Cell phone essentials

A curated list of apps and websites I recommend for my family coming to visit London this summer.

Citymapper.

Comprehensive, easy to use and also playful, Citymapper is my favourite travel app. It offers more detailed journey planner information than Google, including real-time departures and disruption alerts, as well as Uber integration and cycle routes. You can also see approximately how many calories you’d burn if you walked!

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XE Currency.

Does what it says on the tin. XE has lots of business-oriented features, such as rates for precious metals and historic currency charts, but for the traveller it is most useful for the simple fact that it’s able to convert every world currency. It also functions offline by saving the last updated rates, which is great if you’re in a place with limited connectivity or trying to save on data.

 

 

Foursquare.

Foursquare, how I’d be lost without you! Excellent for making and sharing lists of things to do, see, and where to eat. In fact, one of my favourite features allows you to search by cuisine or restaurant type in any given area. This then pulls up a list of places together with a map.

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This is the desktop version, showing my curated list of dinner, drinks, and dancing recommendations. The map is so useful! 

 

CoolCousin.

Cool Cousin is shaking up the travel world with good old human connection: they believe a recommendation is only as good as the person behind it. This app helps you find a cousin who suits you best. It’s only available for iPhone at the moment, but for us Android users the website works just fine. Who is your cousin? Gili recommends Regents Park Road with its vintage shops and cafes, while Max is all about Hackney and riverside strolls.

 

App in the Air.

App in the Air is a smart, straightforward, flight tracking app that has the best coverage of airlines and airports. It will keep you updated about flight status – even if you don’t have internet coverage – and helps you manage your time at the airport, breaking down each flight into four stages; check in, boarding, takeoff and landing time.

 

Packpoint.

Pro packers can’t just trust their memory to ensure they’ve got all the essentials. That’s where Packpoint steps in: input the length of your trip, the weather, the destination and any activities you’ve planned, and it’ll list everything you need to stick in your luggage, from toothbrushes to umbrellas to jeans.

 

BBC Suite – iPlayer, radio, news.

While you’re in the UK, why not take advantage of the BBC suite of news and entertainment? Download the BBC iPlayer together with Radio and News. My morning routine consists of tuning to Radio 4 for the Today Programme (6am – 9am) for its excellent coverage of politics, finance, sport, culture, and current events.

 

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