There’s a world inside your smart phone, and it’s definitely worth exploring. Smart phone apps have certainly made travel easier and much more interesting; there are travel apps for packing, booking tickets, finding the best deals on flight tickets and hotels, planning your sightseeing itinerary, best restaurants to dine in and booking tables there, converting currency, managing time zones and even on-the-spot translators that can convert signposts from local languages to your preferred language.
In fact, there are so many options that you may have to devote a day to just find out what apps you’d need before your journey. But then, you may need an app just to manage all these apps. It’s better to just pack a few smart apps that would help your travel and yet be nonintrusive. Here are a few suggestions.
If you are like me and have the incredible knack of forgetting to pack your toothbrush no matter how often you travel, you will love Stow. This app comes with a small fee of $1.99, but when you consider the benefit of travelling with perfectly packed baggage, you will agree that this charge is worth it. Stow customizes your packing list according to your profile and the places you plan to visit; so you will not pack 4 sweaters for your holiday when all you need is a tube of sunscreen. Available for iOS devices. If you want an Android alternative, try Pack The Suitcase.
A word of Caution – THIS MAY NOT WORK IF YOU FORGET TO PACK YOUR SMART PHONE.
TripIt has perfected the art of travel organizing to offer a perfect personal assistant that plans for you, schedules your itinerary and breaks it down to display just where you need to go next. All you have to do is mail your booking confirmations for flights, hotels, rental cars and tours to ; in return you get a detailed itinerary along with seat advice, airport details and terminal directions, road maps and attraction guides. With TripIt in your phone, you have a secretary, a booking agent as well as a travel guide in your hand; in fact, you may be even tempted to pay a salary for all this help. This is a free app suitable for most smart phones.
With the options we have today, you can research about restaurants and read reviews till you feel blue, but it’s not the same with restrooms. It’s always when you reach a place just 5 minutes before a show that your 5 year old tugs your hand to say she wants to “go”. SitOrSquat is a very useful app that helps you locate restrooms close to where you are. There is also a rating system that gives a “sit” rating for good restrooms and a “squat” for bad ones. Check out the SitOrSquat website; it’s a complete Sit!
So much time and attention is spent on planning for a trip that sometimes we forget we’re on a holiday where you’re supposed to relax and have fun; that’s why Spotify is a good app to pack. Whether it’s a travel song you’re looking for or a romantic piece that boosts the mood of your honeymoon, you can get it on Spotify. This app has a data base of over million songs from which you can select and download your playlist to enjoy while on the move. Definitely relaxing! This is a free app that works on android, iPhone / iPad andWindows phones.
TripAdvisor Offline City Guides
If you make your bookings based on reviews, you will definitely know TripAdvisor. The Offline City Guides give you access to these reviews and much more; there are itineraries, tours, guides and maps, all offline. This is a blessing especially when you can’t access internet wherever you go. A “Point me There” feature in these guides acts as a navigation tool to help you reach your destination.
These are 5 must-have travel apps to arm yourself with when you leave on a holiday. Just try them out and you will start wondering how you ever managed without these tools till now.