Winter travelling made easier with apps
Going on holiday now is certainly a lot different to what it was a decade ago. The fact that we jet off to eat our own body weight in foreign cuisine, explore new cultures and bask in sunshine hasn’t changed. But the way that we plan our trips has been completely revolutionised, with the creation of the smartphone.
Here, we assess all the new apps that help you in the holiday process, right from the initial stage of planning, to sipping a cold cocktail by the pool in Puerto Banus.
Booking your holiday
It happens every year, but summer has gone, and you’ve not got anything to look forward to or work towards. So, you’ve decided a holiday is a must to relieve just a small percentage of stress — your work request was accepted, but where do you go from there?
Years ago, this part of the holiday planning would have involved a trip down to your local travel agents, browsing through tens or maybe hundreds of pages of brochures for the perfect hotel. Now, this can all be done on your mobile phone.
There are a number of flight comparison apps that compare prices to help you get the cheapest flight. For the sake of keeping things simple however, we have whittled this down to our favourite three.
There is no feeling quite like urgently booking flights to avoid the price rising, only for them to drop in price — at Hopper however, this is not a concern. The app monitors 15 billion flights every day to find you the right deal. When you’re on the app, things are aesthetically pleasing as well, with colour co-ordination used to help users distinguish between the expense of the flight and the time of year.
If you’re unsure of your holiday destination and just want to get away on a budget, then Kiwi will prove to be a valuable widget. Once you’ve selected your home destination, it provides you with a map and how much it will cost you to get to each destination on it. No more repetitive searching.
Has it crossed your mind that perhaps airlines don’t always give us the cheapest flights? It should come as no surprise that the most economically viable flights are being hidden from us — realistically, why would they not let us pay more? Skiplagged focuses on finding the loopholes in flying — it might be that booking a longer flight, with a stop-over works out cheaper, or by getting off at certain destinations en route can save money.
One of the biggest innovations in holidaying is Airbnb. Hotels, as much as they offer a wide range of choice and variation, don’t quite match up to the quirkiness offered by property rental app Airbnb. The site, which operates in more than 190 countries in the world, offers users the potential to rent villas, single rooms, yachts, treehouses, and much more — often at a considerably cheaper rate than that of hotels. Similarly, the experience section now provides customers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in more than just the tourist board suggestions, alternatively getting involved in the activities suggested and often carried out by locals.
Whilst on holiday
You obviously won’t have your local Audi garage to sort out your travel when you’re away. And if you don’t have a transfer waiting to whisk you away, Hotelinfo is your lifesaver. So, while your GCSE language skills proved to be of little worth here, you’ve managed to navigate your way out of the airport thanks to your inherent knowledge and understanding of exit signs. This trusty app links straight to the hotel, where you can chat to staff, ultimately getting the best directions to the hotel, or suggestions for a taxi — just remember to check your roaming tariffs.
Not only do you not have to go to the travel agents, you don’t have to pick up traveller’s cheques anymore. In fact, we don’t require currency at all anymore. Using your debit card abroad was always somewhat of a cruel mistress, especially when you arrived home to discover a host of transaction and exchange fees had debited your account. Now however, with the invention of app-only banks like Starling and Revolut, you don’t need to incur fees for using your money abroad. All you have to do is sign up, get your card, and upload cash via your domestic account.
Terrified of forgetting important items? Packpoint assesses the weather forecast for you on a daily basis, while also asking you the activities in which you will be partaking, so it’s impossible to leave your hiking boots or swimming shorts at home.
Want to discover more about foreign cities rich with history? Unlike having to devote your entire day to a guided tour, you can do now find out all those unanswered questions. Simply download Detour, plug in your headphones, and listen to a fully narrated tour of the city — from a local with considerable knowledge of the area.
Travelling has been made easier with these travelling apps, however these are only a few of many. Keep your eyes peeled to find out how you can make your holidays easy as pie!
The editorial unit