(BEGODI) – Apps have made the life of a traveller so much simpler. They are able to give you information, tips and services at the touch of a button, no matter where you are. However, the amount of apps available may prove overwhelming for some, and turn you off from cluttering your home screen with unused icons. To help you along, we have put together a list of practical and well-rated apps for you to browse through thematically. Select the ones relevant to your needs, and take advantage of the apps to make your next trip a breeze.
Finding the best flight deals can be easy when you know where to look. Although there are general hacks such as optimal booking windows, days and times, apps that calculate and track these trends can save you the fuss. It is still a good idea to compare the price on the airline sites after using these generator apps, as they can prove cheaper if you book directly.
Skyscanner, Momondo and Kayak are all great flight comparison generators to use, as well as Google Flights. When searching in Southeast Asia however, Traveloka is the most reliable app. Asian budget airlines are sometimes not picked up by the larger search engines, but are frequent on the Traveloka radar. It also has regualr promotions on both flight and hotel bookings, as well as discounts at local stores and restaurants.
Planning and packing
The logistics of organising a trip are often the biggest stressor that travellers experience. Preparation doesn’t have to be a headache though, as there are some wonderful apps created to ease your planning pains. Once the technicalities are settled, you can focus on the excitement of your holiday with a clear and calm mind.
This pocket travel agent is your personal assistant when it comes to your travel schedule. It gathers all of your flight, accommodation, car rentals, appointments and event bookings and organises it into a seamless itinerary. There are also features to share your travel plans with friends in the app to coordinate your arrangements when travelling together.
For anyone who finds packing a daunting task, this app is definitely for you! It gives you a tailored check-list depending on your destination, time of travel, activities and trip duration. The heavy thinking is thus done for you and all you need to do is grab the items, check the list and your bags will be ready in no time.
Particularly when you are travelling around Asia, you are bound to run into many situations where translation is needed. Bridging the linguistic gap has never been easier with your Smartphone acting as a global interpreter.
Everyone knows that trusty Google should roughly do the job when it comes to translations. What you may not know is that it has a real-time photographic translator function too. You can simply point it at a sign, menu or other document and it will convert that image into your desired language. Magic!
Currency conversions are also made simple and accurate with the help of apps. Gone are the days of having to remember exchange rates and manually calculating as you stand confused in a grocery isle.
This is the top currency converter app around, with every world currency available. You can store up to 10 currencies to compare at once, and the app automatically updates the rate every minute. It also works offline if you save the last updated rates, so you don’t need to use your data unnecessarily.
When using different currencies and having to make numerous purchases, it is difficult to keep track of your spending. If you get into a habit of logging in your daily expenditure it will surely reduce any financial apprehensions.
Keeping track of your expenses is made effortless with Expensify. Although there are other great budget trackers such as Travel Pocket and Trail Wallet, this app has a Smart Scan feature that the others don’t. You can simply photograph a receipt and the app will automatically save it as an expense. It also supports currency conversion and credit card purchase tracking.
Even though there are many apps dedicated to help you share costs between friends, Splittr is specifically designed for travel. You simply keep a record of who paid what as you go along, and the app works the shared price out for you. Its star feature is that it supports mixed currency entries, so there is no need to convert the expenses when you are moving through different destinations.
Getting acquainted with your new space is easy when you have locals to show you around, but it may take some time to make these connections. Apps are amazing in this regard as well, as they can quickly pinpoint all of the sites, attractions and hot spots that dwell around you.
Asia’s go-to platform for browsing tours and attractions, Klook allows you to book excursions as well. You can curate your travel experiences and discover a range of activities that are available to you. The app also has many insider deals, and offers reduced prices by cutting out the middleman of a travel agent.
Using GPS, this app identifies your location and gives you information about all of the points of interest around you. It shows you the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theatre, restaurant, supermarket and taxi. This is especially useful for travellers who move often, and need to orientate themselves in a new place as efficiently as possible.
Similar in concept to AroundMe, Foursquare is an incredibly popular resource for anyone wanting to explore their city. It locates the top recommended food, coffee, nightlife, shopping and general entertainment spots in every destination. You can also see what is trending near you, and see a list of the top picks that the app generates for your city.
This one is for the vegans and vegetarians out there. HappyCow is an amazing app that locates all of the restaurants and even sometimes street food spots that serve plant-based meals. It tracks how far each place is from your location, and generates customer reviews and ratings. Additionally, you can find recipes and discussion topics on being veggie on the app.
Now that you know what’s out there, you need to find your way to these exciting city gems. Google Maps is the usual choice for most people when it comes to navigation. However, there are other options that have additional features to up your exploration game.
Traffic is not accounted for in Google Maps, but Waze focuses primarily on cracking this difficulty for you. Asia is a place where traffic is a constant characteristic of the roads, so using Waze will prove particularly helpful. Using real-time road updates from fellow users, you can get the inside scoop on when your optimum travel time will be. You can also contribute to the forum with updates on road closures, accidents and other traffic-inducing factors.
Download the map of your city before you leave the house, and you will be able to navigate without using any of your data. Maps.me is a great offline navigation app, and allows you to save the layout of multiple cities and countries. You can also star locations for future reference.
For those wanting to stay active and discover their surroundings at the same time, RunGo is the app for you. It gives you suggestions for safe and scenic pedestrian routes in your area, and guides you by voice navigation as you run. Additionally, premium members can get ‘guided tours’ as the app will give you information about points of interest as you jog pass them. You can also save your own routes that you discover and track yourself.
Public transport is not great in most of Southeast Asia, and it is not advised to ride a bike without a license or practiced skill. Apart from local taxis, tuk-tuks and other means of getting around, apps are great options to order a ride through. You will be able to see the fare prices before booking your trip, which is handy if you want to avoid the scams that some drivers may attempt.
Widely used and highly praised, Uber is available by motorbike as well as car in Southeast Asia. The bike option is always cheaper and faster, and you are able to contact your driver easily. Because the driver and passenger rate each other, the quality of the trip is usually quite reliable. There are also often promotions that you can get through the app, particularly for frequent users.
Asia’s version of Uber, Grab also comes in the form of car or bike. It is usually priced similarly to Uber, and they compete with each other to gain riders through offering good deals. Download both apps, compare their fares, use their promo codes, and enjoy easy and affordable rides every time.
Open Wi-Fi is gold when you’re a traveller, particularly if you do not have a local simcard with data. Luckily, there are apps to help you find a good and free connection no matter where you are. Asia is super internet-friendly as virtually every café and shop will give out their passwords for free.
This is an incredibly useful app as it points you in the direction of the strongest signals in your immediate area. There are other apps which also do this, such as Wi-Fi Finder and Wiffinity. What makes Open Signal special is that it gives you the speed and area coverage of local network carriers. With this information you can see which network provider is the best to use if you do want to buy a simcard. It will then track your monthly data usage and rate how well the network has worked for you.
Unfortunately there is always a risk of losing your phone, particularly when you are travelling. With technology being such an important part of our everyday life, it is vital to have a back-up plan if they go missing. Of course in our digital age, there are apps that protect the bodies that house them too.
A tracker for your phone, tablet and laptop, Prey is definitely worth downloading. It uses GPS and camera pictures to help locate your device if it gets lost or stolen. You can also wipe them remotely, which is incredibly handy as a safety feature.
As a traveller, you will probably have many incredible photos and videos or other important information stored on your devices. In case they do land up wandering away from you, be sure to back up everything onto a cloud. Google Drive or Dropbox have quite a bit of memory for you to take advantage of. That way you can be sure to never lose your precious intangibles.
Now that you are equipped with all of the apps that your device can hold, you will be able to travel with even more savvy than before. Let us know what your favourite travel apps are, and stay tuned for more tips regarding Southeast Asia.
For all of your hotel booking needs, be sure to make Begodi your go-to travel agent.