Mobile Phones Guide

App Attack #025: Essential Apps for Travelers

App Attack #025: Essential Apps for Travelers


App Attack #025: Essential Apps for Travelers

App Attack #025: Bon Voyage!

Don’t ever want to get caught in a bind and be at a loss when you travel? Well, thankfully there’s an app that’s apt for every situation - be it hotel reservations, flight bookings, or even activities that will keep you occupied during those long-haul flights and bumpy road trips. Travelers, take note: here are the essential apps you'll need when you make that journey across the border!

Step 1: Getting Ready!

Preparations are in order, and it’s prudent to keep yourself organized before you make that long-awaited trip. So when it comes to searching for a hotel and getting your itinerary organized, here’s some essential apps you’ll need to download.


TripAdvisor

Price: Free
Category: Travel
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android / Microsoft Windows Phone

If you’re still undecided on where the honeymoon or that well-deserved break should take place, check out some of the recommendations from TripAdvisor. This app comes with a comprehensive list of hotels, restaurants and attractions for you to choose from.

And if you’re looking for some affirmation for the travel locations, there’s over 50 million reviews and opinions by fellow travelers to look over, with photos uploaded by users to complement the reviews. But if you’d rather take it as the day goes, there’s also a Near Me Now function that tracks your current location and recommends nearby points of interest for you to explore. 


Agoda

Price: Free
Category: Travel
Platforms: Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone

There are a multitude of hotel booking apps available on both the iTunes store, or the Google Play store. Some of them even let you book air tickets and everything else. Agoda however, only does hotels, which it does exceptionally well.

Besides it’s easy to use interface, what we’re so impressed about, is Agoda’s really low rates. That’s likely because Agoda is a big enough brand, which has hotel partnerships with major hotels and resorts all over the world. So really when it comes to hotels, you won’t likely go wrong with using just Agoda.


Hotels.com

Price: Free
Category: Travel
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android / Microsoft Windows Phone

Flight bookings aside, finding a place to stay should also be one of the top to-do items when you’re planning the trip. Hotels.com is yet another app that will come in useful when you’re searching for hotel deals. Covering over 140,000 hotels in 200 countries, Hotels.com also has ‘Tonight’s Local Deals’, a feature exclusive to mobile users who are looking to find an affordable hotel at a moment’s notice.

Filter your hotel search down to the very last detail, including location, number of nights and rooms (with photos uploaded into the gallery) and make that reservation. Once that’s done, you’re almost done with the preparations for the trip, save one final step.


TripIt

Price: Free
Category: Travel
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android / Microsoft Windows Phone

Sorting out the itinerary can be a huge headache when you’ve got separate bookings for your flights, hotels and even transport arrangements. TripIt solves that issue by consolidating your separate itineraries and combining it into a single one for you to access.

Just forward your confirmed itinerary to plans@tripit.com and see a single itinerary forming up. View the itinerary at tripit.com and even share it with your family, friends or colleagues to keep your movement updated.


Kayak

Price: Free
Category: Travel
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android / Microsoft Windows Phone

First, you need to get a flight out of where ever it is you call home. There are several apps that help you do this. For users whose loyalty lies solely with the lowest price, apps like Kayak lets you choose from a huge variety of different airlines for the same destination, and you can filter by price.

Kayak is also recommended because it’s full of extra functionalities like itinerary storage, packing lists, flights, currency converter and more. However it might get a bit confusing if all you want to do is just book a plane ticket (or hotel, or car), which it does pretty well with its air ticket price alerts.


Zuji Packman

Price: Free
Category: Travel
Platforms: Apple iOS

The Zuji Packman app is only available for iOS devices for now, and it basically covers all the items you need to have on specific types of trips i.e. business or leisure. It also lets you share your list with friends, making it much easier to plan a group trip.

Of course this also means you can also see what your friends are packing, and assign items to pack (like heavy liquid toiletries). If you’ve got a secret item that you need to bring along (for a surprise or otherwise), you can also hide it from your friends. On top of that, it also stores your itinerary which obviously helps in the packing process.

Step 2: Flying Off!

Some might say the journey is half the fun. But it’s not fun if you’re on a long-haul flight that stretches beyond 10 hours, with no form of entertainment to whittle the time away. Fortunately, if you’re armed with the right apps, it might keep you occupied (or lulled to sleep) during the arduous journey.


Angry Birds Space

Price: Free
Category: Games
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android

You might not be traveling to space, but the Angry Birds are. The latest edition in the Angry Birds series has its protagonists hurling themselves through a black hole and chasing down the stolen eggs they’ve recovered.

Unlike the conventional Angry Birds game, Angry Birds Space adds new physics elements such as gravity. It’s no longer about the projectile motion, but also the force of gravity that’ll determine how you toss those birds at the egg-stealing pigs.


Tiny Tower

Price: Free
Category: Games
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android

There’s just something insanely addictive about repetitive games such as Tiny Tower. Taking a cue from tower simulation games such as Sim Tower, with some retro design in the form of 8-bit graphics, Tiny Tower has you building a towering skyscrapper filled with different shops and residential floors for your 'bitizens' to occupy.

Find a dream job for your bitizen, and you can watch the dough rolling in to build more floors. Stocking up your shops and moving bitizens in should keep you occupied during the long-haul flights. If not, at least you should be lulled to sleep with the repetitive action and enjoy a good rest.


iBooks

Price: Free
Category: Books
Platforms: Apple iOS

If you’re bringing a tablet along, we say the iPad is still the best option. And if there’s one reading app you’ll need on your iPad, it’s iBooks. iBooks is not just a reading app, it’s also an electronic bookstore with a wide collection of books to choose from via iBookstore. Classics such as Sherlock Holmes and Jane Eyre’s Pride and Prejudice are available for free.

If you have an alternative source for your e-books, you can also load up your latest e-book purchase into your iPad through iTunes, and read it straight off iBooks, adding notes and highlighting specific sections of the pages as you read on.

Step 3: Moving Out!

Once you’ve reached your destination, it’s time to head on out and paint the town red. But wait! Are you familiar with the sights in the area, and do you speak the native tongue? And what’s the point of traveling, if you don’t keep some memories of it? Here are some essential apps that’ll aid you tremendously along the way.


Instagram

Price: Free
Category: Photography
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android

It was as if millions of iOS users suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced when Instagram was finally made available on Google Android. But that aside, Instagram does more than just spice up your photos with a wide array of filters.

You can choose to take an image and post it to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, sharing a sight to behold for your friends to envy and gawk at. However, data roaming can be quite expensive, so do keep an eye out for Wi-Fi connectivity if you didn’t sign up for a data roaming plan.


Path

Price: Free
Category: Social Networking
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android

Traveling is all about finding a new experience. So if you need to explore new boundaries, even in the social media space, you can update your discoveries via Path. This new social network basically lets you plot out your daily routine, somewhat similar to Facebook.

But it’s not just about updates. Path also includes image filters similar to Instagram, lets you check-in to locations and link it to Foursquare, and even lets you post updates across platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The only downside, is finding a reliable connection, and enough people on Path for you to share you updates with.


Google Translate

Price: Free
Category: Reference
Platforms: Apple iOS / Google Android

Visiting a foreign land often comes with various limitations, such as the language barrier. Fortunately, you won’t need a phrase book to be understood in a foreign tongue. iOS and Android users have the option to download Google Translate, which has instant translation for over 50 languages and over 30 of those providing text-to-speech translations. Often-used phrases are saved in the history, so you can simply recall the phrases and get your queries answered in a split second.