When you’re a solo traveller, it’s always a good idea to plan everything down to the smallest detail to avoid any travel snags. To tackle unforeseen hitches, you can download and use an array of apps on your smartphone. But which apps can you trust with your plans and are they really what they claim to be? We list down a few of them that can help you plan a superb holiday, especially when you are visiting a new destination and are unfamiliar with the local language.
TripAdvisor: If you have lingering concerns about your travel destination, this is a handy app that refers you to the best places to eat, sleep, drink, play, shop and see. It also comes with a map, so you can find out how far it is from your hotel to the hippest bar.
Kayak: Out of the many travel-booking applications available, Kayak is one of the easiest and user-friendly. This app provides a tool to reserve flights, hotels and car rentals, as well as providing airport information, so you can scout the gift shops in advance and figure out the best way to negotiate the airport terminals.
Booking.com: Still undecided on which accommodation is the best value for money while providing the best comfort? You can choose the ideal hotel for your vacation from a list accompanied by reviews written by other travellers from around the world. This can help you determine which accommodation fits you. Sometimes they even offer special room discounts!
Tripit: Once you have booked your flight, you can forward your itinerary to Tripit to organise your trip. This travel management app helps you get information such as flight number confirmation, hotel possibilities and details from confirmation emails. Having all this information in one app is more convenient and practical.
Google Translate: This is a very useful application when you are traveling and encounter difficulties with the local language. A voice-recognition feature is available — just speak into your phone in your language and the app will translate your words into the language of your choice in text format. It won’t always give you 100 per cent accurate translation, particularly with jargon and turns of phrases, but it will be close enough to help you communicate with locals.
Accuweather: This app provides weather information for your destination, so you can be sure you have the right clothes and be comfortable on your trip. With this app installed on your phone, you can also check the current weather, so you can plan out which days to explore the streets of the city and which days to shelter from the rain in a museum or shopping hotspots.
Google Goggles: Love taking pictures when travelling? So do we! This is the perfect app for you, because not only does it take pictures, but also gathers information from the picture you snapped. Throughout your trip, you can use Google Goggles to tour around, take pictures and get information from the local object you just snapped on your phone.
LiveTrekker: This app creates a digital journal of your travels so you can look back on your trips on an interactive map. It tracks you as you go, marking a red line along a map on the exact route you take; the app also monitors your speed and altitude, making it great for adventure travellers, though it’s just as fun to look back at your route around a city. You can add pictures, video, audio and text along the way, creating a multimedia travel diary you can share.
Opera Mini: Travelling, especially abroad, while connected to the net on your phone can lead to a big letdown at the end of your journey when your phone bill arrives. For more cost-efficient and fast browsing, you will need a reliable Web browser. The Opera Mini browser shrinks down data by up to 90 per cent, so webpages load super-quick, saving you lots of money. And, Opera Mini does all this without compromising the look and feel of your favourite websites.
Opera Max: While travelling for work or on vacation, mobile phone bills can shoot up exponentially because of the high data tariff charged by operators. Another issue that pops up is the lack of connectivity across terrains in the country, which means users often are on overloaded or slow networks and, hence, cannot enjoy Internet access on the move. Opera Max is a data management app for Android which compresses mobile data up to 50 per cent to ensure efficient browsing on overloaded or slow networks making it the ideal app to have on your smartphone when travelling.
Once you have all these apps on your smartphone, you are ready to take off on your trip and leave your worries behind. Now, you can enjoy yourself without getting lost in translation.