2015 was a good year for travel!
I got to see places I honestly didn’t plan, or dream of seeing (watch out for my upcoming post on Mauritius) I also went back to the first country I ever visited. Japan. There was a lot of Beach time! Between Greece, Fuerteventura & Mauritius , I must say I’m still sporting bikini lines.
But I said numbers, so here they are ( some of them at least):
Business Travel Days : 43
Personal Travel Days : 65
Total Travel Days :108 days
Km of Air travel: 104.162 km (fun fact, that’s 2 and a half times around the world)
All these numbers may seem random, and it’s kind of starting to beg the question should you care?
Because! With this much amount of travelling, it’s so easy to get disorganized.
At the end of the day, between keeping score on flights, hotel bookings, city planners, tips n’tricks (spread across a plethora websites blogs and apps), the back and forth can take the fun out of planning your travels.
So I put together a list of apps I use most frequently; they help me get things neat and sorted when I travel, and they are truly invaluable:
Planning & Organizing
- *Update* I absolutely must add Inspirock to the planning, even though it’s not an app yet (in the making, I am sure..). See my post on Inspirock trip planner for more on how it works and why it’s so great.
- TripIt – online travel itinerary and trip planner. It stores everything – from your flight info, hotel booking to trip reservations – in a single unified view. How it works: connect TripIt to your email account, and whenever you book a hotel/flight/tour/etc. using that email, it’ll be automatically stored in the app, where it will be sorted and kept neat for you.
- Triposo all-in-one travel guide app – I love Triposo! It’s an where you can find all the best attractions at your destination. They are a bit short on restaurants (and I even found listed non-existent restaurants, which is very annoying when you’re hungry) but it works out perfectly for attractions and travel tips. You can create your own city walks from whatever item you starred in your Saved list, and you can of course download the content for offline use during your trip. I also like that Triposo connects to Viator – so if you find a tour you like, you’ll be able to book it from Viator.
- Viator – App to easily book tours and activities : sightseeing tours, day trips, show tickets, etc. Their app has also been listed as one of National Geographic’s “Favorite On-The-Road Apps”
- New kid on the block : Vyaggio – a service that shows you the best deals and coupons when you’re on the move, like: free Wifi, Starbucks buy 1 get 1 free deal. It’s created by Autogrill and for now only supports 18 countries, but I can totally see its potential.
- Sure, you also have the classics, which I have to mention if I want to avoid getting lynched: TripAdvisor and Skyscanner
- Booking.com – I mostly use Booking when travelling, business or leisure. Having a Genius account sure helps, as you get these pretty cool personalized City guides, and have access to reporting functions and such.
- AirBnb – My 2nd most used app for accommodation. I use Airbnb mostly when I travel in a party of 3+. The bigger the group, the sexier their prices become. Aaand: you have the comfort of a home instead of the impersonal hotels. I had great experiences (still thinking of the awesome week spent in Reykjavík)
- CouchSurfing – The friendly travelers out there, you know this one. The app is cool, and it’s a travel option that adds a much more personal flavor to your accommodation. Too often I hear comments that community/crowd powered options like this are not safe. Couldn’t agree less. Like all others, Couchsurfing has their user program Get Verified , to give everyone a peace of mind – guest and host. Just to keep in mind: if it’s not for you, it doesn’t mean it’s not good.
- HostelsClub* – Adding this one too, even though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend their app. A pity, because I used their website a lot in my early travels and I’d go back – if only they keep up with the technology.
- Uber: Needs no introduction. I’ve been a frequent user for over 2 years. Disappointing to see that the market is reacting in a negative way to their business; the way I see it, it’s totally fair competition to conventional taxis (but wrong place for that topic). Uber gives you different options depending on the city: UberPop, UberX, XL, UberSelect, UberPool, UberVan, Black Car…If you’re curious about the differences, see more here. Also, a cool feature I came across recently is to find Uber with child seats.
*They don’t have Uber in Barcelona though..
- BlaBlaCar – I love BlaBlaCar. It’s cheap, fast, comfortable & convenient. I was surprised to learn it’s quite popular in Romania as well (yes, Romania. My homeland). The Uber of long distance carpool. You also get to meet fun, interesting people (most of the times).
- Citymapper – with Citymapper you’ll get directions view all transport options. I like it much better than the all-classic Google Maps, although it’s obvious they still need to go a long way: you can use Citymapper in the big cities, but their spread is limited for now. A nice feature is their News section ( & living in Belgium,I’ll tell you this: it’s quite useful to know when the next train/bus strike will hit)
This list is of course non exhaustive, so let me know if you’re finding these apps useful or leave a comment if you want to add other cool stuff to my selection.