I personally prefer to switch off my phone while on vacation, however we don’t get such luxury quite often. Smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives that a day without them looks difficult. And why not, look at the amazing Apps and solutions around us. Some are really brilliant and awesome. Lot of times people ask me which Apps I prefer while on trip. So here it is – from the ocean of millions of them, 5 Travel Apps that really worked for me. There is no order or Ranking here, just 5 of my favorites.
1. GOOGLE MAPS
Who can even think of a trip without Google Maps? Its reach and detailing are simply mind blowing. We can arguably call Google Maps the best mobile navigation app around, and one you’ll likely use every day on the road.
While you’ll need an Internet connection to find new locations, you can save unlimited numbers of maps for later offline use. The GPS in your phone can still work without any network signal, and you can even get driving and public transit directions without being connected. I have used Google Maps Walking assist a lot on my trip to Hong Kong and it works like a breeze. I have some colleagues in Delhi who cannot move a meter without Google Maps Traffic Assistance. So Google Maps gets my “Best Buddy Travel App” tag.
2. GOOGLE TRANSLATE
If you’re planning a trip to a place that don’t speak your language, you’ll find Google’s Free Translation app very useful. Simply type in the words you need to translate, pick a target language and bingo – you rock!
I found it very helpful during my trip to a small Indonesian Island called Bintan. It was so much fun to say phrases in local Indonesian and Malay Language to local shopkeepers there. Got some good bargain as well. You can even speak a phrase and have the resulting text translated. Most usefully, you can download a language pack ahead of time. This means you don’t even need to be connected to the Internet to translate – an important point for international travellers who may not have mobile data. And trust me that happen a lot of time. A must have Travel App indeed.
3. XE CURRENCY
There are many currency conversion Apps in App Store but I find XE currency to be the best. The best part is its simplicity to select your native currency like Indian rupee, dollars, baht etc. Then select the one you want to use right now. The moment you enter the amount the result will come in all different currencies you chose. This gives a very good idea of the value for stuff you are looking. No matter where we are, we always understand the value of a product in reference to our native currency only. XE Currency is quick and easy, and could save you a lot of money when dealing with unfamiliar exchange rates. The app doesn’t require an Internet connection to convert between currencies, but does need one to download rates when you first select a currency.
Tripit is one of the most popular travel apps out there, and for good reason. The service makes tracking even complex itineraries a breeze, without having to manually type in the details of every flight, hotel and car rental.
If the booking was made online, just forward the confirmation email and, in most cases, Tripit will automatically recognize it and update your itinerary. Once that’s done, start the app and let it download the latest updates. After that, you can access your itinerary without an Internet connection.
Tripadvisor is another personal favorite who gets the status of my “best buddy app”. I simply love the sheer depth of information on tripadvisor. I am using it from last 5-6 years when App was not even around. We used to access the portal from website only.
It provides the best user-reviews for accommodation and attractions, and its forums also provide a wealth of information about destinations all over the world. The Travel App provides almost all the information available on the site, including access to the forums and syncing of bookmarked pages between the web and app versions.
Unfortunately it’s not able to be used offline, although the company does make dozens of free city guides available to download.
Do suggest some awesome apps you know that can help make a great trip.