Laila Ram, co-founder of, shares her favourite apps.

Laila Ram is co-founder of the award-winning boutique hotel and travel site, Its hand-picked and personally reviewed collection of boutique hotels, villas and B&Bs across the world has become the first port of call for discerning independent travellers looking for a hip hideaway.

Laila and her best friend, Nikki Tinto, first launched in 2001 with places that they had discovered during their travels together. It has since grown to over 1,400 amazing places across the world, includes a unique family-friendly collection, and has a bespoke booking service.

CityMaps2Go – I use this a lot for work trips and holidays. You can download a map of where you’re travelling to and pin locations of the places you want to visit to it before you go. Once you’re there you can access the maps and get directions even if you have data roaming switched off.

Spotted by Locals City Guides – full of insider tips on the best cafes, restaurants, galleries and all matter of places to see and be seen as recommended by people who live in the 46 cities that are featured. I use it to help me get away from the tourist trail and experience local life.

SpeakEasy (various languages) – it’s always good to have a few key phrases to hand when travelling in countries where you don’t speak the language. This helps with translations and pronunciation so there’s less likelihood of any misunderstandings!

Starmap – I love this because I no longer have to crane my neck up into the heavens and back into the torch light on my starmap atlas only to have forgotten what pattern I was trying to see by the time my eyes have adjusted. You just hold your phone up to the night sky and the app tells you which planets, stars, galaxies, clusters, comets and constellations you’re looking at.

Evernote Food – this is a great one for foodies as it allows you to document memorable meals you’ve had and the wonderful restaurants you’ve visited while travelling. Great if you want to keep a note of places to recommend to friends when you get home.

Sleep Machine – this is a brilliant little app that plays soothing sounds to help send you off to sleep. Ranging from light rain showers to lapping waves to chirping crickets, it’s great for travelling as you can use it to block out unwanted noises and help you to drift off in unfamiliar places.

February 2013.