Travelling with a smartphone just makes life so much easier. I honestly don’t want to know what it’s like to go on a holiday without one. Besides the obvious apps like Google Maps, Yelp, Airbnb or your favourite airline’s app, here’s a couple of useful apps I reckon most travellers will find handy too.
If you book flights often and are sick of dealing with the relatively slow booking process on the airlines websites, Sparrow Flights is an Australian app that cuts through the crap of booking domestic flights. Think of it like a personal travel agent on your phone. Once you’ve set the app up with your name, credit card and frequent flyer number, you can buy a flight in just three taps – your destination, dates and confirmation. Really slick solution for those who travel way too often.
TripAdvisor is already pretty popular, but I’ll remind you about it again here because it’s so **** useful. I like to use the app to see stuff to do in the place I’m visiting – like museums and tourist attractions. It’s also great to see real photos of the hotels you might be interested in. The difference between the hotel provided photos and photos guests take, can be like chalk and cheese. Take the actual reviews with a grain of salt though, there’s always a bunch of Americans expecting way too much personal service and rating a hotel 1 star because they didn’t’ get a mint on their pillow every day.
Once you’ve got everything organised, you can store all that info in a single, easy to access place. TripCase scrapes your email and finds bookings for flights, hotels, car rentals and other things to build your itinerary and provide extra information for you to use. You can also share this info with other people (e.g: family, fellow travellers) so they know what’s going on too.
An offline map makes sense for roaming around a city where you might not have data, or a small amount of expensive data that you don’t want to burn through. But Maps.Me is more than just an offline map, you can add multiple location bookmarks onto the map and view them all at once. So if you pre-plan a few things you want to see, you can move around the city in a straightforward fashion, rather than going back and forth, wasting time travelling.
App in the Air
App in the Air labels itself as a personal flight assistant and is something frequent flyers will find very useful. This nifty app will give you a timeline for your flight – giving you estimates and warnings for how long it’ll take to check in, get through security, board and take off at airports around the world. App in the Air adds a little gamification fun to frequent flying too, by keeping track of everywhere you’ve been and giving you stats on the countries and airports you’ve visited, aircraft types you’ve flown in and how many airlines you’ve been on. You can then share this info with the other dorks on flyer’s communities and show off your globetrotting prowess.
Landed is a great guide to get useful pertinent information for any city you’ve just landed in. It’ll tell you how to get to the city from the airport, useful phrases in foreign languages, weather info, last minute hotel deals and even suggested pre-paid SIM cards. I don’t know how often people land in a foreign country with no clue what to do, but if you’re the sort of person who ends up in this situation, Landed will make it easier for you.