The Travel App Hit List
Apps, apps and more apps! These little helpers have become part of our everyday lives. Whenever a question pops into my head, I immediately think, "There must be an app for that." Happily, when it comes to planning group travel, there is! Whether you are looking to book a flight, reserve a hotel room, grab a bite to eat, combat homesickness, organize your travel reward points or simply talk with the locals, travel apps have you covered.
For many people, cellphones are almost an appendage. We download an abundance of apps, some of them making our lives easier, others just taking up space. Along with simplifying our everyday lives, certain apps could create efficiencies and improve our—or our clients'—travel experiences.
Air Travel Information
Finding reasonably priced flights is of paramount importance. Hopper meets the needs of the bargain hunter through daily flight information analysis. Users are notified of price drops as well as predicted price increases. The multitasking traveler can juggle various flight and travel options on Skyscanner, an air travel search engine offering price and location information.
Traveling to and connecting through unfamiliar airports creates frustration. GateGuru acquaints you with the layout of more than 115 airports and provides the locations of the restaurants, shops and services at each. Similarly, SeatGuru specifies each aircraft's configuration, allowing for maximum in-flight seating comfort and convenience.
To select the most beneficial lodging app, know which type of accommodation is needed. Hostelworld helps groups or individuals find reviews, photos, availability and pricing information in the hostel community. Airbnb serves travelers seeking rental properties by featuring more than 600,000 listings in more than 190 countries. Last-minute travelers looking to stay in a traditional hotel can utilize HotelTonight.
Where to Eat? What to Do?
Restaurant and activity review apps help when planning travel—and once you've arrived at your destination. TripAdvisor contains more than 225 million reviews of hotels, flights, vacation rentals and restaurants. Those looking to live like a local could find reviews written by their destination's inhabitants on Localeur. Written reviews are valuable, but a picture is worth a thousand words: Foodspotting serves as an enticing visual food guide.
Staying Connected with Family and Friends
Skype allows its users to stay connected through video and voice calls. For those more accustomed to text messaging, WhatsApp offers a free platform for international texting. Users must only pay for data usage. The application also contains group chat features.
Locating free and paid Internet hotspots in simple via WiFi Finder. And you need not be online to review the hotspot list.
Travelling abroad creates unique challenges. Google Translate removes language barriers. This recently updated application now features a conversation mode, allowing for live interpretation of two-way conversations. The app's camera input feature will define and translate the words you capture on a sign or document. XE Currency eliminates any monetary guesswork by comparing the value of more than 180 currencies.
Often, travel plans revolve around favorable weather conditions. Apps such as AccuWeather and Weather Channel provide current and long-term forecasts. When more detailed weather conditions are needed, Weather+ may be beneficial.
AwardWallet simplifies the management of travel reward benefits. The app stores passwords, loyalty program information, and frequent flyer and car rental miles. Never again will you miss your coveted award credits.
Travel can be complicated. Fortunately these applications remove many complexities, thus providing pure travel enjoyment for you and your clients.
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Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer for Groups Today magazine.