15 of the best travel apps to take your holiday to the next level

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Going on holiday and travelling to new places (whether they’re in South Africa or not) is always incredible.

But, let’s be honest, also slightly stressful — there’s all the stuff you have to remember to take, route planning, finishing your last bits of work, stressing about whether you left the stove on at home, and if you have kids it’s 5 times worse!

Luckily we live in an age where there is an app for just about everything and these mostly free travel apps will make going on holiday a whole lot less stressful.

Take a deep breath, download a few of these travel apps and then get ready to have the most stress-free holiday of your life!

1. Packpoint – FREE

This genius travel app tells you what you should be packing based on the weather at your destination, length of stay and activities. You can also share the list with friends and family members who need help packing. Plus it saves your lists so you can use them next time you’re going away. If you only download one of these travel apps, make it this one!

Download Packpoint for Android; Download Packpoint for iOS

2. Netcare Assist — FREE

You never know when you might need first aid skills — and if you’re on holiday you might not know what to do or where to get help.

We recommend the Netcare Assist App for using in South Africa. The app helps you call a doctor or ambulance and find the nearest Netcare hospital. It’s also got basic info about what to do in various emergency situations.

Download Netcare Assist for Android; Download Netcare Assist for iOS

3. Waze — FREE

What’s worse than getting stuck in traffic on your way to your holiday destination (or even at your destination)? NOTHING, that’s what! Waze uses real-time user-generated data to make sure you take the best possible route to anywhere whenever you hit the road. Although it’s one of our favourite travel apps, it will also make life a lot easier (and less stressful) when you get back from your holiday and are trying to avoid traffic on the way to work.

Download Waze for Android; Download Waze for iOS

4. TripAdvisor — FREE

It’s always difficult to choose where to eat out when you’re away from home. The TRipAdvisor apps gives you easy access to the best-rated restaurants in your area. The information is usually current, most South African restaurants are listed (even in the most remote areas) and you can check out what other people had to say about eateries near you before deciding where to go.

Download TripAdvisor for Android; Download TripAdvisor for iOS

5. SoundCloud — FREE

A road trip without music is like a cupcake without icing — pointless and depressing. Make sure your tunes are top notch by downloading SoundCloud. The free app has loads of tracks for you to listen to, or you can subscribe for a monthly fee to access more songs and features.

Download SoundCloud for Android; Download SoundCloud for iOS

6. Wiffinity — FREE

Save that data for when you really need it with a free Wi-Fi finder app. This app is particularly useful if you’re overseas and need to avoid data roaming costs, but it’s also great if you’re travelling in South Africa because who would say no to free data? (No one, that’s who!)

Download Wiffinity for Android; Download Wiffinity for iOS

7. Wildlife identification apps

If you’re going on a bush break, then you might want to consider downloading a few wildlife identification apps before you go. Some of them come at a cost, but they’re intended to replace your regular bulky fieldguides.

Two of our favourites are Ultimate Mammals Africa (Download Mammals for Android) and Roberts Birds (Download Roberts for Android; Download Roberts for iOS).

8. Guides by Lonely Planet — FREE

Lonely Planet is the ultimate resource for detailed info about holiday destinations, and their app is no different. Get activity suggestions, maps, sightseeing info and travel tips all in one spot. It doesn’t cover every city in the world, but more are being added all the time.

Download Guides by Lonely Planet for AndroidDownload Guides by Lonely Planet for iOS

9. Uber or Taxify — FREE

Whether you need a lift to the airport or need help getting around when you’re in a new city, ride network apps like Uber and Taxify are convenient and easy to use. Just make sure that these services are available where you’re going before you rely on them!

Download Uber for Android; Download Uber for iOS

Download Taxify for Android; Download Taxify for iOS

10. LiveTrekker — FREE

If you go on holiday and don’t take or share any photos, were you ever really on holiday? Aimed at hikers and walkers, LiveTrekker is an all-in-one journey tracking app that lets you see where you’ve been (including stats like altitude and distance covered) and record what you experienced along the way. It’s great for preserving memories and sharing them with loved ones when you get back.

Download LiveTrekker for AndroidDownload LiveTrekker for iOS

11. Wolfram Sun Exposure

Make sure your family stays sun safe with this clever app that tells you how long you can spend in the sun (based on your skin tone, location and SPF you’ve applied) until you’re at risk of burning. It’s definitely worth the R15 or so it costs to download.

Download Wolfram Sun Exposure for iOS

UVLens is a good option for Android users to download.

Download UVLens for Android

12. XE Currency — FREE

Keep up to date with currency fluctuations with this simple, live currency converter app. This travel app is a must for anyone planning an overseas trip. You can also set alerts to monitor exchange rates and notify you when they reach a certain limit

Download XE Currency for Android; Download XE Currency for iOS

13. TripIt — FREE

Get ready to have the most well-organised holiday of your life with TripIt. Simply forward any emails related to your travel plans to the TripIt email address and the app will create an itinerary for your holiday. One of the best travel apps we’ve used, especially if your getaway involves going overseas and catching multiple flights or other modes of transport.

Download TripIt for AndroidDownload TripIt for iOS

14. Google Translate — FREE

The Google Translate app can be a lifesaver when you’re in a foreign country and don’t speak the language. Not only can you use it for instant speech translation, but you can also take a picture with your camera and the app will translate it for you.

Download Google Translate for AndroidDownload Google Translate for iOS

15. Kids game apps

We’re not going to recommend a specific app because the best apps to keep your kids entertained is very dependent on their age and interests. But trust us, if you’re going on a long journey with kids, having a few games you think they’ll like downloaded on a phone or tablet will be such an improvement on your regular journey.

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