Going away on holiday and need some handy organisation tips? There's an app for that. Read on for our picks of the smartest and slickest mobile applications to see you through your next trip without a glitch.
Before you set off on your holidays, you'll need to make sure you have everything prepped. When we say we take the hassle, you take the holiday, we really mean it. We've created a convenient, easy-to-use app so you can book everything from airport parking and hotels, airport transfers, car hire, even your travel money.
Tripit is a planner's dream, that will smooth out any possible kinks in your seamless itinerary. It's also invaluable for those who struggle with organisation, as it helps keep tabs on the boring-but-essential bits of your holiday, such as booking references, e-tickets and confirmation emails, keeping them safely in one place so you'll never have that sinking feeling that you might have mislaid your documents when you turn up for that expensive, long-awaited tour. It also syncs with most calendar software including Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple iCal, so you can concentrate on having fun while Tripit looks after the more sober task of reminding you of where you need to be and when.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry. Free with option to upgrade to pro.
Here at Holiday Extras we like to consider ourselves masters of the art of packing, but even us pros can get carried away with the need to add 'just one extra thing' from time to time. That's when a tool like PackPoint comes in handy, as its smart algorithms will guide you towards only the essentials for the length and type of trip you're planning. Tell it whether you're male or female, how long you're going away for, whether it's business or pleasure, and PackPoint does the rest. It even checks the weather for you and adjusts its suggestions accordingly. It's also got one of the simplest and most beautiful user interfaces we've seen, with clear instructional diagrams rendered in the sort of soft, calming colours you're likely to appreciate late at night while feverishly preparing for your 6am flight.
Platforms: Android and iOS. Free.
Estate Golden Hour
With a current smartphone and some killer apps, anyone can take photos like a pro nowadays. We're all familiar with apps like Instagram but if you want to go a step further and nail the perfect shot before you reach the post-production stage, Estate is a handy tool to have at your disposal. Wherever you are in the world, it predicts the elusive 'Golden Hour' with pinpoint accuracy, as well as other photographers' favourites like the 'blue hour' and dates for the full moon. It also keeps track of sunrise and sunset times, allowing you to live each day of your holiday to the fullest. If you're an iPhone user, a similar Golden Hour app can be purchased for £1.49.
Platforms: Android. Free.
Jet lag can be a real pain for anyone travelling long-haul, as most of us don't have the luxury of a lengthy recovery period after going away. Fortunately, there are ways to beat jet lag at its own game, and using Entrain is one of the cleverest methods of overcoming the worst excesses of red-eye syndrome. To do its work, the app uses detailed information on the body's circadian rhythms, gathered by researchers at the University of Michigan. It uses this information to recommend a tailored 'lighting schedule' that will set your body's internal clock to the timezone you want it to align with. Entrain requires a bit of patience, and you may find it tricky to get used to the idea of switching on lights late at night to get the desired effect - but many of those who've persevered swear by it.
Platforms: iOS, Android. Free.
XE Currency Converter
Gone are the days when you'd have to rely on a pocket calculator or mental arithmetic to convert currency on-the-go: XE Currency is a powerful app that gives accurate, real-time foreign exchange information whenever you want to see it, wherever you are in the world. It's relied upon by multinational businesses to find exchange rates, so you can certainly trust it to convert the price of the baguette you want to buy or the or camel ride you want to negotiate. And despite being a business tool, it's also refreshingly user-friendly.
Platforms: iOS, Android. Free.
Ideal for those who prefer to leave the finer details (like accommodation) to the last minute, or for those who plan to visit multiple cities on a whim, HotelTonight serves up a fresh crop of hotel deals every day. You can book a room in just a few seconds, from a selection of hand-picked hotels, filed under categories such as basic, hip and luxe, to ensure a good spread of pricing options and styles. There's also a 24/7 helpline available, which should reassure those who prefer to speak to a human when booking a room for the night, but if all goes smoothly, you shouldn't have to. Available in a growing number of cities across the world, it's a great way to get up to 70% off a well-located room.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows. Free.
Did we forget a great travel app? Let us know in the comments!