If You Love to Travel, You Need These Apps
In addition to the stress of packing, the stress of making sure you have every electronic device securely stowed somewhere, the stress of remembering every cable you’ll need to keep your devices charged during your trip, and the stress of making sure your pets are fed and your plants are watered, there’s also the apps.
Before you head out for a grand European tour — or wherever — what apps should you download to ensure you’re maximizing your vacation time, visiting the best places, and not getting lost?
The Points Guy recently chatted with a few travel lovers to figure out what apps they use when they’re cavorting around the globe. Although everyone has their own preferences and needs when it comes to the software they pack on their smartphones and tablets, here are the apps that those bitten by the travel bug tended to mention:
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that this handy secure messaging application is a must-have. Everyone’s on it. (It has more than one billion daily active users.) It’s a great way to save some money when travelling by paying for international data rates instead of text messaging. The messages you send on it are end-to-end encrypted, which you’ll definitely want to have when you’re leeching wifi from a foreign coffee shop. And WhatsApp is packed with features—just as many, if not more, than your smartphone’s default messaging app.
Arrivederci, Apple Maps. Wave goodbye, Waze. Google Maps is, by far, the preferred mapping app for vacationing. And it’s easy to see why: Offline maps give you all the information you need while letting you keep your smartphone on airplane mode (as to not incur expensive international charges) or if you’re somewhere remote that simply has no service; custom mapsallow you to set all your must-see locations before you set foot on a plane; you can save new locationsyou stumble across to revisit when you have a free day; you can ping your travel group to let them know where you are; and you can share your favorite vacation spots with friends who are looking to book a similar trip. And, of course, you can also revisit your travels with Google Maps’ handy timeline, if you don’t mind Google knowing everywhere you go.
Say what you will about the compny’s prior business practices—including all the important changes to data collection and privacy it should have made years ago, in addition to much-needed improvements for rider safety.
Assuming you aren’t about to suffer some surge pricing, Uber can be a great alternative to an area’s local taxis or public transit. Depending on the area and the quality of your driver, you might get better service, a cheaper fare, or a fountain of knowledge about the area or tourist-trap places you’re about to visit (and snacks! And clouds!)
Of course, don’t forget to use a service like RideGuru to make sure you’re getting the best possible pricing for your trip.
This one was slightly surprising to me, as I assumed most people would just turn to Yelp for advice on where to eat, what to see, and where to stay on vacation, but I was wrong. Recommended even more than Yelp, TripAdvisor has a ton of information, reviews, and user comments for just about everything your vacation destination has to offer.
I like to use TripAdvisor not to plan my trip directly, but to confirm that the places I’m looking at visiting (or staying at) aren’t all pretty pictures packed around less-than-perfect experiences. In other words, if a hotel looks great, but it has bed bugs, crappy service, or horrible wifi, odds are good someone has already complained about it. Read through enough reviews, and you’ll get a decent idea of what conditions are really like for your supposedly magical destination.
While you’re probably better off booking your hotel, excursions, and meals separately instead of through TripAdvisor’s app, just to ensure you’re getting the best deals, definitely use the travel guides that other TripAdvisor members create to inspire your planning process. The users, more than the app itself, are the secret to TripAdvisor.
Only one person The Points Guy spoke with said they used PackPoint, so I’m cheating a little bit on this entry, but I checked the app out and it looks incredibly useful if you’re the kind of person who hates feeling forgetful. I get it; I always get stressed out when I’m packing my luggage, because I always feel I’ve miscounted a critical item, forgotten a cable, or brought every camera accessory and left the camera sitting on my shelf. That kind of thing.
With PackPoint, you input a destination, enter the dates of when you’re travelling, and select from a list of common activities you might want to do on vacation: things like swimming, beaching, eating fancy dinners, et cetera. PackPoint then creates a simple list of potential items you might want to put in your luggage or carry-on based on what you want to do and when you’ll be doing it—and the potential weather for your trip.
You can swipe away anything you know you won’t need, and tap the remaining items to check them off once you’ve tossed them in your luggage. And you can, of course, add your own items, in case the app jogs your memory a bit about something critical you might not want to forget.
Source – lifehacker.com