Gone are the days of working face-to-face with a high-street travel agency to plan and book an upcoming holiday, or flicking through Teletext to find a great deal and confirming over the phone.
Travel is now an integrated, digital experience, taking you from mobile to desktop and website to app, removing the need to talk to another human should you wish. Some of the most exciting advancements and trends lie in the travel app space, with household favourites and market disrupters challenging one another for the most useful features, the hottest in-app content marketing and the slickest user experiences.
Here's our round-up of 2019's best travel apps for anyone bitten by the travel bug.
Your latest adventure will probably involve one/some of: transport to an airport, an overnight airport hotel stay, flights, transport to your accommodation, Airbnb reservations, day trips – the list goes on. Instead of scouring emails for different booking confirmations or having to log on to endless websites to collate your itinerary details, information aggregation apps like Tripit are taking the industry by storm.
Travellers can say goodbye to fragmented information by importing all of their travel data into one, all-inclusive central hub. Tripit's May 2019 update has seen it perform better than ever, with an optimised Apple Watch design and an Auto-Import feature to manage any cancelled plans. A great example of technology saving-time and making customers' lives easier.
Newcomer travel app Lambus offers a similar experience to Tripit but with an emphasis on group travel and collaboration. They're still ironing out the kinks, but it's exciting to see how this app takes the social element of travel and how easy it makes organising and undertaking travel as a group.
2019 has also seen new-kid-on-the-block travel app PackPoint come into its own, with a new summer release receiving great reviews on Google Play and the App Store. Its clever technology reviews your destination, the predicted weather and any activities you have planned, pulling together a packing list so that no essentials get missed.
Google Translate has released a 2019 update that has the potential to transform the way travellers interact with new countries and languages. Download the app and use your camera to snap photos of any writing that you need translate, from signs to menus. Google's app will produce an accurate translation purely based on the image – amazing!
New social travel app Alpacr may be in its infancy, but is already generating great reviews across Google Play and the App Store. It gives adventurers the ability to share their travel experiences and photos with the wider travelling community. You can research new trips, follow your friends' travels and meet up with buddies along the way. Social media giants such as Instagram have shown us that travel plus community equals a huge hit, so we're predicting big things for this new app.
Etihad Airways and Panasonic Avionics Corporation has announced a partnership this year that will see a variety of wellness solutions introduced via Etihad's app. It will be the first airline to test Panasonic's Jet Lag Advisor, which uses biometric data combined with other travel information to calculate and deliver a personalised, in-flight plan of activities and environmental settings to help prevent jet lag.
Travel is one of the most exciting aspects of modern living. Unique experiences, unexpected encounters and a renewed sense of sense and of adventure. With advancements in technology come improvements to how we plan, book and manage our travel, and how we optimise and share those experiences. Travel apps are here to stay, but we can expect to see their experiences and features only getting smarter and more intuitive over time.