation. We booked everything through AirBnB, and having the app made it super easy to find the apartments and keep in contact with our host.
  8. A weather app. We use Weather+ as it gives us a reasonably accurate guide of the 7-day weather forecast for most cities in the world.
  9. Public transport app. The app you download will depend on your destination – in Melbourne it is PTV, in Brisbane MyTransLink, in Japan it is JapanTravel. When travelling in a developed country, downloading this app helps a lot when working out where you need to be and when!


We hope these apps help out on your next trip! Leave any other app recommendations in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up with more handy tips!



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    1. Clare Author

      True! We still use it though to make sure the same amount is coming off each card and to track presents and gifts. Definitely more helpful for travelling friends and things rather than couples though!

  1. Excellent list!! I had no idea Google translate worked like that! How did we ever get along before Google? LOL I tend to use most of these others, but never had the need for the currency exchange as I mostly travel in the US. I’m hoping, however, that is about to change in 2018 so this is going to change.


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