Fantastic travel apps: how to make the most of your smartphone in the UK


With its reputation for reliability, efficiency (and, yes, a healthily sarcastic sense of humour), the UK usually makes for a pretty straight-forward place to visit, whether for please or for business. Many don’t necessarily experience the sort of travel hang-ups they might in other countries around the world. That said, for the visitor from overseas things can always be made simpler, less stressful and easier – and in recent times a game-changer in this area has been the emergence of smartphone apps. With their flexibility of operating free of online connection and offering so many delights via the device sitting in the palm of your hand, some can prove to be a genuine international travel solution. Indeed, here are just some such travel app examples for those looking to come to the UK…

  • TripIt

If you’re a frequent traveller – especially for work – then you might just find this app an essential addition to your smartphone’s arsenal. That’s because this very clever bit of software is designed to effectively act as a digital PA, storing away and presenting with clarity your flight, booked hotel and overall travel details across many months. Best of all, though, should any of your travel arrangements (flights, for instance) get altered, it automatically amends itself without you having to remember to do it yourself, thus freeing you to focus on merely getting to the airport on time!

  • TheTrainLine

Although the natives like to bemoan the state of their train network on a pretty regular basis, the fact remains that, compared to many countries, the UK’s passenger train service is highly comprehensive and very reliable. An offshoot of the excellent website that many a Brit swears by for looking up and booking a train journey, this app offers everything that its online presence does – so to say it’s useful for anyone visiting London and looking to get about town via Overground rail (or travel elsewhere outside the capital) is putting it mildly.

  • Tube Map

One for London visitors alone this one; the London Underground (nicknamed ‘the Tube’) is, of course, the city’s legendary and highly consistent subterranean railway network that allows all and sundry to nip about the place at high speed. Well, unless it’s morning or early-evening rush hour, that is! Not only does this app, yes, enable you to check the network’s iconic map at any time without having to pick up a physical version, it also handily plans routes from one stop to another for you, as well as travel times for your desired route.

  • Bus Times

Owing to their affordability and the fact they enable you to get about London above ground and so can be a decent sightseeing – as well as travel – option, the capital’s buses are popular not just with locals, but also visitors who’ve come to the city to enjoy a short-break. Plus, of course, who could pass up the chance to say they’ve actually travelled on one of those iconic red double-decker buses? This app then is just the ticket for making the most of London’s (admittedly, on the surface, somewhat confusing) bus network, as it’ll inform you of the ETA of any and every bus you might want to catch – and, remarkably, is pretty much never wrong. As you can imagine, during a busy day of touristy-travel in the capital, it might just prove essential.

  • The Montcalm


Included as an example of the necessity to downloaded a high-quality London hotel booking app, ours enables you not only to discover every last detail about and take a look at all the rooms and suites, restaurants, bars and other amenities across the family of Montcalm hotels, but also to book a room and review or (if necessary) cancel your reservation. It also expertly keeps you up to date with all the latest discounts and offers available across the Montcalm brand.

  • Skyscanner


If you’re planning to come to the UK from overseas, chances are you’ll be looking to take to the skies in order to get here; in which case, this app’s most definitely your friend to try and hunt down those enigmatic cheap flights – some of them exceedingly cheap, in fact. Yes, it used to be that you had to put the time in to do the online research; not anymore – Skyscanner saves you both time and serious dough!

  • Rebtel


An incredibly useful app for calling home from overseas and at a highly affordable price, Rebtel’s USP is that it’s able to connect you to real phone lines – as opposed to through the ’Net – thus ensuring there’s no need for you to establish an online connection. Big advantages here then are that the reception’s usually very good and your all-important call home or to the office is unlikely to suddenly and frustratingly drop off. The Rebtel peeps also claim that, should you sign up for a subscription, you won’t have to pay out anything for the first week’s calls. Nice!

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