Smart Travelers: 13 Mobile Apps to Make Your Trips Hassle-Free

 

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Traveling, albeit a whimsical endeavor; is an endeavor fraught with complex planning on its own.

Indeed, while traveling is something we all love to daydream about and even plan for weeks or even months in the making, the nitty-gritty parts of travel leave not much to be desired. If it were up to us, we would skip all the miserable and troublesome parts of travel altogether after all, who would want to go through all the hassle if you can skip right to the good part, right? Luckily, we live in a world that is in reality, predominantly run by ever-evolving technology which consequently includes mobile apps. These mobile apps are contained in diminutive devices such as your phone or tablet and in essence, would alleviate most, if not all, of travel’s stressors.

After all, just because the date is set does not mean automatically mean your vacation is booked. So, take a gander at this article as it explores the various ways technology has helped shape convenient travel the way it is today and discover the necessary apps you might need for your next travel excursion to make your next travel endeavor more memorable without the stress—or at least mitigating it.

HOW MOBILE APPS CAN HELP YOU

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Roughly fifteen years ago, mobile phones were solely used for making and taking calls and sending a few messages here and there. Some token interactions were to play games and store pixelated picture messages but I digress. In any case, back in the day, mobile phones were not recognized as a powerful tool as they are today. But during the advent of the late 2000s, the term smartphone was coined and these diminutive devices were perpetually connected to the internet. In this regard, smartphones have become an integral object in our lives where we do not only answer emails, monitor our health but also navigate the world and consequently make and plan our trips.

Indeed, mobile phones have made vacation planning so much easier than they were decades ago. Back in the day, if you decided to go on holiday, the planning process alone would be a nightmare. Now, all you would need is your smartphone and a steady internet connection. Just imagine for a while what travel planning would look like without your diminutive, albeit powerful, device. It would be quite the hassle and for some people, planning a trip would take more than just a day. Today, you can even do it in a single hour and over your afternoon coffee at that so long as you have all of the logistics of your travel plan mapped out.

To illustrate just how much better we have got it today with the use of our smartphones, here are some of the aspects of travel that your smartphones have made easier:

   It allows you to make airline bookings online

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One of the best features a smartphone possibly has is to allow its users to book flights through their mobile phones. Back in the day, travel hopefuls would have to visit the office of their airline of choice just to secure a ticket. With a smartphone, it is all a matter of just choosing a date and keying all the important information. The same goes for hotel accommodations and lodging.

 You can compare prices better

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Apart from getting to book your airline tickets and hotel reservations online, there are mobile apps that would help you get competitive prices for the dates you wish to go on vacation. Some apps would even take this up a notch by offering users a discount if they successfully book their accommodation arrangements through the app.

    Check the weather forecast

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While this is something you might wish to do a week or perhaps days before your scheduled trip, it can be helpful in finalizing your itinerary. More importantly, should the weather not be agreeable to the prospective activity you want to do on a particular day, you can make the necessary amendments even before your scheduled trip. Knowing the weather forecast of the place you are visiting will help you plan a more comprehensive and cohesive itinerary. More importantly, it helps you do all the things you wish to do.

    Helps you navigate through foreign cities

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Let us face it: Physical maps are not as helpful as the digital ones we have on our phones. The maps we have on our smartphones are routinely updated and would help us navigate through unfamiliar cities. Even better, some of these maps might even suggest stops and points of interest for travelers.

   Bridges the language barrier

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The world’s foremost and biggest technology behemoth, Google, has significantly helped the world bridge the communication gap. It is a reality that not all countries have English-speaking locals when you go and at times, you would need the locals’ help in finding a particular place or even ask them for recommendations. Aside from that, foreign signage will not always be in English and thus, would constrain you to make the necessary translation. Situations such as needing help or reading signs would compel you to use your trusty device to bridge the communication barrier and trust us when we say; you will be vastly relieved for having it.

 

MOBILE APPS EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD HAVE ON THEIR PHONE  

HotelTonight

(Available for iOS and Android for FREE)

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While there is a myriad of hotel booking apps for download, not all of them would prove useful to you as HotelTonight would. Available on iOS and Android platforms, HotelTonight is probably the only booking app you would ever need in your mobile phone. Apart from giving you the best hotel accommodation bargains, there is no other booking app available that gives you quality hotel reviews like this app does. More importantly, you can refine your hotel search based on a range of criteria from level of luxury to affordability. The latter is a feature which is a helpful metric for vacation planners to keep in mind. With HotelTonight, you can make accommodation bookings for tonight, tomorrow or even two weeks from today.

Google Trips

(Available on iOS and Android for FREE)

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As the juggernaut of search engines, it would be unthinkable for Google not to have a mobile app that would exclusively cater to the traveling market. In Google’s latest foray into the development of travel apps, traveling is made easier and more convenient by consolidating all of your travel documents into a single app. Google Trips ensures that all of your reservations, possible itineraries, plane tickets, saved places and other pertinent data are stored in a single place. More importantly, it has the feature of Google Maps as well and has reviews of the local restaurants and bars nearby you.

Dark Sky

(Available on iOS and Android for $3.99)

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Regardless of where you are, the weather is going to play a pivotal role as to whether or not you should push through with your plans for the day in an unfamiliar city. In this regard, you would want to ascertain what the weather will be like for the next couple of hours or even the next day. Dark sky precisely does this. While there are many weather apps pretty much like Dark Sky, the former’s algorithms do not provide immediate forecasting better than Dark Sky does. The app gives you detailed readings for humidity, rain and temperature and comes with built-in widgets so that you can check the forecast with a single glance.

Citymapper

(Available on iOS and Android)

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Public transit information might be available in general map apps such as Apple or Google Maps but its features are rather limited. A mobile app dedicated to the myriad of ways you can navigate a city certainly has an edge over generalized apps that gloss over pertinent information. Citymapper is a dedicated mobile app that is used by many travelers to navigate unfamiliar cities. To date, the app provides navigation information for many cities all over the world. Plus, using the app is a seamless experience wherein users are given a vast number of transport types and the cities it covers. Apart from that, it helps you make connections and find your transport while you are mid-journey.

Waze

(Available on iOS and Android for FREE)

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Waze is undoubtedly an incredibly useful mobile app for both travelers and non-travelers alike. True to its tagline, “outsmarting traffic together”, the mobile app promises to give you the best routes to take in order for you to reach your destination earlier. However, Waze can also be a great navigating tool for travelers who wish to drive in unfamiliar cities. Apart from telling them which roads to take, it also ensures that the routes they take are devoid of traffic or at least mitigates the possibility of leading them to roads gripped by traffic jams.

TripIt

(Available on iOS and Android for free)

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TripIt is pretty much a travel agent that fits comfortably inside your pocket. In fact, fewer people are hiring travel agents because mobile apps such as TripIt would essentially do the same work sans the professional fee. In essence, this mobile app is pretty much like a travel assistant that is easy to use. All you would really need to do is forward all of your booking emails, details and any travel-related correspondence to the app and the app will do the rest. TripIt would then pull your itinerary details from all the information you have forwarded and store it. From there, the app would then send you push notifications as to where you need to be and what time. In this regard, the app saves you a lot of time from scouring through your inbox just to find the appropriate mail. More comprehensive app features are included for a fee which would include real-time alerts on flights and alternative flight trackers.

Google Translate

(Available on iOS and Android for FREE)

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Undoubtedly, Google is a ubiquitous tech giant that is predominantly recognized by everyone who has even the most tenuous awareness of the internet. Apart from its ubiquity, Google also endeavors to deliver a utilitarian service to its users. In this regard, it should come as no surprise that this tech powerhouse would have its own translating service in conjunction to its powerful search service. Google Translate remains to be one of the most useful apps when it comes to traveling as it paves the way for you to understand the locals abroad as well as have yourself be understood by them. While the program has been launched in 2006, today it shows more promising features and has a total of 103 languages. More importantly, with fine-tuning, the app is more polished and allows you to translate the signs you snap with your phone’s camera, provide correct pronunciations aloud and so much more. In fact, it is such a comprehensive translating tool that many users have utilized it as a learning tool for understanding and speaking foreign languages instead.

Headout

(Available on iOS and Android for FREE)

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Headout is the perfect app for travelers who wish to explore a foreign and unfamiliar city the moment they arrive. Apart from giving you suggestions as to where to go, the app helps you find events in your current location. This includes tourist tours, exhibitions, adventure experience and the like. To be in the know as regards what is happening in an unfamiliar place, download Headout and immediately fire it up when you are in a foreign city.

Sygic Travel

(Available in iOS and Android for FREE one month trial)

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Sygic Travel is a mobile app that promises to revolutionize and change the way you travel. In essence, the mobile app is pretty much the digital equivalent of having a tour guide make a personalized itinerary for you. To use it, you need to tell the app where you are going and for how many days. From that information, the app would then create a travel itinerary which would include all of the top attractions of that place as well as a Daily Plan which takes away the confusion and stress of determining where to go and in what order.

TripTrip

(Web app only)

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Triptrip is pretty much like Trello with the marked difference of it being used solely for traveling. Admittedly, you can use Trello t visualize your travel plans but it is so much better to use an app that is dedicated for traveling purposes. TripTrip allows you to see a series of boards all at once with each broken down by day. More importantly, the app contains search recommendations so that you can easily add items like museums, landmarks, nightlife options, restaurants and the like. These items can then be moved throughout the board or between days should you ever wish to change your plan.

Check and Pack

(Web only app)

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Check and pack is essentially a web app that makes a checklist of all your travel essentials to ensure that you have everything that you need packed and stowed away before leaving. To use the app, you simply tell the website where you are going, what kind of trip it is, your mode of transport and other pertinent details such as whether or not you will be traveling or children. Based on the information you have keyed in, Check and Pack would then auto-generate a list of packing essentials across categories that would include but is not limited to clothing, toiletries, journey supplies, entertainment, food and drink, travel gear and so much more. Apart from that, the web app also adds a list of things for you to do before you leave. This full list can then be printed out to better guide you.

Bingeclock and Reading Length

(Web only app)

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Depending on where you are traveling to and how you are getting to your destination, traveling can take a while which leaves you with a lot of free time. Bingeclock is a web app that gives you the total run-time of a particular movie or TV series which essentially is an integral piece of information if you wish to map out your airline or road trip entertainment. Similarly, Reading Length is another web app which gives you an estimate of how long it would take an average reader to finish a book. Incidentally, the web app also comes with a metric for which you can test your WPM (words per minute) to help you determine whether you are a slow or fast reader.

Google Maps

(Available on iOS and Android for FREE)

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It should go without saying that having Google Maps installed on your smartphone whenever you are traveling is imperative for obvious reasons. Apart from showing you the map of the general area, it shows you the multiple ways to get somewhere and provides you with real-time traffic reports. More importantly, the app allows you to save maps offline which is pretty nifty considering that there are some areas that have poor cell coverage.  

 

 

Regardless of where you are going, you can always make your vacation a stress-free and more convenient. So, the next time you have a trip in mind, be sure to look back at this list for reference on which travel apps you should have for your next excursion. The installation of these apps can make the difference between a breezy trip and a taxing one.  You are on vacation after all, so in lieu of planning out the nitty-gritty details of the trip yourself, why not have these apps do it for you?

 

 

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