5 Forward-Thinking Travel Apps for 2013

There’s no doubt about it, a few carefully chosen travel apps can go a long way towards making your holiday or business trip a successful one. The tricky part is discerning which ones are worth having from the thousands on the market.

Approaching 2013, here are five travel apps that will help you take the hassle out of hotel booking, the trouble out of translating and the disaster out of dining.


Pinterest Word Lens

Word Lens App

Now this app really is 10 years ahead of its time. Word Lens translates any kind of printed text into another language with the aid of your phone’s camera. Point it at a French street sign, and it’ll display in real-time the text in English on the same background – as if by magic! Google Goggles does have a similar feature but it’s less developed and requires an internet connection to run.

The Word Lens demo is free to download, but should you wish to buy the full version, it’s available in Italian, French or Spanish via an in-app purchase for £6.99. I personally think it’s a steal for such sci-fi technology.

Available for iPhone or Android

Pinterest Touchnote

TouchStone App

In these days of tech travel and long-distance tweeting, you might think that the poor old postcard is on its last legs. But Touchnote is seeking to bring back snail mail with a 21st century twist. Use this free app to create and send tailor-made postcards to great grannies and long lost uncles everywhere with just a few taps of the screen. Upload your own holiday snap, write a personal message, and they’ll take care of the rest.

For £1.49 you can have your physical postcard sent anywhere in the world, saving you the task of buying a stamp or finding a post box.

Available for iPhone or Android


Pinterest HotelClub

HotelClub App

All the leading accommodation providers have tools for making booking hotel rooms easier, but HotelClub’s new app possibly wins the prize for being the most user-friendly. Browse thousands of hotels worldwide, with the ability to filter them according to whether they have a pool or allow pets. This can all be done with a few taps of your iPhone, and each hotel has plenty of photos, ensuring that you’ll sleep in a fleapit dive again.

Thanks to HotelClub’s rewards scheme you can get money off future purchases every time you make a booking.

Available for iPhone


Pinterest JetLag Genie

JetlagGenie App



When you’re flying from Bangkok to Paris on business, the last thing you need is a crippling bout of jet lag to stop you doing what you need to do. JetLag Genie will help you take care of this by adjusting your sleeping schedule so your body will be halfway to Paris time before you even take off. JetLag Genie can also do other things, such as tell you when to take melatonin, wake you up with a personalised alarm or sinisterly notify you to ‘seek dark’. Not sure about the extra features, but the sleep schedule works a treat.

Just remember to bring coffee in case it’s all a placebo effect.

Available for iPhone


Pinterest Foodspotting


Foodspotting App

Hot on the heels of the one-dish dining craze, Foodspotting shows you the best place in a city to get a particular meal based on other users’ reviews and recommendations. Whether you’re looking for lobster in London or pierogi in Poznan, Foodspotting will identify the best place to find it near you, ensuring that you never waste a holiday meal in a lousy restaurant again. A picture is worth a thousand words, and one of Foodspotting’s greatest strengths is that users can upload their own images. A campaign to reward foodspotters for doing this in 2013 should ensure the app’s continued success.

Available for iPhone or Android


If there are any new, high-tech or just downright awesome travel apps that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let me know!

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