Life Travel Talk

Friday 19 September 2014

The summer technology edit - essential travel gadgets

Jessica Kelly

Published 13/06/2014 | 02:30

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If you're lucky enough to be heading off to sunnier climes, take the time now to load up your smart device and make the techy purchases that'll enhance your trip!

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Skyscanner - Free (Android and iPhone)

Skyscanner scans through millions of flights on all the major airlines to find the user the best travel deal possible. The app has a handy chart view feature that shows those who don't have specific travel dates in mind the cheapest time to fly.

Hotel Tonight - Free (Android and iPhone)

City hoppers and those who may just be indecisive should download Hotel Tonight. The app provides a booking service, offering the best deals to those looking for a room that same day. They have host hotels around the world and have rooms for all budgets.

Packing Pro - €2.69 (iPhone) or PackMeApp - Free (Android)

These apps replace the old list on the back of an envelope. Packing Pro allows users to enter their destination, how long they'll be away and with whom. From this information, the app will then provide a list of suggested items to pack and will then break it down further to "essentials", "clothes", "gadgets" and so on.

PackMeApp is a free app that lets users keep track of what they're packing and suggests bits and pieces that may be needed whilst on holiday.

PassWallet - Free (Android)

iPhone users, if you have the latest version of iOS, you don't need this app or any alternative. Apple introduced "Passbook" at the time of iOS 6. Android users however, should download PassWallet as it makes managing e-tickets that bit easier.

Once an e-ticket has been issued via email, click the link and download the attachment and hit PassWallet. The app then stores the boarding pass, which is easier to manage than filing through "downloads" etc.

Dublin Airport - Free (Android and iPhone)

If you're flying out from Dublin Airport, it's worth having this on your device. It provides live updates for both Terminal 1 and 2. It will tell you how long the security queues are, feed live flight updates and shopping information too. Those looking to park in Dublin Airport can book their space through the app and tag their car to keep an eye on it while they're away!

Cork Airport has an app too, but it's not quite as slick as the Dublin one!

Word Lens - Free (Android and iPhone)

This app is by no means polished, but it's extremely handy to have while in a non-English speaking country! Simply point the phone's camera at a sign and the app will translate the text. It doesn't give a word-for-word accurate translation, but provides the gist of the message.

Kindle - Free (Android and iPhone)

Somehow, many people still think an e-reader is necessary to read e-books; not true!

Amazon's free Kindle app is available to download on the majority of smartphones and tablets. This gives the user a huge selection of books to choose from and download onto their device.

One thing to flag with this one though: load up your device in a Wi-Fi zone before you go as an internet connection is necessary to download the books, but not to read them!

Jet Lag Rooster - Free (Android and iPhone)

Jet lag is a major buzz kill and many frequent travellers have theories and tips for beating it, but there is no blanket solution.

The Jet Lag Rooster app helps users adjust to their destination's time zone before they leave. By entering the destination and travel plans, the app will provide a plan to help your body clock adjust before you get there.

TripAdvisor's Offline City Guides - Free (Android and iPhone)

Most will search for their holiday destination in TripAdvisor before booking or setting off to read the reviews and recommendations, but aside from that side of things, TripAdvisor provide an awesome feature which is a must download – "Offline City Guides".

The app works offline and gives users a rundown of the attractions, restaurants, hotels and general location info!

Within the app are self-guided tours which feature the must-see locations of major cities.

Downloading this app prevents the need to jump from Starbucks to Starbucks for the free WiFi.

XE Currency - Free (Android and iPhone)

XE.com is a frequently visited website for those leaving the Eurozone.

They have developed a free app which is just as simple to use as the desktop site. The currency calculator does just what you'd expect! It's a useful app to have on a phone or tablet.

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent
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