If you’re like me, you love to travel. And if you’re really like me, you’ve had some unfortunate travel experiences that could have been avoided. Missing out on incredible flight deals, being crammed into an uncomfortable seat … such blunders can take the gloss off an otherwise amazing holiday. But with all of the information available on the web nowadays, many of these things can be controlled, or avoided altogether.
Here, I have compiled a list of go-to travel apps in 2017 that can make your travel smoother.
1. Kayak – Best for saving you money
Kayak is a travel search engine that trawls hundreds of travel sites to bring the best deals on flights, hotels and cars. This app basically negates the need for a travel agent.
You can search for flights according to price, number of stops, take-off time, duration and airline. Accommodation can be filtered by number of stars, reviews and price range.
If you sign up for price alerts you will be notified of price drops, and if you sign up for private deals you may save even more money. And the handy price forecast advises whether you should book now or wait for a better deal.
2. SeatGuru – Best for travelling in comfort
Have you ever spent 14 hours on a plane, jammed into a non-reclining seat next to the toilets? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not fun. SeatGuru is the best app for making sure that doesn’t happen.
SeatGuru has more than 1,000 seat maps of different planes across 125 airlines, allowing you to assess the comfort factor of an aircraft before you book your flight. You can see the in-flight amenities, seat width, as well as traveler reviews and photos. There is even a seat map key, flagging which seats are good and which you should avoid at all costs.
You can’t pick the person you’re seated next to unfortunately, but hey, nothing’s perfect.
3. Tripcase – Best for consolidating trip details
When I first stumbled across Tripcase I thought, ‘where have you been all my life?’
This app is the ultimate for travel organisation. It allows you to manage all aspects of your trip in one place. It maps your end-to-end journey in consecutive order: flight, transfers, hotel, scheduled activities, and back again.
You can link your flight bookings by inputting your confirmation number, and it will pull in all of your flight details. It syncs with airport data so your flight information is in real time. It will notify you of delays and has airport maps so you can work out where to go.
If you pop in your hotel name in it will sync to google maps so you can get directions, and it will record your check-in and check-out times. Tripcase also gives great recommendations on places to go once you’ve reached your destination. You can even book an Uber through it.
4. Duolingo – Best for learning the language
Duolingo is one of the most popular online language tools and is Apple iPhone’s App of the Year for 2017. With 23 languages to learn from, it is great for learning the lingo before you jet off on your overseas holiday.
It is super easy to use and its lessons are just plain fun. You choose a daily goal, based on how many minutes per day you want to spend learning your chosen language (between 5 and 20 minutes). Each lesson is made up of a range of activities, like translation or matching words to their foreign equivalent.
There are images to help you learn the new vocabulary. And little speech bubbles along the way explain grammar points. There are listening exercises where you type what you hear and speaking exercises where you say what you hear. It really makes learning a new language fun.
5. Touchnote – Best for rubbing it in
Instagram is great for humblebragging, but if you really want to show your loved ones what a great time you’re having on your holiday, Touchnote is the perfect app.
You simply purchase some credits, choose a picture from your camera roll, write a message for the back … and bam! You have a personalised holiday postcard. Worldwide postage is free and it’ll be delivered in a flash.
There is also the option to send a box of photos. We had some family from overseas visit us recently. We had such a wonderful time while they were here and were delighted to receive a surprise box of photos they’d taken during their trip. It was a fantastic memento of our time together.
All of these apps are free and available on iOS and Android.
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