It's December and with December comes late nights and lots of parties, whether it is meeting friends to swap presents, or Christmas lunches that go on a little later than you intended.

Unfortunately trains don't exactly win a gold medal for being great at this time of year so getting home isn't always as easy as we'd like it to be. Whether it's getting a taxi, finding out when your last train is or working out the best way home, we have rounded up five essential apps to download that will give you a little helping hand.


Black cabbies aren't Uber's biggest fan but if you want to request a cab through an app, watch it arrive and get out when you're home without worrying about having enough cash, you need an Uber.

You can compare rates for different cars from standard to luxury and get a quote to your final destination so you'll know roughly what the damage will be before you accept. There is also the option to select Uber Pool, which means you share an Uber with someone going the same direction.

Your location can be set on the map and the driver will find you while you watch them arrive, plus you'll get an emailed receipt too. Your payment method is stored when you setup your Uber account, which makes everything nice and simple. Watch out for the surge charges that sometimes creep in though as sometimes it is worth waiting half an hour and trying again, rather than pay double.

Download Uber for free on AndroidiOS and Windows Phone


Citymapper is a journey planning app that takes into account all modes of transport including the tube, bus, rail, ferry, bike, Uber and walking to help you work out the best way to get yourself home.

It offers real-time departures, transport maps, line statuses and real-time disruption alerts. It works in London, Manchester and Birmingham and it will even show you price estimates and your ETA so you'll know what time to tell your housemates or partners to expect you home.

Download Citymapper for free on Android and iOS

National Rail

If you are dedicated to getting the train home and avoiding the hefty taxi bill, the National Rail app needs to be on your smartphone. You'll be able to find out real time train information, including any disruptions on your route, and you can re-plan your journey through the app if you need to.

For all your favourite journeys and stations, there is the My Travel section for finding your next train home quickly and the app also has wake-up alerts so you don't miss your stop.

Download National Rail for free on AndroidiOS and Windows Phone


Public transport might be out of the question for you, in which case Hailo will help you get a taxi to drop you at your doorstep. You can put your arm down as no waving is necessary with this app, instead it uses Google Maps to pinpoint where you are and the licensed driver will find you while you watch it arrive in real time.

Hailo allows you to pay by cash or using the card account you have setup and it will email you a receipt of your journey for that expense form. It's a little like Uber but for black cabs so great if you can't be bothered to walk the streets looking for an orange light.

Download Hailo for free for Android and iOS 

Tube Map London Underground

You may have left the party slightly earlier in which case, the Tube Map London Underground app could be your best friend for finding the quickest route home the underground way. The app will help you find the nearest Tube station to where you are, and there is live departure and station information so you'll know how long you have to make the last train.

You'll be able to see the Tube map if you want to work it out for yourself, but if not, there is also a route planner to help you find the quickest route home.

Download Tube Map Live Underground for free on Android, iOS and Windows Phone