As much as I hate to admit it, I really can't function without my phone. I have a terrible sense of direction, so end up being saved by Google on a daily basis, and I can get flustered or anxious if I don't have a way of contacting someone in an emergency.
My iPhone addiction increases dramatically when I'm travelling. Being lost sends me reeling at the best of times, and being lost in a country where I don't speak the language can send me into a full on melt down. Here are the apps I make sure I have downloaded before I leave for a trip.
Pretty standard, but an essential nonetheless, but be aware that your phone signal is dependent on your location so the app might not always work, and if your phone is anything like mine it'll drain the battery like a mother bitch. But for finding your hostel late at night or hunting down the closest bar, it's a God send.
I found out how essential this one is for travel the hard way, Danish Kroner are completely different to GBP, and God knows what I ended up paying for a pint of beer. The one I use is a universal unit converter called Units Plus. Available for both android and iPhone, it's free to downloaded and doesn't require the internet so can be accessed anywhere.
Finding somewhere to stay while you're travelling can be a balls out nightmare, especially if you're like me and tend to just make things up as you go along. Hostel World is great for finding accommodation, and you can filter your results depending on your individual needs. A word of warning however, the cheapest option isn't always going to be the best. I've ended up wondering around Rome at 1 am after a low cost reservation fell through, and ended up paying double what I wanted just so I had somewhere to stay for the night. Read the reviews and follow instructions for each individual hostel and you'll be completely fine.
Just for the love of God lock up your stuff.
Similar to Hostel World, Airbnb makes find accommodation incredibly easy, and is great if you've had enough of sharing a shower with 11 other people and are craving some privacy. I only stayed in an Airbnb twice during my trip to Europe, and both times had amazing experiences. Hosts often offer discounted prices for longer stays, so it's worth planning ahead if you're thinking of staying in one place for more than a couple of days.
Yes, they may drive you mad, maybe they've sent you 25 texts asking if you're okay and you've already Skyped twice this week despite only arriving Monday, but call your damn friends/parents. They're going to worry about you whatever so get rid of the 'my contract doesn't work abroad' bullshit and WhatsApp them. You'll be surprised at how much they appreciate it.
Speak & Translate
Okay, I admit it, it's not something I'm overly proud of, but I'm that person. The stereotypical Brit that has absolutely no understanding of any other language. Perfectly fine if you're ordering a beer, not so useful when trying to navigate your way around the subway. This app is quick and easy to use, and can help you feel like less of a tourist when you're trying to find your way around.