The well-known historic fiction author Robyn Yong rightfully said that ‘we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us’. The true intent and purpose of travelling (besides of course having fun) is to explore and discover. To overcome geographical and ethnic boundaries and discover our true potential by stepping out of the carefully built comfort zone of ours.
We realize that all of that is quite inspiring and poetic but for many, it would be ‘easier said than done’. Well not anymore. Though modern life has become increasingly competitive and fast-paced, it, however, comes with its own advantages too. Today, the world is a global village and the ever-increasing range of technology is there for us to exploit and aid us in preparing ourselves to fledge.
In the current edition, we bring to you some of the best travel apps of the year. The list has been divided into categories for your ease and convenience.
We thought we’d begin with an app that targets one of the most common issues that all travellers face: Jet lag. If you are a frequent flyer, how many times have you actually gotten off a plane feeling so jetlagged that you wish you could just fall asleep there and then? Well, we’re here to tell you that, in the smart world of technology it is possible to have personalized schedules and advice only at the distance of a click.
Scientists and neuroscience experts have put together an app for travellers which takes into consideration the client’s specifics like gender, age, flight schedule and normal sleeping patterns. Based on scientific sleep and circadian rhythm research the app offers pre and post travel advice. The app provides detailed ‘jet lag plans’ which as the developers claim have helped even astronauts and athletes arrive at their destination feeling ready to take on the world. The first jet lag plan is a free one so try it out and decide for yourself.
Booking a Trip
Flight booking is one of the first things which one might want to get in order while preparing a trip. It is also, however, is the task that is the most expensive (in most cases) and daunting. Long flights or extended stopovers can drain one out of the energy even before the real adventure has begun. Here are a few apps that will help you ease up the task at hand.
While planning a trip, you might have to deal with connecting flights and those flights are not always with the same airline. Switching planes especially ones that involve separate airlines significantly increases a travellers chance to experience missed connections, which may consequently mess up not just your other bookings and plans but also may kill the entire mood. The distinguishing feature of kiwi.com which is available for both Android and iOS is the Kiwi.com Guarantee feature. In addition to giving you access to the cheapest flights available the company promises that any missed connections due to delay or cancellation are not only replaced without any additional charges but also will the client be compensated in the form of food and hotel.
2. Skiplagged – Hidden City
What this app offers may seem controversial but the company claims that the method has no legal breaches. Skiplagged offers a hidden city feature. As mysterious as it sounds it is fairly easy to understand. We know that direct flights with no layover are comparatively more cruel on the pocket than a connecting flight. Hidden City books you a flight where your end destination appears to be a layover. For example, you plan on flying from Las Vegas to New Orleans and the cheapest flight is $260, Hidden City finds you a flight that is from Las Vegas to Orlando with a layover at New Orleans and it costs $200. All you have to do is travel light (i.e. only a hand carry bag) and not use your frequent flyer number as it might get you into some sort of penalization. You reach New Orleans and you stay. You never travel all the way to Orlando. If you still have questions regarding the legality of this act then visit Skiplagged official website and get your queries answered. Nonetheless, if you are up for a bit of risk then Hidden City allows you to save some decent cash.
If you are a smart, organized traveller who likes to plan things ahead of time Hopper is one of the best travel apps for you. It offers users a color coded calendar of each month, indicating the dates when the flights would be cheapest. Once you’ve selected your route the app’s trademark bunny hops around telling you whether the day you planned is the good one to travel on or should you go for a different date. The app also offers a feature of notification alerts, which lets you know if the prices fluctuate. Make smart choices and download the app to have a fun and economical adventure.
If you are a spontaneous, adventurous person who likes making last-minute plans or simply forgot to book a hotel and are now being ambushed by your wife/girlfriend about how you had ONE job and you couldn’t even get that right? Well, worry not, because HotelTonight is just the app for you. It offers you to book a hotel room for the same evening or any day in the upcoming week. Not only are the rooms categorized on the basis of comfort level (ie. basic, lux, high roller and charming) but also provides you with customer reviews and user-generated photos along with exciting last-minute prices.
Airbnb provides users with additional options of choosing between booking a room, a house or a chalet. Once you’ve entered your dates and destination the app would allow you to pick the perfect house rental based on price, comfort, requisite or even home type. The ‘trips’ tab provides you with all the information such as reservation details, address, directions and even an option to contact the local host -all in one place. As if that isn’t exciting enough Airbnb allows you to pick from a number of locally available activities like wine tasting, hikes, shows, concerts and much more.
3. Hilton HHonors
Are you that picky person who seeks homely comfort even when away from home? Hilton HHonors is the app that understands those needs and allows users to pick their own room. For selected locations it shows you the entire map of the hotel, enabling you to choose a room based on specifics like the room closest to the elevator, the room with a specific kind of view or even a room on a specific floor of your own preference. The app also provides executive features like choosing a specific kind of pillow or ordering a certain snack or beverage even before your arrival at the hotel (at additional costs of course). The single-click check-out option on the app makes the process even less hectic and user friendly.
Although originally made to facilitate road trips, the app can be used to help you get around your travel destination. It allows you to select routes including adventurous off beaten paths and roadside activities. It also allows you to book the must-visit landmarks of the place.
One of the biggest obstacles one might face when trying to move around and explore a foreign place is the language barrier. Well, not any more. Shed all barriers with TripLingo as it helps you to just blend in and explore the new culture to its fullest. The country package option allows you to speak like a local by translating your own voice into the desired language (for example, Italian), to translate images and even pick from a list of commonly used local phrases. It has a free WIFI option which enables you to make calls (you must deposit some credit though) and has numerous sections containing helping advice on tipping, safety and various cultural norms.
Putting it simply, Triposo is quite a comprehensive app which allows you to not only book hotel rooms, plan activities and tours and make reservations at local restaurants, but also comes with a very detailed map of over 50,000 destinations, making it one of the best travel apps to have. The map which is accessible offline (i.e. without an internet connection) shows every monument, historic site and must-visit places to be at along with descriptions and backgrounds about the place. It’s not just an app, it’s your own personal tour guide resting right in your palm.
If you are a person who loves physical activities like hiking and extra long walks down a trail. If you enjoy spending time wit nature or are quite regular with your cardio workout then AllTrails is just the app for you. In addition to having about 100,000 trail roads all around the world it allows you to create your own custom map and even share it with friends who can then join you on your fun little adventure.
As the name implies, Meetup is an app designed to connect tourists with fellow tourists and even locals who share your interests and hobbies. The idea is basically to allow people to join groups based on mutual interests in activities like wine tasting, hiking, cooking lessons or even a sushi rolling class. The app is a great way to develop networks of coworkers or even put together family-friendly meetups with strangers and make friends out of them.
One of the most widely used apps when it comes to travelling with around 700 million reviews about more than 8 million places across the globe. It allows you to make informed decisions and plan all your activities in order to make the most out of the much-awaited vacation of yours. Additionally, the app is available in 28 different languages and comes with various options like following friends or travel experts and seeking their advice, it has hundreds of articles to skim through and even comes with a feature of writing reviews in order to share your own experience of the places you visit.