Best Travel Apps to Try This Year
With app stores overloaded with thousands of software options claiming to make life easier and less stressful, it can be hard to sort out the truly great apps from those that really don’t provide anything new. Luckily, when it comes to travel, you’re not likely to find yourself searching for a helpful option for long. Whether they’re helping you find a taxi, saving you dollars or pointing you in the direction of the best sights to visit, there is an app to solve every potential travel problem. Read on for five of the latest travel apps you can use to make your smartphone smarter and holiday more relaxing in 2014.
Minube is a free app containing a plethora of social travel guides (designed for the iOS and Android operating systems) created to help travellers around the world discover the best things to see and do at a variety of international destinations. The social travel guides allow users to share holiday experiences in real-time and discover the best travel options from the recommendations of others. Voted 2011’s Best App by Apple Spain, Minube features tips for countries all around the world in regions such as Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Asia and Oceania. For example, travellers who are ready to select a hotel in Adelaide but want to know what quality restaurants are nearby can search the app for highly rated options, or those looking for the best day trips from Melbourne can search for top suggestions to try out.
Another free app that is available for iPhone and Android phones, Hailo is one of a growing number of apps that enables travellers to hail a taxi directly from their handheld devices and pay for it online. Rather than standing on the street and waiting an indeterminate amount of time for a cab you can simply summon one to your location from a map that shows how far away a variety of registered drivers currently are. As well as positioning travellers just two clicks away from a licensed taxi, Hailo provides a convenient online option for customers to pay for their ride, rather than searching for the right change.
The app, available in a variety of cities in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia has carried more than 8.5 million passengers to date. Founded in Great Britain, Hailo is one of 25 companies recently selected to receive support from the UK government as part of the first Tech City “Future Fifty” project, helping high-growth British companies to expand.
Free transport app Citymapper is an iOS, Android and web application that aims to make it easier for users to navigate their way around London, Paris and New York City (with more locations to come). The app displays a variety of handy info such as the cost of different transport options, the weather at destinations and how many calories can be burned by walking or cycling to the desired location. The journey planner technology provides real-time updates on public transport, plus Foursquare integration and a single tap “Get me home” button for ease of use.
Based around the idea that one of the best parts of travel can be meeting and sharing experiences with locals, the EatWith app was developed by co-founder Guy Michlin after a chance invitation to an authentic Greek dinner at a resident family’s home on a trip to Greece. Taking the guess work out of picking a restaurant when travelling to an unfamiliar destination, EatWith enables tourists to dine in the home of local residents, paying a fee for each guest. The app so far has hosts (many classified as “EatWith Verified”) located in five continents.
If you’re sick of paying hefty charges for texts and phone calls on your mobile then take a look at Viber. The app provides a free service that allows customers to send texts, share photos and videos, and make VoIP calls using 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi through their existing mobile number. The well-designed interface is clean and simple with a quick setup, and syncs with contacts automatically, plus it can search your phone to locate friends who are already using Viber. The app gives the well-established Skype brand a run for its money and has a high audio quality to boot.
About the Author:
Angie Beaumont is a blogger and travel writer with a passion for technology and gadgets, who loves to keep up to date with the latest travel news and tech breakthroughs.