25 of the best travel apps for iOS and Android

Nail the jet-set lifestyle with these handy smartphone helpers

Time was, travelling meant bumbling around with a map in hand, gesticulating at cab drivers and paying too much for food.

Not any more: nowadays you can live like a local within minutes of touching down at the airport. Sling the right apps onto your trusty smartphone and everything from booking hotels to getting downtown will be just a touch away.

Which Apple iOS and Android apps should you opt for, though? And which can you trust to get you out of a jam when you're far from home with nothing but a phone, a backup battery and local data roaming?

Fear not. As frequent jet-setters ourselves, we've rifled through our app drawer to find the 25 travel apps we swear by on any far-flung trip.

...for flying

Skyscanner

You’ve decided you need a break? Hooray! Now you have to trawl through tens of airline websites, desperately in search of the cheapest flights landing at an airport vaguely near where you want to go. Boo.

Enter Skyscanner: stick in your dates, pick your location and - voila! - it’ll serve up a host of results sorted by price, with the option to filter by direct routes and layover time. It’ll offer alternative date options which might be cheaper, too, in case you’re flexible.

Download Skyscanner for iOS here

Download Skyscanner for Android here

Kayak

There’s nothing worse than booking your big flights, only to find that they’ve halved in price two days later. Thankfully, Kayak serves up a nifty guesstimator that’ll tell you whether to buy or wait, based on previous trends and data.

Like SkyScanner, it’s also decent at checking hundreds of airlines for the best combinations and deals to get you where you want to go.

Download Kayak for iOS here

Download Kayak for Android here

Hopper

Like cooking eggs and designing smartphones, there are many, many ways to book flights - and, after the two above, Hopper serves up a third approach. It’s all about playing the waiting game: key in your flight details and Hopper will tell you whether to buy now or wait, based on data including literally trillions of historic fares.

What’s more, it’ll even ping you notifications if the price suddenly drops and it becomes opportune to book - saving you the hassle and heartache of searching for the best deal.

Download Hopper for iOS here

Download Hopper for Android here

Hipmunk

As much a virtual organiser as it is a personal travel agent, Hipmunk can take care of everything from flights to accommodation to activities, with useful calendar integration and the ability to email it for personalised recommendations.

Using a pinch of AI, it’s as easy as dropping it a note - such as “What are the best dates to fly from London to Barcelona in August for a week?” - and it’ll come back with helpful suggestions and booking options. Spooky.

Download Hipmunk for iOS here

Download Hipmunk for Android here

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