Hotel Booking: Agoda.com (Android and iOS)
Asia’s leading hotel booking site Agoda.com offers its fantastic rates, intuitive layout and full booking functionality on the mobile app, which make hotel bookings extra convenient on any mobile device.
The app supports 36 languages, various currencies, and is integrated with Google Maps to tell you the exact location of any given hotel.
Also available only on the Agoda app are “Insider Deals,” which are essentially special/flash discounts of up to 40% or more. These discounts depend on season and availability, so if you’re lucky or browsing at the right time, there’s a chance you’ll find some really fantastic hotel deals as prices are constantly updated.
Agoda has a vast global network of over 360,000 hotels. Feel like a celebrity and treat your hotel as your own home when you travel!
Organizing/Itinerary: TripIt (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone)
TripIt is probably the next best thing to having a personal assistant managing all your travel plans. The app acts as a master organizer, pulling together all your travel plans and making them accessible via the app, or via TripIt.com.
The app is also a great way to de-clutter all the confirmation emails sent by various booking/travel services—just forward it to email@example.com and it will come up with a comprehensive itinerary that is synced to your calendar.
TripIt recognizes over 3,000 different travel booking sites, and is smart enough to understand that when different bookings or plans are made over the same period of time, they should be organized into a single trip. If you’re that OC person at work, then this app is a must have for you!
Search/Flights: Kayak (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon Kindle Fire)
With over 5 million downloads from Google Play, Kayak is one of the most popular travel apps available today. Starting out as an independent travel search site, Kayak has come a long way to offer comprehensive meta-search and booking functionality, comparing hundreds of travel sites to find you the best deals for flights, hotels and car rentals.
Upon booking a flight, you can also track your flight status, view and manage your travel itinerary with “My Trips,” or look up baggage fees, airline numbers and airport information under the “Airports” tab which offers detailed guides on major airports around the world.
Kayak can also help bargain hunters find cheaper rates for those who are willing to adjust their travel dates for the sake of cost-effectiveness. Price alerts can be created according to date, destination and lowest fares.
Social/Recommendations: Foursquare (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone)
When Foursquare first gained mainstream popularity, users were checking in at all locations, unlocking “badges” and “Mayorships” to climb the location-based social ladder. Although Foursquare is primarily a social app, it also happens to be one of the most populated resources for travellers looking for places to visit.
Users can “check in” to almost any given location, from museums to restaurants, and leave tips for future visitors. Various tips can be found on Foursquare, including suggestions on the best dishes to order at a restaurant or Wi-Fi passwords at certain locations. After a trip, users can also track their “check in” history to reflect and share various locations visited on the trip.
You already probably do this all the time here in the Philippines, so don’t hesitate to use this app too while you travel. You’ll discover wonders in a foreign land with just a click!
City Guides: TripAdvisor Offline City Guides (Android, iOS)
Thanks to TripAdvisor, lugging along a handbook while travelling is no longer necessary, thanks to its comprehensive, feature-packed offline city guides that can be downloaded onto your Android and iOS devices.
Because we believe in the power of “word of mouth,” leveraging on TripAdvisor’s vast pool of traveller reviews, users of the app can easily plot a route paved with the best restaurants and attractions of the 80 top cities in the world covered by the guides. All you need to do is download the guide to your desired city and you’ll be ready to go, even if you’re travelling without data.
The app’s My Trip Journal is a convenient way to pen down a simple travelogue, while its offline map functionality has proven to be surprisingly accurate.
Currency: XE Currency Exchange (Android, iOS)
XE Currency exchange is very handy for travelers who are hitting multiple countries. It is one of the most reliable apps since it has already been recognized as the app of the week in iTunes and has been featured several times in BBC and CNN.
The app allows users to calculate the live currency and foreign exchange rates. It automatically stores the last updated rates so even without internet connection it can still convert. XE Currency Exchange makes sure that you’re getting your money’s worth and that you’re actually still working around your budget. No traveler wants to be bankrupt in the middle of an adventure, right?
Communication: Google Translate (Android, iOS)
Google Translate has more than 70 languages. Just converse with the app and allow Google to interpret for you. Travelers have the option to speak, type, write or even take a picture with this app. For Android 2.3 and above users, users can translate even offline or without data. The accuracy may not always be spot on but always remember that everyone smiles in the same language.
So don’t let language barrier get in the way of ruining your trip! Learning simple terms in the foreign land such as “hello”, “thank you” “how much?” “Where is…” can actually be very helpful. It also shows how much you’re willing to know more about their culture too.
Photos: Postagram (Android, iOS)
Postagram makes it very accessible to send a printed photo on thick glossy paper with 300dpi resolution to friends and family from and to anywhere in the world. You can simply use photos from your photo library or even Facebook. For us outside the US, one postcard is only 1.99 (roughly 80-100 pesos) and delivery will take just up to two to three weeks.
You can include a personalized message up to 140 characters and comes out as a 3x3 inch photo print. What makes this even more amazing is that if your Postagram gets lost in the mail, damaged or if you’re not a satisfied customer at all, they will send another Postagram for free or return your money! Since they are backed by Sincerely.com, they take full responsibility from the moment you order until the Postagram is on hand.
For any traveller, no one can ever underestimate the joy and excitement of receiving a postcard as well as sending out one. This app makes it possible for the digital and the traditional world meet in the middle.
As Lao Tzu said “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” so start by downloading these apps now!
What apps do you use and what do you think of them? Let's talk about them in the Comments Section.