While there is a host of well-known travel apps that any tech-savvy globe-trotter would be crazy to leave home without, the more adventurous are turning to a new breed of innovative, but often overlooked apps.
Even if they do not end up changing your life, these quirky travel apps are bound to make great travel companions.
TripIt is a digital travel organiser that lets you keep all your travel plans – and we are talking hotel, flight, car rental and restaurant confirmations – sorted and filed in one location. Simply send all your electronic travel confirmations to a designated email address, and the app will make them easily accessible at any time and on any device, even if you are offline. TripIt also automatically collates your travel plans for each trip into a master itinerary to simplify your life on the road. Some of the app’s other features include real-time flight alerts, rewards program point tracking and VIP travel benefits.
If you have ever found yourself unsure how much money to withdraw in the local currency from an airport ATM, you are not alone. Exchange rates can get confusing, especially when you are travelling to multiple countries. Luckily, XE Currency provides you with the most up-to-date rates within seconds, making hopping from country to country much easier. The app also reduces the risk that you will be overcharged as soon as you get off the plane. XE Currency provides live exchange rates and stores the latest rates for when you are offline.
Maps.me lets you download regional or country map data and then use it to help you stay on track even when you have no internet connection. Ideal for those who find Google Maps troublesome to use, Maps.me not only provides routes with turn-by-turn navigation for driving, walking or cycling, but also lets you easily mark locations for later reference or create an itinerary for each specific destination. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, this app is open source, making it possible to share points of interest with other users.
Crossing time zones can play havoc with your body. The greater the time change, the more severe the symptoms, which can include disrupted sleep, stomach problems and fatigue. Billing itself as an app used by astronauts and elite athletes, Timeshifter helps you adjust your internal body clock and beat jet lag. Simply input your trip information, age, gender and whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, and receive your personal jet lag plan that consists of a sleep schedule (yes, the app will tell you when to have a nap and when to opt for a coffee). The app works offline, and gives you the option of starting the adjustment process a few days before departure.
Forget storing loose receipts and creating spreadsheets to keep track of your travel expenses. Now you can keep an eye on your travel budget with Trail Wallet, an app that helps you monitor how your daily spending measures up against your financial plan. The app even lets you add your own categories to see what areas are pushing you over your desired spending limit. Select from over 200 currencies, and automatically convert travel expenses into any currency of your choice; the app can be used offline, and updates currency rates every time you reconnect to the internet. Some other features of Trail Wallet include interactive pie and bar charts that display your expenses, and an option to add images such as receipts.
While your smartphone probably already has a built-in notepad, this is definitely not an ideal platform for keeping your travel memories alive. VOLO is a dedicated travel journal app, which lets you create a scrapbook that includes routes, pictures, photos and text. You can even work on your journal with your travel buddies, and share your travel moments with your loved ones and friends via Facebook and Instagram. Those wishing for a wider audience can share their travel story by adding various tags to the text. Best of all, you can use VOLO offline to record your travel moments wherever you are; your entries will synchronise when you are back online.
Need to get from A to B? Whether you want to travel on a plane, bus, train, ferry or even use rideshare, Rome2Rio will show you travel options from over 5,000 companies in over 160 countries. Simply enter the address, city or landmark of your origin, and an on-screen map will display the best available travel route to get you to your destination, be it intra-city or long-distance. The app will also give you more information about the journey such as the price, time and schedule. It will also connect you to a booking screen, as well as features such as hotel and car rental options.
Designed for those travelling to Japan, China or South Korea, Waygo is a visual translation app. Simply point your smartphone camera at the foreign characters, and the app will provide you with an immediate English translation and an audio pronunciation. Ideal for travellers and language students, the app can take the mystery out of menus, street signs and store names. You can even share your translation via SMS, Facebook, Twitter or email. Best of all, Waygo does not require an internet connection.
While booking hotels and transportation are an important part of any journey, ultimately travel is about exploring what each destination has to offer. From cycling the streets of Bangkok to exploring Hong Kong’s Disneyland, Klook lets its users book competitively-priced tours and activities in top destinations across Asia. The app currently features over 1,200 activities in over 24 destinations, so there are plenty to choose from.