There's nothing that travel apps can't do

Stop looking for a tour agent and start downloading these free apps before you head for the next vacation.

Published: 04th August 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2019 12:03 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

From eating, exploring, sleeping, getting around to speaking the local language—there’s nothing that travel apps can’t do. Take out the smartphone and choose from a plethora of apps to track flights, book accommodation, plan itineraries and convert currency. We give you a low-down of the must-have apps which will enable you to have the information you’re scrambling for at your fingertips. So, in between all the pre-holiday shopping and packing, scroll through these free apps on iOS and Android to have a smooth vacation.  

To get to the destination of your choice, you need to book flight tickets first. The price of flights can often skyrocket during the holiday season. Tracking flights on websites can be cumbersome but the best way to do it is to download Skyscanner and check for the cheapest deals. One can even now monitor bookings with status updates in Trips and move booked flights from one trip to another in the Trips tab.

Considered an alien concept a few years ago, Airbnb is one of the best ways to travel while staying within budget and opting for a more local experience. The app allows users to choose from one room to an entire building posted by homeowners who are looking to temporarily rent out spaces to travellers. Those who prefer to stay in cosy homestays should definitely opt for Airbnbs for an authentic feel. If you’re lucky you might even get free breakfast. 

No matter which country you’re travelling to, Uber is an absolute mandatory app to have on the phone for local sightseeing or to catch that late-night flight back home. Understanding how local transport works in some countries can seem confusing and the best way to get out of these situations is to book an Uber. Some countries even have Uber bike options making your travel even faster. 

Hotel Tonight
Extending your stay or your hotel just cancelled on you? Planning an impromptu trip and forgot to book hotel accommodation in advance? Just tap and open Hotel Tonight on your smartphone. The app thrives on last-minute deals and lets users book rooms in less than 10 seconds.
Gone are the days when we’d carry physical maps or ask people on the road for directions. With on your phone, you can walk around an unknown city or avoid traffic jams in places you’ve never even visited before. You can go handsfree and listen to a virtual voice guiding the way or explore directions for walking, on a car or even public transport to reach a destination. 

You might have read about 10 must-see tourist spots in a city in local guides but not all of them seem worthwhile to visit in hindsight. Tripadvisor is the perfect app to let you pick the best of places and focus on what is really worth your time. Travellers post reviews of tourist spots, hotels, cities and even ask question asking others to tweak itineraries to ensure that their time and money is well spent.  

Imagine being stuck without the internet and having to do mental math while you’re trying to do some shopping or pay the waiter a tip. XECurrency is the solution to all your foreign currency conversion problems with almost all national currencies listed. The rates are regularly updated and the app stores the rates of currencies looked up so that they are available for use offline.  

Google Translate
Using local phrases or greeting in the local language can often enhance the experience during a holiday. If you’re not carrying a dictionary for the local language, Google Translate can come to your rescue. The app, which is also available offline, has 103 languages available for translation. 

This is a handy travel companion which is essentially a trip planning and itinerary app that helps users plot destinations, attractions, and useful stops along the way. One can find everything from diners to hotels, restaurants, national parks, roadside attractions and other tourist spots. Google trips also deserve a mention if you’re looking for a more user-friendly interface. 

The most essential part of travelling is the planning and packing and there’s an app for that too. Chuck that handwritten checklist and download Packpoint to ensure you don’t forget any item for the trip. 

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