5 Mobile Apps for a Better Tripping Experience

Originally published in TLF Magazine, April 2014 edition

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Let’s admit it, we can’t stay away from the Facebook news feed for long ☺ When we are flying to a new destination, we do make it a point to check-in at the airport & let our buddies know where we are headed to. We use Instagram for sharing our pictures, Foursquare for check-ins and there are many more.

Infact, there are a whole bunch of apps which we can use to enhance the experience of our trips. Here are 5 of them:

#1. Mobile Apps for Flight and Hotel Booking

Booking an air-ticket ticket online? Try doing it on your mobile. Now most of the top OTAs (Online Travel Agents) have native iOS/Android mobile applications that provide the convenience of booking to the travellers. At the tip of your fingers, you can get the best deals on hotel stays, flight tickets etc. To encourage usage of mobile apps among customers, most of the online travel booking sites also reward customers with an extra discount for booking their tickets on Mobile.

Tip: Do read user reviews and check security of such apps before making any transactions on your smartphone.

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#2. Map your Destination using Navigations apps

With mapping apps such as Google maps, finding routes to places while traveling has become a real cakewalk. Best-of-all, you can never get lost and you can use them to find directions to a destination, duration of your trip and information on traffic congestion.

The only catch is you might end up paying heavy bills for data usage of maps during your travel specially when you’re in an international destination. To avoid this, download offline maps of a destination and you could enjoy daylong navigation without a data connection.

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#3. Discover Destinations with Pocket Travel Guides

Trip planners usually plan their trip in two ways – First they research about a destination and find out what all they can do. Then once they arrive at a destination, they find out all the add-on information about the best things to see, eat, shop and discover. If you don’t want to carry a physical guide in your hand, all you need is to download the mobile app of the city you’re headed to. While there a bunch of mobile travel guides, Lonely Planet Travel Guides are by far the most comprehensive and detailed destination travel guides. While you are on the road, you can discover the best restaurants in town, their opening hours, check-out their ratings on locate them on map. Likewise the mobile guides about the information about city’s top experiences, best places to shop and even the best things to do for FREE ☺

Tip: Do read user reviews and check security of such apps before making any transaction on your smartphone.

If guides are not your cup of tea then you can try free user-generated content apps such as Tripadvisor to find out top recommendations by visitors to a destination. If you’re lucky, you might even find friend recommendations or by someone in your network.

Everything that you would find here is an experienced shared by users of the site.

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#4. Camera+ for Beautifying your Trip Images

From monuments to sunsets to #selfies, we love clicking pictures, don’t we ☺ More often than not, we use our smartphone camera as the default camera for its ease of mobility. However, we always feel the need to do more with our images. A color touch-up or increase in brightness or adding that dash of sharpness. While Instagram does have some beautiful filters, it is best for editing pictures which need to be uploaded online and shared with friends/followers. Camera+ is a wonderful photo editing app for iphone/iPad users that helps you do more with your more photos. You can add borders, captions, change tones and make your images more lively.

It’s available for 1.99$ on the app-store.

Android users can try alternates such as Aviary, BeFunky, Snapseed etc.

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#5. Documenting your Travelogues, for the Writer in you ☺

Do you like creating an experiential travelogue? Do you like taking notes of places you visit? Capturing your travel experience, writing about it and probably sharing it with your friends on social networking sites and blogs.

An easy way to do it is through Day One app, which as the name suggests maintains a synchronized dairy of your trip right from the first day. While you can use also it as a normal diary app, it is particularly helpful during trips as you can add photo to travelogues, map it to the trip location, add tags. Once you have finished your travelogue you can export it to a PDF and directly publish it to chosen social networks.

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Do you know mobile apps which enhance trip experience? Share in comments.

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