All set for your next trip? Here’s a compilation of mobile apps to make sure every dime is well spent, whether you’re in a backpacking, contiki or leisure holiday (backpacking is the most exciting!)
You can use these mobile apps randomly to track your data usage to avoid shocking phone bills, to get the best deals in fare and accommodations, and to have quick access to real-time currency rates, weather forecasts and other travel information.
1. My Data Manager (iOS/Android)
Want to stay connected while on the go? Avoid interruptions and shocking bills with this app. Be smarter than your phone carrier and configure your data plan usage while travelling. It gives you a summary of your mobile, Wi-Fi, and roaming data usage, and allows you to customise the usage based on your monthly budget. (Free download via App Store and Play Store)
2. Convertible (iOS)
This conversion tool supports standard and non-standard metrics, 161 currencies, including Bitcoin and other categorised units from time, to fuel economy, to temperature and many more. It syncs with the latest data for currencies when you’re connected to the Internet. ($1.99 via App Store)
3. Clear Weather (iOS)
List down the locations you want to visit and check out weather forecasts in up to nine places with color-based weather information with ClearWeather. The swipe gestures from left to right and up and down swiftly delivers the forecasts in a jiffy. ($0.99 via App Store)
4. SkyScanner (iOS/Android)
Get the cheapest airfare(s) from SkyScanner instead of searching at each airline’s website, which is time-consuming and requires you to create an account whenever you book online. Scout the best deals from different airlines based on the schedules, locations, and other filtered search functions. (Free download via App Store and Play Store)
5. Airbnb (iOS/Android)
Forget the expensive 5-star hotels – explore, wander and meet new people across the globe with hundreds and thousands of listings of spaces from different cities and countries, whether it’s a cosy apartment for an out-of-the-country soiree or a budget-private room for two-day backpacking staycation, you’ll find a place to stay based on your taste, travel, and budget. Make sure you check out the reviews before booking. You can also plan your itinerary and save the spaces in the wish list. (Free download via App Store and Play Store)
6. Travelmob (iOS)
Airbnb has a larger turf in apartment and space listings for almost any kind of trip. But with this app, you’ll find luxury rooms, villas and private houseboats for your Asian luxury budget trips. Currently, it has listings of upscale vacation rentals and apartments across Asia Pacific only. (Free via App Store)
7. GateGuru (iOS/Android)
Are you a frequent traveler? Make sure you know the ins-and-outs of airport terminals – from the gates to the amenities, to boarding areas and services offered. The last thing you want to happen is to miss your flight because you’re in the wrong terminal. If your local airport isn’t yet listed or GateGuru has limited data, you can request the team for support. The app provides real-time flight schedules, weather and tips from travellers. (Free via App Store and Android)
8. TripIt (iOS/Android)
You can never be too prepared when traveling. Sometimes there are last-minute changes in your itinerary and you only have two days left to make the arrangements. TripIt is a handy travel organiser for the frequent traveler. One highlight of this app is that it allows users to forward the itinerary and travel confirmations via email or manually enter the details of long weekend getaways, business trips, and holidays. TripIt notifies you before your flights. (Freemium via App Store and Play Store)
9. GoTranslate (iOS)
The app allows users to type or dictate the words they need to translate, yet it needs mobile connection to run the translation function that supports 65 languages. Users can see access to the previous translated texts while offline, but they need to unlock the in-app purchase. (Freemium via App Store).
10. mTrip Guide (iOS/Android)
The app offers offline maps and guides of the city you want to visit. Unlocking each city will cost you $4.99 (iOS) or $3.99 (Android). You can download the mTrip free version to check the app. If you want to save on your mobile data usage, find time to sync the data for offline use. You’ll find most of the popular cities such as Shanghai, Milan, Moscow, etc. Create your own itinerary or let mTrip help you sort the places with the Trip Genius. I used the Shanghai and Singapore guides from my previous trips, and the subway maps are helpful as well. ($4.99 each city via App Store and $3.99 each city via Play Store)
Aside from these apps, nothing beats the Kindle app for (e-books), ProCamera 7, and puzzle games to ward off my boredom. If you find this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends. Let us know your list of travel apps.