The age of the connected consumer is well and truly here, bringing with it a tide of companies and services willing to go further to help improve everyday experiences.
Overseas travel is no exception and with apps changing perceptions of what we should demand from our international adventures there’s a host of companies more than happy to oblige, lining up to vie for your precious smartphone real estate.
Here’s a list of the five apps you need on your smartphone before you next head aboard.
Australian app Helloworld is a one-stop shop of sorts for travellers, allowing you to book flights, accommodation and car hire worldwide in less than 30 seconds on a smartphone or tablet.
The app has only been available on the iTunes store for a few short weeks but has already been named by Apple as one of iTunes’ ‘Best Travel Apps’. It boasts no booking fees and is free to download.
"Travellers have access to their travel itineraries anytime, anywhere, can browse using a range of search options and it’s all delivered with the added peace of mind that there’s 24/7 customer support and the bookings are safe and secure,” says helloworld.com.au CEO Jeremy Reitman.
Location mapping means users can also search for nearby hotels and same day availability, airports or car hire outlets, and the app, available for both iOS and Android, is also home to exclusive app only-deals with up to 75 per cent off hotels and last minute offers.
Described as the 'beginning and end of all your travels', Minube is a social travel app that's particularly strong for diverse tips on hotels, restaurants, and things to see from millions of fellow travellers.
Based in Madrid, Minube can recommend destinations based on your preferred style of travel, whether that be cultural, culinary or with family, among others. The app also provides full-featured city guides available offline, which look especially good on a tablet.
The real kicker is that Minube can also potentially serve an extra source of income, with the app providing a mechanism for travellers to earn money from their published guides.
Available for iOS and Android.
Getting a decent night's sleep abroad can be tough, especially when contending with jet engines or raucous hotel bar noise. Thankfully SleepSounds HQ is on hand to provide over 600 soothing sounds from around the world, from evening crickets in the Australian outback to soothing waterfalls in the Swiss Alps.
Users can also create personalised mixes for sleep, work, travel, nap time, or meditation, blending up to six sounds at a time.
The app, available in both free and paid versions for iOS, vows to 'instantly relax your overactive mind' in a bid to help you wake up fresh and energised.
TripIt calls itself the “@#%$&! My flight just got cancelled” nonstop travel app, and given the sometimes volatile nature of air travel it earns a place on any discerning traveller's smartphone.
TripIt works quietly in the background to organise, monitor, alert, and notify around any issues with flights and accommodation and is super handy for finding alternate flights should yours be cancelled. Travellers can simply forward their purchase confirmation emails to TripIt and the app automatically creates master itineraries with travel plans and other critical information.
Based in San Francisco, the app was acquired by Concur Technologies in 2011 and is available in both 'Free' and 'Pro' configurations. It's also available for teams, as well as individuals.
If you're flying Tiger or Jetstar you may not need Quintessentially, a member's club app specially designed for cashed-up globetrotters.
This London-based app is aimed squarely at the high-end, offering everything from last-minute restaurant reservations and bespoke travel itineraries, opera and theatre tickets, to international property searches and access to private schools and tutoring. The app says it has catered for over two million requests to date, "from the extravagant to the downright crazy,", and users 24 hour access to a personal concierge wherever they are in the world.
Membership costs range from $1,500 per person, per year for a general membership, to $45,000 per person, per year for the global elite membership. The app is available for both iOS and Android.