The Best Apps for Travelers

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As smart phones and tablets continue to change the way we live and interact with the world, so too will they change the way we travel.

Several high profile travel apps have now been released to help with booking, planning, information and inspiration, but how will apps change how we travel and which ones are the best?

Let’s hear what Jane Fraser of the Sydney Morning Herald has to say:

“There are apps (or applications for mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones) for everything from booking a cab in a strange city to keeping track of your travel vaccinations – seek and you will probably find”

“ recently launched a user-friendly iPad app that allows travellers to search and book about 140,000 hotels around the world in a choice of more than 30 languages.

The free app provides fast access to about 20,000 last-minute deals, more than 2.5 million user reviews and last-minute bookings based on location, so it should prove a strong rival to other hotel booking apps.

The emerging trend for hotel booking apps is “mobile exclusive”, where smartphone and tablet computer users can access deals that are theoretically not available through other channels.”

Travel-AppsHaving an app to allow me to book online isn’t a major plus for me, as you could just as easily book with through your smartphone’s web browser.

Saying that, being able to access deals via my tablet/smartphone that are ‘theoretically not available through other channels’ is a big plus, but it remains to be seen whether this is true or not.

“Some travel apps are as much about inspiration as they are about providing practical information.

Abercrombie & Kent’s new World of A&K iPad app allows users to virtually visit 26 “iconic destinations” around the world using multimedia content.

Travellers can use the app’s interactive map to display the places they’ve visited or wish to visit and can then export the map to Google Earth to share with family and friends.”

These kinds of apps are fun, but I wonder how much use they’ll actually be to you when you’re on the road.

“TripAdvisor is taking on destination-guide publishers such as Lonely Planet with free mobile city guides, so far available for 20 major cities.

Available on Android phones (iPhone apps pending), the guides are automatically synced with the latest TripAdvisor content or they can be used offline, so travellers can avoid expensive roaming charges.

More and more destinations are now offering their own apps, to provide information for visitors on what to see and do.
Food- and wine-oriented travellers can get free information on thousands of vineyards, cellar doors, restaurants and food producers through a new iPhone app, VisitVineyards.”

For me, city and destinations guide apps are where it’s at, and it seems TripAdvisor has got the jump on everyone. Being able to get up-to-date information about a place is a great plus for travelers, and it means you won’t have to be lugging around thick Lonely Planet books all day.

As you can see there are lots of travel-related apps already on the market, and it’s just a matter of time before every major travel company stakes their claim in the app arena. The advancements made in the past few years have been astounding, so it’ll be exciting to find out what they come up with next!


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