Who doesn’t love going on a laid back vacation where someone else takes care of all your travel arrangements. Yes I am talking about the all-inclusive packages from a tour operator. All you have to do is relax and enjoy what you are offered. It is cool and pampering, but every tourist knows that you become a traveler only when you go somewhere on your own and plan everything by yourself, and everything includes your tickets, accommodation, food and sightseeing. Once you get used to the freedom and flexibility that a traveler experiences, then trust me, you are gonna get hooked to being a traveler and not a tourist. Also the travelers of this generation have got technology by their side which makes traveling even more easier. There are many websites and apps for travelers that help them to make their trip even more comfortable.
The below listed apps/websites can come in handy during a trip. Just take a look and see if you find them useful.
We know that airfares cut a big chunk out of your travel fund. But a little bit of research can really save you a lot off money. Hopper is an app that uses big data to analyze billions of airfares and companies on a daily basis, calculating the best time for buying your tickets to basically anywhere. Use the “Watch a Flight” option to get a notification for the lowest price for a specific destination.
If you don’t have a specific date for your travel, there is a color-coded calendar of Hopper which shows the cheapest dates of the month.
You don’t wanna leave your camera battery or chargers behind while going for a trip. Even those who are not new to packing for a trip forget these small things from time to time. And, if you are not one of those vagabonds who just travel with their passport and credit card, buying everything on the go, Travel List might seem like a useful app. It provides preset categories for clothes, travel docs etc. There are calendar features and reminders that pop up notifications for the stuff you pack last-minute.
AirBnB needs no introduction. This app introduces you to the best accommodations around the world which don’t show up on the usual booking sites. Castles, beach-side villas, Tree-houses, you name it and AirBnb got it. It provide the locals a source of income and the travelers get the chance to experience a city like a local. You can also find details about local sightseeing tours or food tours of the places you visit.
EatWith is the Airbnb of restaurants. The app is spreading to many cities around the world as more and more locals are opening up their dining spaces to travelers. As of now, the app has services in more than 200 cities and counting. Put in your travel dates and browse through the various hosts who will introduce you to their local dishes and some of them are coupled with cooking classes as well. As a solo traveler, I find this app as a way to connect with locals and other travelers over a dinner table. And remember connections made over food stay for ages. Download this app and be part of a magical dining experience around the world.
No mobile apps for this one yet. I hope they release them soon.
This is the Instagram for Food. It helps you find the closest Food Joints based on your location. After a tiring journey, you are bound to get hungry. Open this app and it will fill your feed with pics of food that have been posted close to your location. You can easily find what kind of food you get in the area. Also don’t forget to post the pics of the food you have so that it will help other hungry travelers treat themselves.
The language barrier is still a big issue for solo travelers. But Google Translate helps us make interactions more understandable. Use ‘The Conversation’ mode which translates what you speak. But the app still has a long way to go. Prepare for the lag time and the silly translations. Some hand gestures in between can really help.
This app connects with your calendar. If you are about to go for a long trip, this app can come really handy. The app will scan your travel documents and create a simple itinerary that will be synced to your calendar which you can access from anywhere even if you are offline. So need to shuffle through all those papers and Pdfs when you have everything arranged in your app as per your travel dates.
Find the best about a place from the locals. This app will introduce you to the authentic and unique places in a country. It is time to ditch those overcrowded and touristy sights and eat, drink and see like a local. Even though the app has services only in a handful of cities, the numbers are growing each day.
As travelers there is always a safety concern in the back of your head when you travel to a new place. Since I am a solo traveler I usually have this concern. But apps like Companion act as your personal security. It has ‘I feel Nervous’ button which sends a distress signal to your family members. It also has the button which calls the local police with just 1 tap.
Unlike Companion, Safetrek cuts right to the chase. You have to open the app and press a button if you feel like you are in danger, the as you release your finger the app will automatically call the police. Suppose you released the button by mistake you can enter a 4 digit pin which will end the call.
This app lets you choose your own adventure in company of like minded travelers. Another way to make friends if you are traveling alone. The app is currently available only in 22 cities. It has wide variety of activities provided by 3rd party operators.
This is the brainchild of Groupon Founder, Andrew Mason. It is expanding to 17 international markets but currently providing services only in a handful of cities. This app basically acts as an audio guide of the city your are visiting. It integrates with the GPS on your phone and provide you details of the place as you walk by, which also means that you will hear about a place only when you actually reach there. Pretty innovative.
Smartphones have a come a long way. There are a lot of other things that can be done other than swimming in social media. In today’s world, with access to internet and apps wherever you go, traveling has become a piece of cake.
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