Smartphone owners literally have the world at their finger tips. It doesn´t matter which country you are in with your handheld within a few twitches of your thumb you can find practically anything you want. Check out these top ten essential travel apps for 2012.
When you´re backpacking there will always be a time when for some reason you haven´t pre-booked a hostel for your destination. When you arrive you entrust a taxi driver who more often than not sees an opportunity to give you an unguided tour of the city then drop you off at a 3-star hotel costing £50. Clearly this is not what you want when travelling on a budget so you get back in to the taxi for another 10 minute ride to a flea ridden sess-pit. Avoid being put into these awkward situations with the hostelscheap.org app.
For the comfort traveller, you lucky things, or the lost unfortunate trapped in a city due to severe storms (it happens!), the HotelTonight app gives you same day bookings on rooms at massively discounted prices. Don´t try booking before noon – it´s against house rules!
Airbnb revolutionised how people spend their holidays by coming up with the idea of tourists renting out properties owned by locals. It´s a nice idea if you are an adventurous type and like to enjoy an authentic cultural experience – yes that means you have the opportunity to go to the market and buy your own meat! The app enables you to view properties, communicate with the property’s owner, and much more – with photos.
Talking of photographs Instagram is perhaps the best app on the market for editing your holiday snaps from your smartphone. In fact it is so good Facebook bought it earlier this year for a reported $1 Billion. Not bad for a company that only launched in October 2011.
TripIt conveniently organises all your travel bookings in one central location by forwarding your email confirmations to your TripIt account. Included are bookings for car rentals, cruises, flights, restaurants, travel agencies, etc
Therefore you don´t have to print off a dozen pieces of paper to carry around with you only to forget where you put them – just flash your phone in the face of the desk clerk. You can also remind yourself where you are going next, at one time and who with. Yeah, you can store restaurant reservations in there as well.
RoadNinja is a killer on the highway – especially if you are dying for a burger, or of stomach cramp. Tap in your co-ordinates and RoadNinja will tell you where the nearest fast food joint is or how far away you are from the next chemist. Plus numerous other categories including accommodation – albeit not necessarily the cheapest. Visit a restaurant and tap the promotions button to learn about deals and specials.
7. Trip Journal
Admittedly this app is not for everyone, but if you are a budding Marco Polo and wish to record your travels you don´t need a pen and paper and can share your travel experiences with family and friends from your smartphone.
8. Go Select
Go Select is a very handy app for travellers visiting the most popular tourist attractions – primarily because it means you can jump long queues. Not only that, but the more tourist attractions you book through Go Select the better discounts you get, therefore at the end of the holiday you save money – and being able to jump the queue does mean you will have time to see more!
At the time of writing Footprint is only available on Apple and only features 51 destinations, but given they include Paris, New York and London and iPhones are the hottest selling smartphones on the market, we feel it justifies a mention. Footprint gives you reviews from tourist attractions by real travellers and is an alternative to Trip Advisor.
10. 1000 Ultimate Experiences
The Lonely Planet is perhaps the most trusted guide book for travellers on the market. Well, now you can trust them 1000 times with this app of “ultimate experiences.” I bet you can´t wait to go travelling again!
11. XE Currency
The XE Currency convertor is essential for backpackers skipping through numerous countries that use different currencies – so everywhere outside Europe! Oh, and for people like me who can never remember the conversion rate and need to work out how much my dinner cost me so I don´t spend overspend and have no money for bus fare to the next destination.
There’s a lot of great travel apps for your summer travel on the market, we have only mentioned 11 of them here. That’s enough for a starting line-up for a football team though. If there are any other travel apps you feel are worth a mention, please do leave a comment.