"Planning your next getaway? These are some of the best travel apps"
Even though vacations are supposed to help you relax, they can be more stressful than not. From hunting for the best deals on tickets and hotels, to organising your itinerary and even figuring out the must-see local attractions, planning a getaway is no easy task. But help is always at hand, and there are hundreds of apps across mobile platforms designed to make vacation planning a piece of cake. To make the process easier, we’ve shortlisted our top 12 travel apps, categorised for convenience. Bon Voyage!
Popular ticketing service Cleartrip has a full-fledged mobile app, which is almost as good as the website. You can search and book local and international flights, hotels and even IRCTC train tickets. Payment options include debit and credit cards, as well as netbanking. The app lets you save traveller details in your account, access bookings when you’re offline and see your bookings in all major currencies.
Kayak compares prices across travel sites to show you the best deals available for flights, hotels and car rentals. You can also book these services from within the app. In addition, Kayak lets you track your flight status, look up baggage fees, airport numbers and airport information. It has a useful feature called ‘My Trips’ which lets you manage and view your itinerary.
IRCTC (Windows Phone)
The official IRCTC app is only available on Windows Phone. Surprisingly well designed, you can use it to search for and book train tickets, check your PNR status, train schedules, train routes and ticket availability. The app also lets you add passengers as contacts, view your booking history and cancel reservations. Although there are no other official IRCTC apps, there are plenty of third-party ones available on other platforms, which will redirect you to the mobile site, giving you access to many of the same features.
When it comes to bus travel, Redbus is one of the best in its category. The app provides a comprehensive list of bus routes covering most major operators. You can book tickets from within the app, with available payment options including debit/credit cards, netbanking and cash on delivery. You can also find directions to your nearest boarding point, track your bus in real time on a map and even select your seat.
Other great booking and planning apps to check out are Expedia (iOS, Android), MakeMyTrip (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), TripAdvisor (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) and Hotels.com (iOS, Android, Windows Phone).
When travelling to a new city or country, you shouldn't leave home without Google Maps. This lifesaver of an app can pinpoint your exact location and find the best possible route to your destination. It also gives you the available public transport routes, voice-guided GPS navigation for walking, driving or biking, and live traffic updates. Google Maps is also immensely useful for exploring your surroundings, giving you details of nearby restaurants, hotels, shopping destinations, movie theaters and all the major attractions. Its indoor map feature is highly useful too.
Around Me is a useful travel companion app to help you find out what’s nearby. Using your phone’s GPS, it finds your location on a map and displays important information about your surroundings. It provides a complete list of businesses around you, divided into various categories like ATMs, bars, cinemas, coffee shops, hospitals, hotels, petrol stations and more.
Travelling to a foreign country and don’t know the language? Google Translate will come to the rescue. Offering translations in up to 80 languages, it lets you speak, type or take a picture to translate. The app also works offline, for when you’re travelling without access to a data connection. You can also save your translations and access them across devices.
Covering most major cities in the world, Trip Advisor Offline City Guides is an essential addition to your kitty of travel apps. After the initial download, all the information is stored on your phone, eliminating the need for a data connection. You can find out about the city’s must-see hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, user reviews, trip ideas, city facts and transit information. It also offers self-guided tours, which helps you explore cities using your phone’s GPS, pointing out interesting information and landmarks along the way.
International airports tend to be a maze of boarding gates, and sometimes it’s easier to have all your flight information on your smartphone. FlightStats lets you track a flight’s status in real time, and provides essential information about airports. You can access flight statuses worldwide by typing in a flight number, airport or route. The app also provides an overview of flight departures and arrivals, delays, gate information and weather. It even has a flight tracker feature, displaying the progress of a flight on a map.
One of the most trusted travel planning apps, WorldMate is your all-in-one travel organiser. Its itinerary manager feature organises your confirmation emails and reservations and lets you share it with others via Facebook or a personalised email summary. The app will also send you flight reminders and notify you of delays and gate changes. You can search for flight, hotel and car rental deals from within the app, in the currency of your choice. The app even has an inbuilt currency converter and 5-day weather forecast.
Last-minute packing can make you forget travel essentials, but there’s an app for that too. TripList lets you create a packing list and add reminders, notes, due dates and quantity indicators for each item. You can make unlimited packing lists and save them within the app. TripList also has an items catalogue with over 250 items listed, so you can scan through and add the ones you want. The app also offers iCloud sync and TripIt integration.
One of the most popular currency converter apps, XE Currency is a useful app to have on your smartphone. It offers live currency rates and charts, letting you monitor up to 10 currencies at a time. It also stores the last updated rates, giving you access to them even while offline. The app covers every world currency, and precious metals too. You can pin your base currency to the top, and calculate prices using its inbuilt converter.