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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Essential Travel Services

MASTA

MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad) offer travel health consultations, vaccinations (including yellow fever), anti-malarials and travel related retail items. Combined with clinics based in the NHS and Occupational Health establishments; they are growing faster than ever before, with well established partnerships with Independent Pharmacies, BUPA, STA Travel and Flight Centre amongst others.

Wondering how it works? All MASTA customers can expect to receive a full risk assessment consultation, followed by the provision of a personalised travel health brief and then receive the vaccinations or anti-malarials themselves. Their clinical team constantly monitor disease situations and outbreaks across the world, bringing together health information from many sources and providing it to their own Nurse Experts and NHS clinics and surgeries. The result is that their award winning MASTA Travel Health Brief is widely recognised as an invaluable tool both to medical professionals and members of the public alike.

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Want to find out more? Visit their website: www.masta-travel-health.com or call 0330 100 4200 and quote “TVC01

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Consularcare

Consularcare offers market leading solutions to bridge the gap between the public and private sector. Whether you are travelling abroad for business or for leisure, or you are responsible for corporate foreign travel in your organisation, they will assist you to be prepared for any eventuality and support should difficulties arise. Their solutions have been developed to educate, assist and advise, and staff are former diplomats so you can be confident that their expertise is second to none.


ConsularAssist – When you travel abroad, do you ever think about how you would deal with a crisis? What would you do if you were the victim of crime? Or arrested? If you lost your visa or passport? No traveller actually has any legal right to consular assistance, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not in a position to help everyone who requests assistance.

ConsularAssist steps in when others can’t, don’t or won’t; by helping you. Whatever the incident, wherever you are in the world, their team – led by former diplomats – will liaise with the consulate, police and all other relevant parties to resolve a crisis. Invaluable reassurance for corporate clients as well as those travelling for leisure purposes.


UK Inbound Immigration Visas – UK Visas and Immigration makes millions of decisions every year about who has the right to visit or stay in the country; the primary documentation used in making those decisions is the application form. Consularcare’s expert team can help you to avoid refusal because of an incorrectly completed form.

Consularecare’s team of experts understands the immigration procedure and provides the expertise to ensure that the submitted documentation is fully completed and correct. Consularcare maximises your chances of a successful application by working with you to deliver the information UK Visas and Immigration needs to process your application, accurately, quickly, and efficiently so you can start working, living and enjoying life in the UK.

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Want to find out more? Visit their website: www.consularcare.com or call 020 3198 1890 and quote “TVC01

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The Travel Visa Company

If you are resident  in the UK and are needing to apply for a visa for anywhere else in the world, The Travel Visa Company can take the stress out of your visa application. Obtaining a valid visa for travelling to a proposed destination is one of the most important areas of preparation for any traveller. Without the correct visa, entry will not be allowed into many countries. This process can be extremely time consuming and very complicated, as well as involving journeys to embassies that are located around the country.

The Travel Visa Company are a highly specialised and adaptable tourist and business travel visa service to organisations of all shapes and sizes. We advise and support our customers on ensuring that all immigration and border control requirements are met, in addition to also obtaining the
entry visa on behalf of the traveller. Our award-winning service expands to all nationalities and all destinations both via our Customer Service Centre and our bespoke online application system.

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Want to find out more? Visit our website: www.thetravelvisacompany.co.uk or call us on 01270 250 590

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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.