So you have decided to embark on that soul-searching, life-changing journey on your own … WAY TO GO!
Exploring a foreign land alone can be nerve-wracking even for experienced travel junkies. From arranging various bookings to finding places to eat, everything is done by yourself. Don’t get overwhelmed. Let technology manage your trip so you can focus on the bigger picture.
All apps below are available for free on Google Play and App Store.
Writing down a plan is vital to ensure you won’t end up wasting time searching for booking numbers or flight schedule time and again. Users can keep things organised with TripIt which combines travel confirmations, hotel bookings, purchased tours and everything else into one. The app syncs details from your email to create a complete itinerary, including notification for flight delays, which also connects to your calendar.
When it comes to packing, get a list customised just for you! PackPoint not only features weather forecast on the selected date and destination, but also essentials for selected activities like swimming, hiking, beach, fancy dinner and working, to name a few.
Chasing the boarding time only to find your flight has yet to reach the gate can be annoying … and tiring. Download Flightradar24 to ease that pre-flight anxiety. The live plane tracker lets you see planes around the world move in real-time on a detailed map. If you end up with a delayed flight, you can kill time by pointing the phone camera at any plane to find out the flight information like route, estimated time of arrival, actual time of departure and aircraft type. You can also see what the pilot of an aircraft sees in 3D. This tech magic will never fail to impress.
Trying to figure out the right transport can be stressful, especially when you can’t read the signages. Enter Rome2rio, the app that suggests the best routes for all modes of transportation to your desired destination. Search results also include a detailed map and estimated fares.
With a billion downloads under its belt, you can never go wrong with Google Maps. Find nearby attractions, restaurants, ATMs, pharmacies and groceries wherever you are. If you want to save data usage, just connect your device to a Wi-Fi and download the maps offline.
If you’re tired of playing charades, let Google Translate be your aid. Speak, snap, write or type to ease communication woes when you’re abroad. The app supports 103 languages that can be downloaded for offline use. Be sure to try its camera feature so you know what the signages, menus or books are saying.
Be it luxury or budget travel, the best way to track your spending is by converting everything the currency you’re most familiar with. Find out how much lunch really costs, or whether you can push for a better bargain on the fridge magnets. The app comes with live exchange rates for every world currency as well as offline use.
Other than the occasional #nofilter Instagram posts, editing is king. VSCO is built with easy-to-use features that give users the necessary editing tools and ultimately, jaw-dropping (free and paid) filters called ‘presets’ that can change your panoramic photo into a work of art in a jiffy. The best part is the subtle filters won’t make your photos overly processed.
If you like to spend more time editing a photo on your phone, experimenting with dozens of tools that belong on the desktop like modifying depth of field, perspective and curves, Snapseed is the answer. Not just that, the app also offers a variety of customisable filters. This may sound intimidating for a novice, but just follow its free video lessons and before you know it, your account may look like a Nat Geo library.
The app that pioneered social media “check-in” almost a decade ago has now transformed into a guide that provides photos and reviews of locations at every street corner. A simple search on Foursquare could land you complete details of amazing places to eat, drink shop or visit thanks to curated lists for destinations worldwide.
A trip should not be limited to taking pictures of famous landmarks. Embracing the local culture, especially food, is key when it comes to exploring a place away from home. With Foodspotting, users can skip the fast food outlets and find restaurants or markets serving great dishes that will leave your taste buds dancing.
ICE (In Case of Emergency)
Accidents happen, and more often than not, vital information accelerates the response time. ICE records personal medical conditions from your height, weight and blood type to your allergies and most recent vaccinations and medications together with insurance information. The app also features emergency services including police, ambulance and fire in over 200 countries.
If you are travelling to a country prone to severe weather and natural disasters, you would need more than weather forecast ahead of your trip. Disaster Alert sends out early warning of “active hazards” around the world to ensure you are informed about storms, volcanoes, wildfire, earthquakes, floods and droughts thanks to accurate, real-time reporting from meteorological and geological agencies around the world.
As a visitor, you may be exposed to locations that are hotbeds for crime like theft and robbery. Being aware of your surroundings is crucial, but when the inevitable strikes, Prey Anti-Theft allows you to find your phone, laptop and tablet. Other than locking the missing electronic devices, the app also help users retrieve pictures remotely and erase data.
GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to over 100 destinations in Asia-Pacific. Visit airasia.com