Travel: Top iPad apps for planning your summer holiday

WHETHER you’re looking to book a flight or compare city centre hotels, these iPad apps are fast becoming a flexible friend for prospective travellers


Price: free

Best for: browsing holiday destinations

If you haven’t decided on your holiday destination, you could do worse than flick through ebookers’ excellent Explorer app. Collating information from a wealth of internet sources - Google blogs, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube and the ebookers’ hotel website - the app is essentially an interactive holiday brochure. Beyond the suggested trips on the front of the app (snowboarding in Switzerland, skiing in Austria, sightseeing in Berlin) the search function gives you the freedom to search for whatever your heart might desire. Worth a long, leisurely browse.


Price: Free

Best for: maps, finding things to do, booking hotels

It may be the hospitality industry’s bete noir, but the Tripadvisor app should give you no cause for complaint. The app version of the 12-year-old website is easy to use, less cluttered than the web version and with most of the functionality - including the ability to contribute reviews - intact. Whether you’re looking to get your bearings with its serviceable map function, or browse for things to do in your destination of choice, the Tripadvisor app is just the ticket.


Price: free

Best for: booking flights

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Surprising that other airliners haven’t followed Lufthansa’s lead in putting together a dedicated app for booking flights. Sharp graphics and a responsive interface complement its ease of use and a generally elegant feel. Bonus points for the ethereal soundtrack, too. You’re probably not getting the best value for money on flights by using an app that, for obvious reasons, doesn’t allow you to compare prices with its competitors, but if you trust the airline and you need to book something expediently then you won’t find better.

Best for: Booking flights


Price: free

Best for: car hire

Auto Europe should by no means be your first port of call for car hire - many airports will provide a wider choice of vehicles at slightly lower prices. That said, the app does rival some of the more expensive hire vendors around, and the app itself shows a lot of promise - there isn’t anything comparable on the tablet market, and there are some respectable deals to be found. A more than decent option if you’ve left it late to book something to zip around in.


Price: free

Best for: pre-travel vaccinations advice

A simple yet elegant app that provides general information on vaccinations recommended for each countries and continents across the globe - especially useful if your destination is dictated in part by the health risks involved. It shouldn’t need to be said that consulting a GP would also be a wise suggestion.

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