5 travel apps I’m using

I tried to avoid getting a smart phone for a long time, because I felt that I don’t need to be online all the time. At some point I realized that we are living in 21st century and this attitude doesn’t just work anymore – so I got my first iPhone, about year and a half ago. Since then I’ve been using all the basic social media applications etc but recently I’ve gotten interested also in different travel applications to see if they can help me out planning my travels and/or when I’m travelling.

1. Booking.com

Booking.com application I actually started using already a year ago, when we were travelling around Central Europe by car. As we moved a lot from place to place and our schedule changed all the time, there was no point making any reservations before leaving for the trip. We mostly stayed at camping sites that needed no advance reservation but couple of times we wanted to stay in a hotel and I found this application very handy when making the reservations. It’s very basic and simple as a good app should be.

When searching the hotel of your dream the app also shows special/value deals on red so that they are easy to notice among others. We actually got two nights in a 4 star hotel in Berlin pretty cheaply by a special deal the application offered. I’m always looking for the cheapest places to stay so good filters are needed – I don’t really care about the other options as long as I can view the hotels by price starting from lowest.

 

2. Couchsurfing

I’ve had profile in Couchsurfing since 2011 and I really like it, but sometimes it’s just very time-consuming checking and answering messages and requests on the site (especially if I’m on my phone), so I was very happy when I discovered this application a while ago – communicating with hosts I’m looking for or surfers coming to stay with me became much more easier than before.

The application is simple to use – more simple than the online site they have, I think! It’s also easy to navigate your way around and the layout is very simple and clear. You can easily look for hosts and events in area of your choice. Only thing I didn’t figure out yet is that how can I search for surfers looking for a couch (= their open couch requests) – maybe it’s not yet possible via application.

 

3. Gogobot

Some time ago I just randomly picked this application from App Store as it was showing in the front page. With this app you can search information about destinations, plan your trip, write reviews and read reviews written by users and one of the most fun part – earn badges after writing reviews. It’s also possible to book accommodation by using Gogobot app.

I visited Gogobot’s website and it gave me a little different image of its purpose than the application, and I don’t think I’ll be using their online site but the application – I like a lot. It looks nice and fun with all the colors and photos (very important to me), it’s rather easy to use – it takes some practice that you’ll learn to navigate your way around, which was a little frustrating at first though. One annoying thing is also that for some reason my profile says that I live in Haapajรคrvi – which is not true, I don’t even know where in Finland that place is, I don’t know how I can change my place of residence in the application and I don’t know where the application even got the idea that I’m living there!

With the application you can plan your trip and see all the destinations/attractions/accommodations you picked to your list on a map. I think you can’t see the map offline, which isn’t very good when you are travelling and don’t have internet connection all the time – but luckily I am a person who still believes and trusts in printed maps, handwritten notes and guidebooks, so I wouldn’t be needing this app all the time when travelling. There is, however, another application I know which provides offline maps – CreateTrips.

One thing that I really like are the badges, that you earn after downloading photos and writing reviews. I like to write reviews of places I’ve visited and the badges really encourage to write them more. It’s like a game!

 

4. Hostelworld.com

Hostelworld.com application is new to me. I downloaded it because I wanted to compare it a little to Booking.com app that I’m already using. The first impression was that the app is very simple, the layout as well – and I could easily search for hostels in New York (my test destination). The application shows hostels conveniently on a map as well and by clicking the red symbol you can see which hostel is which.

As I haven’t registered to Hostelworld.com website before and don’t have an account, I was surprised that I couldn’t create one in the application! I haven’t yet made any bookings via this application, so I don’t know if it’s possible to even book something without an account or will the app create one for you when making the booking – but I guess I will be trying to book something during my next trip with this application and then I’ll find out.

 

5. NYC Subway

As my next travel destionation will be New York, I found this application and thought it would be handy when trying to figure our way around the city in August. So far so good, the app is very easy to use and provides useful information for example on ongoing service changes etc. that even locals might find useful.

The real-time information is probably available only with working internet connection but the map is avaible to look in offline mode. No more ragged paper maps, this is the future you are holding in your phone! One thing that I really like is the routing service. I have similar application for travelling in Helsinki (a travel planner), which tells always which bus, train etc. I should take if I want to travel from A to point B. Routing will hopefully be very handy!

What travel applications do you use? Do you have any favourites?

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2 thoughts on “5 travel apps I’m using

  1. Katja says:

    During our trip we usually had internet only in the hotel so we booked everything through lap top. In some places I tried to download maps and metromaps which worked offline to my iphone. As I didnยดt want to pay for Apps it was usually hard to find any good ones (what a surprise) and because I had limited space in my phone I deleted apps I didnยดt use anymore. I do remember we had a really good app for Sydney map which worked offline perfectly and even showed you on a map.

    I think I need more time getting known with travel apps as I mainly use my phone for taking pictures and editing them.

    • Anne says:

      I don’t like to pay for apps either, as it’s hard to know beforehand whether the app is good or not. I’ve also been used to do everything on my lap top, bookings etc., so using apps for similar things is very new to me. I have to say that I am a little suspicious about booking anything via application but I think they are getting more better and more used by travellers, but in the end it’s the developers job to make the applications safe and engaging enough for us users!

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