The Techy Traveler’s Guide: Essential Apps

Every great adventure needs a great plan. Every great plan needs a set of contingency plans. Now, whether you need to plan for accommodations ahead, or you need a quick place to stay as soon as possible, all you really need is your smartphone and you can download some of the thousands of travel related apps available to help you plan your next odyssey.

Mobile technology has come a long way. I remember the first touchscreen phone I had was the Sony Ericsson P900. Now we have so many new smartphones that the market is simply over-crowded. The same goes for the apps that these smartphones run. 

The app market is so congested that there’s probably an app for everything. Which is fortunate for us avid travelers. The beauty of an expansive market is that there are a plethora of different apps to choose from. And you can do so on a whim, especially when you find the perfect app that suits your specific needs.

So, as a tech-savvy traveler, you'll need at least one of the following type of apps:

Travel Booking Apps - These apps allow you to secure accommodation both ahead of time and on short notice. You can never be too sure about having a place to stay. Apps like Agoda, SkyScanner, AirBnB, and Hotel Tonight are some of the most popular travel booking apps.
Map Apps  - Every traveler needs to be able to orient himself with his surroundings. The easiest way to do this is with the use of any navigation app. The maps within these apps are updated periodically, so, you have a reliable map wherever you go because let’s face it. The most used prosthetics are mobile phones. There are a lot of navigation apps, but the most popular ones are Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze.

Ride Hailing Apps - Transportation is a major factor to consider, especially when you don’t have your vehicle available. While some of you may argue that it’s easy to simply get a cab, you need to keep in mind that you may find yourself in unfamiliar places. Ride-hailing services are safe, and they are also fair. You may be spending a small premium versus local cabs, but that’s a small price to pay for convenience, reliability, and safety. Especially in places that are known for taxi scams. Grab, Lyft and Uber are a few of the most popular ride-hailing services. The best part is that these services are available in many countries worldwide.

Weather Apps - These apps are often overlooked on an ordinary day, but they are essential when you’re traveling. Knowing the current weather and the predicted weather patterns allows you to plan ahead on what supplies you need to bring and what type of clothes to wear. These weather apps also help you determine whether some activities you have planned on doing will still be doable. Every smartphone comes pre-installed with a weather app.
Flight Booking Apps - It is imperative to keep track of your flight schedules, especially if you’ve booked them in advance. These apps allow you to book and monitor your flights. They also allow you to set transportation and accommodation in advance. Now, if you’re a frequent flyer, then these apps could pair nicely with the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card. This card gives you the chance to avail of 450$ of travel credit which you can use to book flights, hotels, and rental cars.

Communication Apps - Even in some of the most remote countries one can almost certainly find and internet connection. Which is extremely helpful for using any of these apps I have listed. One of the most difficult things when traveling is communication. Or it used to be at least. I remember traveling to Europe and have to send letters that would take months to arrive back in the States. Now all you need is any basic internet connection and some of the many apps available for this purpose.

Whether you're on a vacation or traveling indefinitely having some of these apps will certainly come in handy. Do you know any other great apps? Let me know in the comments.

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