8 Best Travel Apps for 2017

Though many of us enjoy a break from our digital lives when holidaying or travelling, there are a whole host of apps that have been designed to enhance our experience – from the planning stages through to booking your flights, hotel and finding your way around. We have compiled a list of 8 of our favourites for any traveller: 

 

 

Citymapper – City Breaks / Directions

 

Though this app started out as a way to find your way around London, it has since expanded to include information for over 37+ other cities across the globe. It is the ideal app for any city break with detailed maps and directions for all modes of transport (taxi/car, bus, tram, rail, cycling, walking, etc). Search for points of interest, get instant ETAs based on current traffic, see your friends arrive in real-time and save journeys for offline viewing. One of its newest features displays how many calories burned, trees saved and money saved by using public transport! For a list of cities or to vote for the next one to be added, visit https://citymapper.com/cities

> Available for iPhone and Android

 


 

Skiplagged – Flights

Want to save on flight tickets? Skiplagged details the price history of specific routes to let you know the best times to book and find “hidden-city” one-way ticket deals where you can get cheaper flights by stopping over – a great excuse to explore another city. If you’ve never travelled like this before, you should read thier hidden-city FAQ at http://skiplagged.com/faq. The app also details hotel discounts with special in-app rates and lists a number of travel deals, allowing you to receive notifications when prices drop and save up to 80%!

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


 

Tripit – Travel Itinerary

This app is a super handy piece of kit that will auto scan your emails to compile all your travel plans into one place. Alternatively, you can manually send confirmation emails for it to instantly create an itinerary. It can sync with your calendar and send notifications to remind you about events plus you can easily share specific plans, or your entire itinerary, with anyone else. Subscribing to Tripit Pro (£38.99 annual membership) gives you all this power plus real-time flight alerts, seat tracking, alternative flight finder, fare refund notifications, point tracking and more…

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


 

GeoSure – Health & Security

GeoSure is an invaluable app for travellers with state-of-the-art statistical analysis of health and security concerns for destinations worldwide. As well as pulling data from hundreds of renowned and trusted sources and local authorities, it includes crowd-sourced information from the global community of users who share personal accounts from wherever they are. Areas are given a safety score reflecting health risks, environmental threats, political uprisings and details of any thefts and assaults that may have occurred in the area. Experience the joy of discovering new places while maximising your safety.

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


 

MAPS.ME – Offline Maps

If you are looking for a map for your travels this app is the right choice. With over 40 million+ users and available for all popular devices, maps are well detailed and regularly updated. The best part? You don’t need to worry about internet connection or roaming charges as all maps are available offline – just make sure you search for the area you are visiting and download that area prior to travelling. With GPS navigation it provides driving, walking and cycle information for anywhere in the world, allowing you to bookmark all the places you are planning to visit for quick access and showing nearby points of interest, ATMs, public transport, attractions and restaurants.

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


 

Travello – Social Networking

This awesome app provides a new way of connecting with other travellers with similar interests. There is a noticeboard to search for upcoming plans, WiFi finder, chat facility for the new friends you add and ways to arrange meetups, find local deals and match travel plans. If you are thinking about getting recommendations or looking to meet like-minded people whilst travelling, Travello comes equipped with the tools to make it easy, fun and engaging. Their latest update adds video support so you can now share your experiences with people in over 180 countries!

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


 

WeatherBug – Weather

Though most devices have a stock weather app, WeatherBug is a cross-platform app that is powered by the largest professional weather network in the world. With real-time forecasts (current, hourly and 10-day), lightning detector, weather alerts and 18 maps to visualise your weather, this app gives you much more detailed information. Our favourite feature is the lifestyle forecasts which let you know how weather will impact your allergies, sporting events, workouts and more – quickly access pollen count, wind speed/direction, pressure, humidity and stay informed of hurricane forecasts and changing conditions. For all things weather in over 2.6 million+ locations, this is our go-to app.

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


 

Google Earth – Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is increasingly becoming more popular and what better use than exploring the planet without having to set foot outside? Google Earth has come a long way since it was first launched in 2005 and maps Earth using satellite imagery, aerial photography and geographic information system to generate a 3D globe. Features now include “tour guides” with step-by-step interactive adventures for discover exciting new places and curated content from the likes of the BBC and National Geographic. Whether you want to uncover the awe-inspiring architecture of the Taj Mahal or plunge into the depths of the Grand Canyon’s geological layers, this app provides you with the world in the palm of your hands.

> Available for iPhone and Android

  


Are there any other apps you think should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments or via our social media channels:

 

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Going Global 2017

We’re Exhibiting

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Going Global is Europe’s leading exhibition tailored to providing businesses with absolutely everything they need to know about international expansion and trading overseas in this dramatically changing economic climate. Tickets to this acclaimed exhibition which takes place at ExCel London on the 17th & 18th May are absolutely free, you can register here.

Packed with leading experts, educationally-rich seminars, interactive masterclasses, a line-up of the most innovative exhibitors, and unparalleled networking opportunities, this is THE show to help your business trade in the world’s most lucrative cities, countries, and regions.

The two day event will deliver pivotal advice and cutting edge information on the biggest opportunities in emerging economies, and the chance to learn from the most experienced business experts who will help you take your business to the next level, wherever in the world that might be.


The Travel Visa Company will be exhibiting as part of the Hub Africa stand.

Visit us at stand 1230 for information about our services including:

Business Visas   •   Media Visas   •   Temporary Work Permits

Crew Visas   •   Offshore Visas   •   Electronic Visas   •   Passport Renewal

 

Follow us on social media:

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Happy New Year 2017

New Year Thoughts and Reflections

As is tradition, we take this time to look back and reflect on the year and set plans and goals for the next. For a list of some of the top travel destinations for bringing in the new year, see our post from last year.

2016 was very well known for the long list of icons we sadly lost including Terry Wogan, Prince, David Bowie, Mohammed Ali, Victoria Wood, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Alongside this we saw Brexit, Trump winning the US Election, the exploding Samsung phones and Bake-off leaving the BBC. Aside from all that we still had many positive stories such as Leicester City winning the Premier League, celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday and our Olympic and Paralympic teams bringing home a record number of medals from Rio. Here are some of the highlights of our year here at The Travel Visa Company:

Taking a look back at 2016

Business Events

Following last year’s success at the Business Travel Show, we teamed up with MPI Brokers in February to exhibit again with a newly designed stand. We thoroughly enjoyed the two days and met a whole host of new business contacts and were able to showcase our newest product offerings. Read our blog about the event to learn more about Europe’s leading exhibition and conference dedicated to Corporate Travel.

We also attended a number of events for ITT Future You who run days at many universities across the UK to share knowledge about the travel industry to aspiring students. We were delighted to offer advice and support to the hundreds of young people who are no doubt the future of travel. Some of the key areas we spoke about were Apprenticeship opportunities, teaching/studying abroad and sharing our knowledge of the various different types of visas and entry requirements for countries worldwide.


Charity Fundraising

For 2016 our chosen charity was the Family Holiday Association to support their 500 for 500 campaign. This set us a £500 target and we had ambitious plans to raise this amount. After a lot of planning, on 20th July we did a non-stop 24hr Around The World cycle in partnership with STUDIO 4ORCE Personal Training. It was a great success and everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed taking part – our grand total for the year was £812.50!


New Products

We have a strong focus on researching and developing new services for our clients and customers. There have been many changes to the entry requirements in 2016 and we have been at the forefront in keeping up with the new application systems and travel visas. Our comprehensive portfolio of media visa services have expanded to cover even more countries, travellers can apply with us for their new Canadian ETA, we support a number of tour operators and travel agents in obtaining Cuban Tourist Cards and have partnered with a number of companies to branch out into other essential travel services. Masta can provide our customers with expert advice about health requirements, those who would like added protection can sign-up with ConsularAssist for round-the-clock assistance worldwide and business travellers can obtain their ATA Carnets to cover their equipment for travel.


Award Winners!

After winning the award for Excellence in Customer Service last year, we were excited to be up for another award this in 2016. This was a bit different to our usual nominations as it was for one particular individual in our team – our Social Media and Marketing apprentice James Healy. The hard work and effort he put in during the past year on his course really paid off and we were delighted to hear his name announced as Apprentice of the Year at the South Cheshire Chamber Awards. He is now working towards a higher-level degree apprenticeship and continues to be a role-model for our future apprentices. As well as winning an award, we were keen to support the chamber and sponsored the Exporter of the Year award. Read more about the event here or watch the highlights from the evening.


New Arrivals

Our review of the year wouldn’t be complete without celebrating the new arrivals in our company. Not just our new staff members but also the new additions outside the office. Our Managing Director and Head of Sales both became first-time grandparents and our Operations Manager is now a very proud mother. Congratulations!


Plans for 2017

After a hugely successful 2015, we had ambitious goals and our hard working staff have achieved some incredible results. The past year is another testament to our team – continuing to win awards, surpassing our fundraising targets and continuing to be one of the UKs fastest growing travel visa agencies. Some of our main aims for the year ahead is to work on re-designing our application packs to improve usability, continue the development of our website for use on mobiles and tablets, developing new services and to continue expanding our team. We also plan to focus on smaller business events in our local community and, once again, raise as much as we can for charity.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support as we look forward to the next 12 months.

 

Happy New Year from The Travel Visa Company!

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WTM Career In Travel

What is WTM?

The World Travel Market is the leading global event for the travel industry which is staged in London every year. This is a vibrant business event that presents a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to all travel professionals who attend. It provides a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, and conduct business.

More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, visit London every November to discover and discuss the latest trends in the travel industry. The event is now in its 36th year and generates more than £2.5 billion worth of industry contracts.



WTM Career in Travel

WTM Career in Travel programme has been revamped for 2015, to increase student opportunities within the travel and tourism industry. As future leaders of the travel industry; the programme gives students the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and exposure to the industry.

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Visit Our Stand

If you are attending the event, be sure to visit our stand on Thursday 5th November. We will be there to offer all the advice and information you need when applying for a visa – whether you need to find out if you require a visa for a trip you are planning, you want to further understand the requirements for a specific visa, or simply to learn more about travel visas.

Aimed at the student population, we are focusing on some key topics including; work permits, study visas, international students (Schengen Visas), backpacking, teaching abroad and more…

As well as being able to talk to Reece and Phil, we are taking a range of merchandise and literature for you to take away as well as running a competition and giveaway – don’t miss out!

4 Ways to Protect Your Passport When Travelling

Your passport is an essential travel document… It could easily get damaged, lost or stolen. All new passports in the UK & Ireland now contain RFID (radio frequency identification) chips. These store data and help speed up the process of boarding as well as being able to allow electronic visas to be issued without the need of sending your passport to an embassy/consulate. Without a valid passport, you will not be able to travel or be able to apply for a visa for travelling. Here are 4 ways to help protect your passport:

1. Keep it in a safe place

This may seem like an obvious tip, however, we hear numerous stories of travellers misplacing their passport or having it stolen! Where are the best places to keep your passport when travelling?

  • On your body – difficult to reach pockets, deep in a bag/hand luggage
  • In a waterproof money belt/Ziploc bag to prevent water damage
  • Hotel safe – if your room doesn’t have one, the place you are staying may have one at reception
  • Make a duplicate copy for instances where you don’t need to provide an original

2. Passport CoversUntitled-2

Passports can be rejected by embassies/consulates/border control if they are not in good enough condition.

Passport covers have the ability to keep your passport safe from accidental damage and come in a wide range of designs and prices to suit your personal preference. Ranging from £0.89 to over £45.00, we would definitely recommend investing in a passport cover.


3. RFID Passport Shield

While a cover can protect your passport from physical damage, the data on your passport can still be at risk. Modern passports contain a data chip which allows for radio scanning at border control. This displays your data instantaneously and is great for the rapid movement of very busy transit areas – however, this technology could come with a price. Today’s Smart Phones come with a technology called NFC (Near Field Communication) which operates at exactly the same frequency as the chip in your passport, allowing someone with the right technology to see the details on your passport – even your photo.
Passport shields are designed to prevent radio scanners activating the chip in your passport.

Just remember to remove the shield when you get to passport control!

Buy a Passport Shield for just £6.99


4. Passport Tracking

Maplin_HIW_Circle_mediumIf you do happen to lose your passport, it can be costly to get a replacement or worse still it could ruin your trip.

A number of companies have been working on a solution to help retrieve your lost passport. Some of these use GPS chips which allow you to track the exact location, whereas others include QR codes and barcodes to trace the whereabouts. One of the more affordable options is MyTAG:

MyTAG enables customers to securely tag and register their most treasured belongings from; wallets to mobiles, passports, keys or luggage – so that if lost, they can be reunited with their owners quickly and hassle free. If found, you are instantly contacted by text or email.


These are 4 essential steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of your passport when travelling. We hope these tips will help you.

Russia – Biometric Data

On 10th December 2014 the Russian Government implemented a pilot scheme which requires all UK-based applicants to submit biometric data when applying for any visa at the application centres in the UK. The two UK-based consulates are located in London and Edinburgh, therefore requiring travellers to visit either of these two cities in order to complete their visa application.

Read the official announcement >

What is biometric data?

Scanning your fingerprint is the new method the Russian Government are using, utilising modern technology to ensure correct identification.

Though visa agencies are unable to submit an application on your behalf due to this new ruling, The Travel Visa Company are now offering services to assist with your application where possible: from providing assistance over the phone and completing the online application, to a personal meet & greet with a Russian speaking specialist and collection/delivery of the issued visa. See details >

Please not the information provided is primarily for British passport holders. Requirements for other nationalities may vary.

New Blog

Welcome to the new official blog for The Travel Visa Company. We aim to post relevant information about:

  • Travel visa requirements
  • Embassy/Foreign consulate closures
  • Updates on our services and promotions
  • Tips about what to look out for when applying for a visa
  • Interesting news related to travel

If you have any questions you’d like us to answer then please leave a comment below.