Have app, will travel - Weekend

Have app, will travel

By Meg Rivera

UNLESS you own a jet plane, travel can be a minor hassle for the modern-day traveler. There are so many things to think about—itinerary, tickets, hotel reservations—and don’t get me started on what to do when you actually arrive! This is the time of year when travel agencies are beginning to lure us in with promises of discounted travel for the coming year. Booking’s the easy part. Getting there and getting around is where the headache is.

The word of mouth still remains the best recommendation for places to go and see. With the online community as connected as it is, there is no reason for us not to take advantage of what other people have seen and done. Uncovering the world’s little nooks and crannies has never been so easy, so this week, we’ll look at three apps to help you see them all.

TripadvisorApp name: TripAdvisor

Developer: TripAdvisor LLC

Available on: App Store, Google Play

Easy to use: It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. Fill in the fields and away you go.

Overall comment: There is a reason why TripAdvisor is the standard in travel recommendations.

While it covers a range of travel services (i.e. booking flights and hotel reservations), it is best known for its restaurant and activities services. The user-generated nature of its content means that you are getting a good idea of what other people went through after visiting a certain restaurant or venue. I think this would do well to not sync itself with Apple Maps, because some coordinates can be quite inaccurate. The Android version of this app takes the top spot, because really, who wants to argue with Google Maps? Four clicks out of five.

App name: TripitTripit

Developer: Concur

Available on: App Store, Google Play

Easy to use: After you sign up for an account, this app gives you a tutorial to show you how its service works.

Overall comment: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Doctor himself used this app to keep on top of his travels. Think of this app as your mini travel companion: input your flight schedule, hotel reservations and other travel-related items and it will generate for you a sleek, interactive itinerary. When you email it to the server address, it will then allow you to view this itinerary on any device. No more scrambling through a plastic envelope for your documents, all of them are present in a hassle-free list.

SkyscannerApp name: Skyscanner

Developer: Skyscanner

Available on: App Store, Google Play

Easy to use: Oh, yes. Just like the Yellow Pages—let your fingers do the walking.

Overall comment: This is where I come to daydream. You can view flights to any location in the world, with filters for price, number of stops and duration. If you can land a plane on it, there will be a flight to get there. The paid version offers no ads, but the free version is quite good on its own. There is no commission paid to this app, so prices given on flights are more or less the full amount to pay. A brilliant app. Five clicks out of five.

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