Frequent traveller, solo sojourner, fun-loving vacation maker or workaholic digital nomad, we’ve rounded up 18 apps you need to check out before your next travel trip:
For an unforgettable travel experience…
Are you a foodie with a fondness for intruiguing dining experiences? Say goodbye to lacklustre meals taken at touristy dining establishments. With BonAppetour, what you’ll get are authentic meals enjoyed in the homes of the locals.
Does this mealsharing concept remind you of AirBnB? It is a pretty similar concept – in terms of a culinary experience. Tucking into a meal with a BonAppetour host is more than just a dining experience; it’s an exchange that provides both parties with fascinating insights into each other’s culture. If this sounds like your cup of tea (and why wouldn’t it be?), we suggest making a date with the host of your choice on one of the first few days of your trip. Your host is likely to offer nuggets of information on the best places to eat, travel and explore in the country, so you’ll want to have plenty of time left to check out these recommended spots during your sojourn.
In search of travel inspiration? Or are you an avid traveller eager to share mesmerising stories about your travel experiences with the world?
If you’ve answered yes to either questions (or perhaps even both), Maptia is the perfect platform for you. We’re impressed with the beautiful design of the site, and are left spellbound by the striking images that come with each post. But our favourite part of exploring this site is reading the intriguing travel stories published on the platform – narratives that stir up your emotions, and offer plenty of food for thought.
Vayable will appeal to travellers keen on interacting with the locals and gaining local insights into a new destination. With the app, you can easily book a custom-made tour with a local expert in cities worldwide. If you’re a local brimming with fascinating travel tips and insights, sign up as a host to offer travellers a personalised tour of your city or a place of interest – one that they won’t get from an official tour guide.
Travellers with a discerning taste for arts, culture and food will find an informative city guide in Musement. Browse through the site, and you will find a well-curated selection of art exhibitions, museums, dining establishments and bars to fill up your itinerary. Official partnerships are established with the platform, so you can make a direct booking and enjoy discounts for selected venues through the app.
For solo travellers…
Headout‘s a great app for solo or work travellers keen on exploring the city on a tight or erratic schedules. With the app, you can discover and book activities at the very last minute. Got a work meeting that was called off, or a friend who cancelled out on dinner? Well, that leaves you with a free evening to slot in fun-filled activities, like helicopter tours, Broadway shows or culinary classes. Currently, the app is live in New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Orlando – but we can’t wait for this to be available in other cities across the world!
Tripr adds a social element to solo sojourns and backpacking trips. Through the app, you’ll get to know fellow travellers who will be exploring a similar destination at the same time, even before the both of you have started on your trip.
Here’s how it works: users create a profile, input information about their itinerary, such as the places of interest and events that they are keen on visiting, and provide information on their preferences on travellers they’d like ot get to know. The next step is rather Tinder-like – individuals start swiping through a selection of individuals who could end up as their travel mates. If two users ‘like’ each other, they will be introduced through Facebook.
For frequent travellers…
Find it a hassle to make calculations on splitting the bills and tips after a fancy meal outdoors? Let Tipulator come to the rescue! The app doesn’t provide information on the standard tip rates for a specific country, so you’ll have to research this on your own before payment.
LoungeBuddy‘s a true pal for frequent fliers and business travellers. With this app, killing time at the airport during flight delays, cancellations, diversions and misconnects becomes a breezy affair. The first step to take is to fill out your profile and current itinerary on the app. LoungeBuddy will then alert you on lounges that are available for you and your travel buddies. You can also check out lounges around the world prior to your trip; LoungeBuddy provides information such as photographs, amenities and reviews provided by other members.
Are you a fitness fanatic who can’t miss out on your daily outdoor runs? WalkJogRun helps you to keep up with your fitness routine. The app offers a vast selection of safe running routes in a whooping 1.6 million cities around the world – a very handy tool to have for vacation makers keen on making their exercise routine an exploratory adventure.
With approximately 500 million Wi-Fi networks in locations around the world, and more than 2 million free hotspots, WiFiMapper is a must-have app for frequent travellers roaming across the globe. What’s not to like about this app? There’s plenty of benefits to be reaped – it’s entirely free to use, it’ll help you save eons on roaming charges, tell you what kind of venue the Wi-Fi hotspot is located at, whether the internet connection is trusty, and even if the place serves up a good cup of coffee!
Got an insatiable appetite for travel? You’ll need to make your finances work, and here’s where Momondo steps in as a handy aid – by bringing you the cheapest flights and hotel accommodation on a single site.
Frequent travellers will appreciate the convenience that GateGuru offers. Here’re some examples of what the app can help you with:
- Organise and process information you need for your trip, such as providing notifications on flight delays, changes and wait times
- Provide a detailed map of the airport you’re arriving at
- Show you the location of your next gate
- List out dining establishments and amenities located nearby (along with reviews)
Jetting off from one city to another on a constant basis may leave your body clock confused, sleep cycles a mess and your nerves frazzled. It helps to keep a cool head, especially if you find yourself in a situation of travel chaos, and here’s where mindfulness practices like meditation come in handy. Take the first step with Insight Timer – the app offers an extensive selection of guided meditation clips that you can play as long as you have access to Wi-Fi or data.
Seasoned practitioners used to unguided meditations will find the timer functions useful. The free version offers a basic ‘timer’ service, with a gong sounding at the start and end of a meditation session. Additional features, such as bells and chimes, as well as sounds that go off at regular intervals (to help you stay focused, if your mind tends to wander) are available with the paid version.
For digital nomads…
Speedtest is one of the best tools in the market for assessing Wi-Fi speed. Absolutely essential for wandering digital nomads on a constant prowl for work-friendly cafes in new destinations.
Here’s another gem for digital nomads! Nomadlist (one part of Level’s ambitious 12 startups in 12 months project) is an excellent resource that answers the critical question: Which are the best cities to live and work remotely? What’s regarded as the “best” differs across individuals, and Nomadlist provides key information (ranging from cost of living and internet speed, to safety levels and how fun a city is) that enables nomads to evaluate and make a decision.
Alone in a new city? These meetups will have you mingling with other like-minded nomads in a snap. Keen on kickstarting your own nomadic journey? The stories on the site may just provide you with the inspiration and insights that you need to get you started.
Workfrom‘s a great platform that allows you to “connect with others in the wild”. With this tool, you’ll never be at a lost for the best places (this could range from coworking spaces and cafes, to work-friendly bars) to hack away at your projects while you explore new destinations as a nomad.
Help others when you travel…
Fill Up My Luggage
Travellers, expats, commuters and NGOs are part of the community that makes up Fill Up My Lugggage. As its name suggests, this crowdshipping platform connects shippers (people who want to ship goods abroad) to travellers with spaces in their luggage to spare. FillUp helps individuals beat the blues of shipping goods by carriers, such as high shipping costs, a lengthy duration of shipment or the lack of locations. Payments are made to travellers by cash, or through online platforms like Google Wallet or PayPal.
Recently, I’ve been prowling through online communities (like Facebook groups) in search of travel information, and have come across a number of posts by expats looking for travellers who could help bring in hard-to-find products from their home countries – a market need that FillUp aims to address.
In case of emergencies…
ICE is a useful app that comes to your rescue in cases of emergencies. The app provides paramedics and medical staff with essential information, such as your medical conditions (diseases, allergies and medications), contact details of your doctor, next of kin information and insurance details. All information is translated into ten languages, and can be accessed even if your phone is locked.
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