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The best FREE holiday apps for your smartphone

We have become dependent on our smartphones and tablets, and even the holidays seem boring without them. There will be a time when you will miss, or need, your cannot-live-without device. When that happens, you need some apps that could satisfy, help or simply just improve your holiday. Here is a list of some the best (and importantly) FREE apps you can get to change the way you experience your holiday. With these apps you will be able to organise your activities and be able to have a memorable time.



TripAdvisor makes holidaying easier with on-the-spot user reviews and information, giving you insight into where the best places are to go. It gives you a multitude of information from where to go (or where not to) to hotel bookings and flight plans. It features independent reviews of anything from hotels to restaurants, fun things to do and candid photos are posted by individuals who are subscribed to the service. The app is free on both iOS and Android.



Cocktail Flow

Spice up the evening by showing your mixing prowess, or just the ability to follow instructions, and mix cocktails like a real barman with Cocktail Flow. Beautifully laid out with cool photographs, the app has a plethora of cocktail mixes and can even compile recommended mixes for you from ingredients you have at hand. It even has themed packages for New Years, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s day, so it’s good for fun all year round.




There are an immense number of GPS navigation apps out there for mobile devices and, to be honest, some are probably a little better than Navfree. But where Navfree trumps all of them is that it is completely free. Free from subscription, roaming charges and updates. If you are stuck somewhere and don’t have the finances to pay up to US$60 (that still needs to be purchased at a yearly fee), then Navfree is the way to go. All the relevant maps for most of the major cities are downloaded to your device and stored for quick access. There are not a lot of navigation apps out there that offer completely free navigation. Navfree is available for all platforms.




There are plenty of photographic apps available for smartphones, and for the most part they are all a bit “samey”. Why not be a bit different and get an app that easily allows you to take panoramic pictures of whatever you want to photograph, displaying in a much more elaborate way where you were or what you were doing. No editing is needed to stitch the panoramic together as the app does it for you, and the instructions could not be easier to follow. It is almost criminal that such a great app is free.



iMotion HD

In a similar vein, if you are going to take videos, why not do it differently. Time lapse is where images are taken at specific intervals and stitched together so a video is created. iMotion HD does all of these for you in camera. You just find a good quiet spot for your iPhone, choose your intervals and press record. Leave the phone for a few hours (or the whole day if you can manage that) and the app will do all for you. iMotion HD is only available for iOS devices (for now), but it will really change the way you take videos and add a cool aspect to your holiday.



To go together with your videos, photos, panoramics, songs and whatever else you have on your device, you are going to need to save them somewhere. If you going to do something on your phone, it’s take photos and videos. And pretty soon your device’s memory is going to be full. Drop them in Dropbox. Downloading and registering with the service is free, and once you start using it you will see the value of Dropbox. Post to Facebook and invite friends to share some of the folders, and get even more free space. Dropbox will become part of your life.


Google Translate

google translate

Don’t want to upset that big drunk guy at the bar because your “sorry can I get to the bar please” sounded like “hey get the f**k out of the way”? Google Translate lets you not just translate typed phrases, but you can speak and translate as well. With a multitude of languages available, it will be quite hard to get lost nowadays. Unfortunately there is no “drunk speak mode” yet, but making friends will be a lot easier.



Draw Something Free

There is just so much that can keep the kids occupied and out of your hair during the holidays. When those things start to wane in popularity, they are gonna get in your face. You need an app to keep them busy. While there are admittedly not a lot of apps out there that satisfy children 10 and younger, Draw Something Free (iPhone and Android) is not just for the young ones, but the older generation will enjoy it as well. Pick a word, draw it and let people guess what you have drawn. It’s Pictionary on your smart device. It’s a picture-based drawing competition. Or just a way to pass the time. Whatever, it’s addictive and loads of fun.

Author | Stephan Lourens

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years too early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will say a gadget, then money. So he can go buy a gadget. More
  • Guy

    IS there an Android version if Imotion HD?

  • Hi Guy. At the moment there is not a version for Android, but in the Google Play store there is an app called “Lapse It” which is very similar to iMotion HD. It is one of the time lapse apps with the best reviews. There are many, but download a few and see which one works the best for you.


  • Shpak Olesia

    there are a lot of rumors about new iphone 7…. i heard that the best
    card games for your new iphone you will be able to find here. and, to be honest, they are really awesome! :)

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