19 essential mobile travel apps no savvy Flashpacker should be without

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Smartphones, mobile devices and the sweet mobile travel apps they carry have not only enhanced the way we communicate, but utterly revolutionised the way we live, work, play, love, swear and travel. 

If the “Interweb” is older than you are, this is going to sound like science fiction, but once upon a time the only “devices” available to globe-trotting adventurers were cheesy postcards, long distance telephone calls and telegrams STOP

Thanks to the ever-evolving wonders of digital tech there is now a virtual “apparatus” and “application” for everything from news reports, weather forecasts and cheap flights, to remembering your socks and grabbing great deals on rented wheels. With well over 3 million mobile apps available, we decided to narrow it down just a little.  

The Flash Pack’s Top 19 Essential Mobile Apps for Savvy Travellers


Kayak is one of the most popular Mobile Travel Apps and it’s not difficult to see why. This lightweight and FREE app allows you to check flights, search for rental cars, book a hotel room and compare prices. Beware! The “Explore” function is highly addictive!

XE Currency Converter

This is one of our favourite apps because it’s slick, easy to use and converts over 180 world currencies in a..wait for it…flash! It offers live up-to-the second rates and even works offline. Can 15 million downloaders be wrong?


This nifty little location-based app allows curious travellers to unlock a variety of tips, discounts, information and promotions at locations across the world. Check in often enough and you may even become the mayor of your area and claim the crown!


Forget about lugging around delicate flash drives and memory cards and store your data online. A free account gets you 5 Gigs of space with more on tap!


Get the brutal truth about your next destination with the world’s foremost travel review website. Join the conversation or hear what other travellers have to say about their experiences. P.S. WORDS IN CAPS ARE STILL CONSIDERED SHOUTING!


This translation app will help you throw down the lingo like a local no matter where you may find yourself. Choose from a huge variety of useful phrases, translate your own voice, talk to a live translator and get a crash course in local culture and etiquette.

ICE: In Case of Emergency

This lightweight lifesaver stores your personal medical information and emergency contacts via an icon on your home screen. First responders and hospital staff can access the information without having to unlock the phone/device.


Add depth to your images and easily turn your digital photos into gorgeous 360 degree panoramas. Share your 3D wraparounds with friends on Facebook and mention how it took hours…

WhatsApp Messenger

If you haven’t been introduced, please meet the mobile text message’s worst nightmare. Simply find a wi-fi spot and send photos, videos, sound clips and messages without paying a cent.


From a humble photo-sharing service to over 130 million users in only 3 years, Instagram has captivated the imaginations of rookie photographers and seasoned snappers alike. Point, click, slap on a groovy filter and share your creations via social media.


Make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls, share images and stay in touch with friends and family with instant messages no matter where you are.

TripIt Travel Organizer

Travel planning can be a messy business and that’s exactly why TripIt is essential. Simply email your reservations and this innovative app will “automagically” create detailed itineraries and update your Google Calendar or Outlook.

Trip Journal

It might look like a snazzy Travel scrap-book, but flick on the GPS and watch this little app organise your notes, geo-tag your images and videos and create media-rich maps of your intrepid excursions.

Google Maps

Take a virtual stroll with 360-degree Street Views, get directions, check subway times and bus routes and discover useful information, reviews and images.


If there was ever a reason to switch to something other than Google Maps, this app is it! Scout is much more than a clever GPS Navigation system designed to beat traffic. It keeps tabs on local happenings and can recommend anything from restaurants and nightclubs to sporting events and concerts.


Tipulator is a sure-fire way to avoid service staff from giving you the evil eye. This app makes it easy to calculate the exact amount of gratuity due and makes splitting the bill with friends a breeze.

Banksy Bristol Tour

This geo-tagged map will take you on a street art tour to see some of Banksy’s most famous tags, including the Gorilla Mask and the Bomb-Girl. Discover the truth behind the world’s most famous graffiti artist as “Researched by those in the know”.


Unfortunately, hitchhikers of this Galaxy can’t simply swallow a “babel fish” and instantly understand everybody, yet. The next best thing is Converse, which translates your conversations via a pair of split screen keyboards.


Download this App and become an international potty-mouth in seconds. Pick your favourite expletives from 70+ languages, aim live audio clips at reckless taxi drivers and even get tips on correct usage, intensity and pronunciation.

Read more: Are you a Flashpacker?

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