Who would have ever thought that a mobile phone would become just as much of a travel must have as a bottle of water, a passport or a wad of local currency. But this is the 21st century and Smartphones are simply a commodity.
While it seems the Apple and Android app markets have taken the lead on travel apps, the Windows Smartphone's are now offering a plethora of applications for the tech savvy traveller. With winter set to roll in, Windows Phone has some apps to ensure a smooth getaway. Here are the top apps.
Available exclusively to the Windows Phone is the free Qantas app. With this one, travellers can access an up-to-date status of their Qantas flight and receive prompts to check in. The app also uses a GPS system to calculate the customer's current location calculating the estimate time it will take to get to the airport. A tile on the home-screen will alert travellers to when they need to begin heading to the airport so they don't miss their flight.
For travel close to the ground, the goCatch app is a simple tool which enables travellers to see where taxis are on a map and connects the drivers to prospective passengers through the app connectivity.
Passengers also have the capacity to rate drivers out of five stars. This app is available for use in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Croatia and Singapore.
Travellers looking for a digital itinerary on their Windows Smartphone can make use of the My Trips app which acts as a mobile itinerary. At number four on the top travel apps, My Trips synchronises travel plans with a list of flights, accommodation and car rentals. Featuring detailed flight departure and arrival dates, confirmation numbers, airline and passenger information this is one for the traveller who is always on the go. Once My Trips has been synchronised it will function offline so there's no need to use mobile roaming or Wi-Fi connections to access travel plans. Featuring twitter and Facebook links travellers can share their travel plans with friends and family at home.
For an up to date currency converter travellers can download and use the XE Currency app. With live exchange rates of every currency and precious metal in the world the XE Currency App enables travellers to monitor up to 10 different currencies simultaneously and can be used offline with the latest exchange rates stored ion the phone.
On an international journey the language barrier can create unnecessary hassles but the Polyglot app will bridge the gap as a multilingual translator. Capable of translating text back and forth between more than 30 different languages the app also has audio playback and voice to text functions so foreign travellers will never be left wondering what was said or written in an otherwise unknown language.
SkyDrive is an app from Microsoft perfect for business travellers because it enables the storage of files which can be accessed from any device. Windows Phone has access to SkyDrive from the Office and Pictures Hubs and can automatically upload pictures to the app where they are backed up immediately.
On a Windows Phone Skyscanner is arguably the best app for finding the best price for a flight. Searching millions of routes across more than 1000 airlines Skyscanner guarantees to find the cheapest flight to a destination. Users can keep track of prices by creating a live tile which gives hourly updates on prices for selected routes.
The Lonely Planet smartphone apps are some of the most popular apps for travellers and Windows Phone users can now make use of the travelling author blogs with Lonely Planet Top Cities 2011.Highlighting attractive destinations, activities and facts which appeal to many intrepid explorer and everyday traveller this app is the insider guide to a great getaway. The main feature of this one is the renowned top destination lists which might inspire the next journey.
The 'Ispeedy' app is a useful booking tool which enables people to book flights, hotels and cars in Australia and some international destinations. Offering the capability to change bookings, check-in to a flight and generate a boarding pass travellers can use the phone for mobile-check in.
For people travelling through different time zones it can be difficult to keep track of the time but the World Clock App will keep the time in check. Quite simply it displays the time in different cities around the world, a very useful tool. Now when a phone call home needs to be made travellers won't be waking up the family at very late or very early hours.
To download these Windows Phone apps visit http://www.windowsphone.com/en-AU/marketplace.