For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know I’m in a new city almost every week. This summer especially has been one of frequent travel – I have been more often on a plane than in my own bed it’s seemed – not that I’m complaining: I love to travel.
It’s never been easier to travel alone, show up in a country where you know no one, don’t speak the language, but have an incredible and full experience thanks to technology. It’s almost as if you can be at home anywhere in the world nowadays as long as you have a smart phone and wifi.
There are some apps that the frequent travel should absolutely have in their arsenal to make jet setting as easy as calling an Uber.
Out of all the flight booking tools available, Kayak remains the one to beat. Their flexible search functionality which lets you search for the cheapest fairs three days before and after a desired date of departure is a mostly unique feature.
Does anyone book a hotel anymore without reading Trip Advisor reviews? Even better, Trip Advisor’s forums and always filled with local knowledge on the best sites to see and those to avoid.
It almost goes without saying nowadays, but AirBnB has revolutionized traveling for the better. Now you can live and stay like a local wherever you are in the world (and literally almost anywhere – from the most secluded tree huts to beach villas and London flats). I prefer an AirBnB for longer visits, when I feel like I can integrate into local life.
You might be surprised to know that Uber has sprouted up all over the world. Not just in the USA and Europe, Uber is now in several Asian countries as well: from India to Malaysia and Indonesia and many others where getting ripped off in a taxi used to be a normal part of the travel experience. Chances are once you land in arrivals, an Uber can be there to pick you up and get you where you’re going for less than a cab.
If you’re traveling around Asia, AirAsia will be your magic carpet ride. This budget air line has won consistent awards as the best in the business. Fares can be extremely cheap, especially when flying to and from its major hubs in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
If you visit India, this app is great for comparing prices and booking airfare domestically. A word of caution – stay away from the nearly bankrupt SpiceJet, which sometimes has competitive fares but there’s a good chance your plane might not take off! The best budget domestic airline in India is by far Indigo, similar to JetBlue for the subcontinent.
This app is too good to leave out. When in Rome, travel like a Roman – and that means on the back of a scooter. This ride sharing app works just like Uber, but instead of a car, you’re chariot is a Vespa or some similar moped. You’re handed a helmet and then are off into the crazy Italian traffic.
If you’re one of those people who really likes to go with the flow and avoid pre-planning, then Hotel Tonight is a good way to play roulette with your bed room. Offering deeply discounted rates for empty hotel rooms that remain unbooked the day-off, you can sometimes get a steal on a trendy 4- or 5-star hotel.
This is a relatively new app that I started seeing frequent Facebook ads for. If you have a flexible schedule and want to track when flights go on sale for the lowest fares, this is a great search and watch tool. It will send you push alerts when fares drop and recommends based on statistical averages the best time to book for the best price.
When it comes to booking international flights, especially transcontinental ones, Expedia is still your best friend. The travel giant most often has better fares compared to booking directly through the airline and you have a 24-hour free cancellation window.
This one might seem remedial, but if you have an iPhone and you travel in Asia or other less-developed parts of the world, then you know how useless Apple Maps can be. Google Maps has covered nearly every dirt road imaginable, so as long as you’ve got roaming on, you’ve got a GPS no matter where you are in the world. It’s also useful to turn on when you’re in a taxi if you suspect the driver might be taking you for a ride.
Well known and loved by Europeans for many years already, WhatsApp connects the whole world. This BBM-like messenger is great for keeping in touch with friends and family from abroad with free messaging and calls over Wifi.
What do you say friends, are there any other travel apps I missed that you can’t live without? Let me know and share in the comments.