Craig Grannell
Craig Grannell


May 2024

The must-have apps for every stage of your holiday

From remembering your charging cables to staying entertained on board, boost every part of your journey by downloading these handy apps

Check your Avios

When? Before you book
At any stage of your journey, it’s worthwhile checking in to see what your Avios can do for you via the dedicated Avios app (iOS and Android; free). It’ll show you how healthy your balance is looking to help you start planning your next adventure, with a roving list of available Reward Flights and Avios-only flights there for the taking.

Avios app

Don’t forget a thing

When? The night before travel
We all know that feeling – you arrive at your hotel room only to discover you’ve forgotten your fancy shoes. And your plug adapter. And your toothbrush. Luckily, Todoist (iOS and Android; free) is an excellent way to build reusable checklists for travel, and you can even delegate tasks, making it someone else’s fault when the sunglasses you need are 4,000 miles away…


Be in the know

When? As you wait for your flight
You could stash a bunch of reading matter in your carry-on. Or you could lighten your load with
Readly (iOS and Android; £7.99 per month). Flip through all the magazines you know and love (Business Traveller, Ideal Home, Vanity Fair et al) and visit a few of your favourite papers (from the Evening Standard to the Guardian), then download your pick of the pageturners ready for offline use. Speaking of which, did you know High Life can be downloaded for offline perusal, too? Go on, have a read


Share your whereabouts

When? If want to keep family in the loop
The iPhone’s Check In feature helps loved ones know when you’ve safely arrived at your destination. But Tile’s Life360 (iOS and Android; free) takes things one step further by working cross-platform and using your device’s built-in tech to figure out when you’re in the air and when you’ve landed. Anyone you share your location with doesn’t need flight times to see your status, and further protection is added by way of route histories and an instant ‘SOS’ trigger. It even works in airplane mode.


Boarding pass at the ready

When? At the gate
Make life easy by downloading the
British Airways app (iOS and Android; free). It’s a one-stop shop for everything from booking flights to checking in and choosing your seats, tracking your flight status and pulling up your boarding pass when needed. For Apple Watch users, British Airways was one of the first companies to launch a special app for the gadget, so you can wear your boarding pass on your wrist.


Relax your mind

When? During take-off
Maybe you’re cool as a cucumber soaring along at 35,000 feet but, if not, have Headspace (iOS and Android; from £4.17 a month – includes free trials) distract you from any nervous overthinking. You can download its soothing meditation sessions – we recommend the ‘full body scan meditation’ – before you board, ready to play. If you’re yet to be convinced, here’s how Headspace helped fixed one user’s fear of flying.


Your movies, your way

When: Mid-flight
Flying short haul and want to take your TV binge into the skies with you? Do it – with Disney+ (iOS and Android; from £7.99 per month). The Disney+ app means you can pre-download movies to watch on your device while you’re in airplane mode. With hours to spend in the air, either continue with your firm favourite or get around to watching that new series you’ve been meaning to try for ages. You can grab an entire season with a tap.


Play the game

When? Once you’ve exhausted yourself on movies
Back to the smartphone – as capable a games machine as anything else and with plenty of apps to be noodling around with on a long flight. Try Mini Metro (iOS, £3.99, and Android, £1.09): a beautiful, meditative puzzler based on city metro maps. Although, if you’d rather not be reminded of public transport, maybe go for the Zen mode in gem-swapper supremo Bejeweled (iOS and Android; free) instead.


Listen up

When? As you prepare for landing
As your descent begins and you need to stow laptops and tablets, stick to your phone and get a load of Pocket Casts (iOS and Android; free) to occupy yourself with. Some truly excellent podcasts include No Such Thing As A Fish (full of fascinating oddball facts) and Origin Story (deep dives into misunderstood political concepts).

Pocket Casts

Don’t be lost in translation

When? As you begin to explore
If you land in a country that speaks a language other than your own, you might come unstuck once you venture outside the airport. Google Translate (iOS and Android, free) is therefore a must-install, giving you all kinds of clever ways to translate between languages, including a live camera option and a split-screen conversation view.

Google Translate

This article has been tagged Technology, Travel Tips