A few weeks ago, I asked a few of my Twitter friends what were their favourite travel apps and why. I love the responses I got. Some apps were a unanimous favourite while some of my fellow travellers introduced me to newer and better apps.
Here is what they had to say:
ABHINAV SINGH @abhinav2111
I am stuck in 80s. Very old fashioned. Never used any app. I just go with the glow on my travels.
Nisha Jha @Cemonde
Sometimes country specific like I m using discover hongkong right now. :)
Priyanka Kadam @peeyuka
evernote to plan travel, tripit, skyscanner, tripadvisor, worldclock, google keep
Sharmila Kulkarni @imsharmila
accuweather,@TripAdvisor @Skyscanner @tripoto and googlemaps. Must try @sygic as @rutaagayire mentioned.good luck Rutavi!! I kind of depend on @TripAdvisor ,esp for the city guides and no hotel booking is finalised without checking reviews there
Shikha Gautam @shikhagautam
I got google maps, must have. Regular updates keep it amazing. Snapseed for fast, good photos.
@googlemaps Yeah, it is. Pixlr Mobile App is quite awesome for photography lovers on the go.
Shivya Nath @shivya
Google maps, Hootsuite and Wordpess apps.
veena rangaswami @veen_83
trail wallet to keep track of my spending, whatsapp to keep in touch, and Instagram and Google Maps because obviously :)
So TripAdvisor, Google Maps, Skyscanner and Tripoto have emerged as a common favourite. And covering different sections of travel, they do a very good job.
My ‘travel’ folder looks a little different from this. Some icons have been there since time immemorial, while a few others make a fleeting visit. Here is a collection of all important and random travel apps I use.
No surprises here. Booking a last minute night stay, finding a good restaurant, wondering where that famous church is—Tripadvisor is your answer to all.
I wish: It worked as wonderfully on 2G.
I love this one. If the thought of logging on IRCTC has frightened you all this while, welcome the easy, swift, reliable and colourful IndianRails by Deepak Kumar. You can check routes, find trains, check PNR status, get fares and follow live train status on this app. Bonus: the ‘coach map’ option here helps you see which berth have you secured. I have been using this app since 2013 and I am definitely impressed by the constant updates and bug fixes.
I wish: We could book tickets through the app.
Redbus has made bus travel easy in India. Not only is the app user-friendly and minimal but also the responsiveness and politeness of their customer care team is encouraging. They also update new offers and you can ‘call support’ directly from the app.
I wish: Their cancellation policies were different but I suppose working with the numerous bus services across the country doesn’t come easy.
Did you know GMaps will be available offline soon? Read here. Of course this may take some time. Meanwhile, you can always save an offline map on the app. How? When you are connected to internet, search for the desired location. Once it appears, type ‘ok maps’ on the search bar. You will be asked if you want to save the map. Give it a name and save it. This is now saved in your ‘offline maps’ section of the app.
I wish: It worked as well pan-India, even in the smaller towns.
My on-the-go flight bookings are done by either of these apps. And I use them in that order. While Indigo’s app has a clear interface, Jet Airways’ allows me to do a lot more (like check LoFares, Special Offers). Make My Trip is my last choice, if I haven’t found what I am looking for in the former two.
I wish: I could use one instead of three!
Currency conversions on your fingertips! You can add as many currencies and see the corresponding rates, real-time. They’ve also updated the app with forecasting and charts, both of which I don’t understand and use.
I wish: I’m quite happy with the simplicity of it actually.
This travel organiser is great! It is a complete digital travel journal where you can store your flights tickets, arrange for cabs, get directions, check-in hotels and update your trip as and when it develops. Bonus: You can share this trip with anyone, instead of writing an email with all the details.
I wish: It was as detailed in India.
Some may actually call this my lifeline. As a travel blogger, my ideas tend to come to me when I’m on the road. I have sketchily drafted posts here, when connected even on 2G. This app also allows me to reply to urgent comments, view stats and manage my admin page.
I wish: Uploading photographs on low bandwidth was quicker.
Because it gauges the weather accurately and intermittently. I tend to not use it when I am actually travelling, but prior my travel, I always find myself scrolling on it to pack up well.
I wish: It included smaller towns and villages in India
All the above apps are free on iOS.
HootSuite: The all-in-one Social Media connect.
OutBound: Because it allows you to add trips and make friends in the locale.
AirBnB: Finding a B&B on-the-go.
Passbook: Keeping all those travel tickets and boarding passes in one place.
Skyscanner: Get all your flight options in one place and get great deals.
Evernote: The magical app for all documents and reading material.
Star Discovery: Because stargazing during your travels is necessary.
AudioCompass: Get an audio guide to your destination city.
Free Wi-Fi Finder: Turn it on, on international sectors, and connect to the nearest available free Wi-Fi.
Google Translate: Type, translate, speak and understand the language.
Trekkers’ Altimeter: Get to know how high up you are.
Genius Scan: Save a keeper of any document or piece of information you may want to study later.
IRCTC Connect: Because IndianRails doesn’t allow you to book tickets just yet.
Feedly/iBooks: Save offline versions of your pages or books prior, to read them anywhere else.
Any local guide apps: Such as m-Indicator for Mumbai or Singapore Map and Walks to explore the nation on foot.
And then are a few travel apps which I will be trying soon, thanks to the recommendations of my fellow travellers:
Opera Mini web browser
All my suggestions are based on the usability and availability on iOS.
Which are your favourite travel apps?