Oh my, how much travel has the way we travel changed over the years! Gone are the days where you were completely dependent on a hard copy of your guidebook to get around. Plus you had to organise everything over the phone – or have someone else do it for you!
The advent of having a portable computer in your pocket or backpack means you can organise all of your travels in the palm of your hand –flights, accommodation, experiences and more. Let’s have a look at what’s out there in gadget and travel app land for you to download!
First of all, let’s start with a small version of a laptop – the tablet. Apple produces the iPad, with other makers producing tablets that have similar functionality.
iPads are like a cross between a smartphone and a laptop – great for travel because they’re light, portable and they easily fit into your carry-on luggage – plus they’re easier to type on than a phone!
When you’re looking for a good compromise between functionality and weight when it comes to your travel technology, an iPad is an option worth considering.
Tablets are also good for keeping in touch with home as you can make video calls with your loved ones, plus do all of the things your computer does, but in a smaller package.
Is there anything smart phones can’t do? These now almost indispensable gadgets haven’t been around for that long, but they’ve infiltrated our lives so much that it’s hard to imagine a time without them.
Smartphones are essentially a tiny computer (which has more computing power than the systems that sent the Apollo missions to the moon and back) which can dramatically cut down the time it takes or organise and maintain your travels – by surfing the net or downloading apps to do tasks that used to take ages to do.
There are gazillions of apps out there that have been produced for you to organise your trip at the touch of a screen, in the palm of your hand. We’ll outline some of them below for you to try out.
You can sometimes make phone calls on smartphones too! J
There are also manufacturers bringing out inexpensive, small smartphones which are practical for travelling so you can leave your primary smartphone at home if you feel like you can’t afford to lose it.
They often come standard with dual SIM card slots so you can still receive messages from home via your Australian SIM, but you can access the internet and make calls using your local SIM, which is almost always way cheaper than roaming.
Perfect for travelling!
Handy Travel Apps For Your Tablet or Smart Phone
Here is a list of some travel apps that can be a useful for planning your trip, when you’re on the road, and when you’re on the way home.
Apart from downloading apps of your favourite airlines, you can also download flight comparison sites apps including Skyscanner, Expedia, Webjet, and Kayak.
Once you’ve booked your flight, you can get the low down on airline seat configurations for pretty much every plane on the world via SeatGuru.
There’s also the FlightRadar24 app where you can see flights in real time departing or arriving at any airport in the world.
You might be the organised traveller who has planned everything in advance, or you might just want to organise things as you go.
Either way, you can sort out your accommodation using apps from your favourite hotel chain, or organise something unique from Airbnb or HomeAway.
Once again, there are plenty of accommodation comparison sites that have an app - like Agoda, Booking.com, Trivago and Wotif.
If you’re planning more of a budget trip, Hostelworld or CouchSurfing are other options.
Google Maps is a no-brainer and is one of the most useful Google products out there! There is also Citymapper, which has public transport information for the world’s major cities.
Depending on which city you are visiting, download the local public transport app, especially if you’re in for an extended stay.
There are also apps from your preferred car hire company - or if you’re looking to compare prices, the Rentalcars.com app is another option. There’s obviously Uber if they service the city you’re staying in to get around in short bursts.
TripAdvisor is useful for checking out reviews of accommodation and activities, and there’s Yelp for restaurant reviews and locations.
There are also apps developed by national tourist organisations too which might come in handy, such as Japan National Tourism Organization app and Visit Singapore.
Lonely Planet Guides is also a good option for planning your trip around a city.
Banking and having access to your funds are a bit like breathing air – you’ll really notice it when they’re not there.
Your financial institution will most likely have an app that you can transfer funds, pay bills and keep on top of your finances when you’re on the road.
Keeping In Touch
Apart from making your friends jealous by sending out a constant feed of travel photos to Instagram and Facebook, you can also say hi via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp as well as Skype.
Other Travel Practicalities
The Smartraveller app, issued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is helpful for keeping up to date with events that are happening around the world. TravelSafe has a list of emergency services numbers for each country.
The XE.com app is great for currency conversions when you’re trying to convert your US dollars, euros or other currency into Australian dollars.
WeatherPro is good to find out conditions at your destination.
Tripit is an app that allows you to plan complex travel itineraries down to the minute.
And of course, there’s Google Translate so you can communicate to anyone in any language.
But you can literally Google ‘travel app’ + [insert your interest here] and you’ll more than likely come across an app to suit your travel needs.
Regardless of your travel style, ‘there’s an app for that!’ Have a try of the apps we’ve mentioned, or search for more depending on your tastes!
Just don’t forget to bring your phone charger so you can actually use them!
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