In 2014, there seemed to be a new, life-changing app appearing practically every week, and 2015 has seen no let-up so far. The travel market, in particular, has seen a surge of mobile phone-based applications designed to make getting around easier. It makes sense; after all, when is an app more useful than when you’re on the move, in a strange country, or in transit from one place to another, trying to juggle schedules, find directions and keep abreast of delays and cancellations? Making sure you have the correct travel app on your phone is as essential as packing clean underwear and making sure you’ve got your credit card.
The only trouble is that the sheer number of travel apps has become a bit bewildering. You may find yourself wondering which to choose, and wondering if there’s an app to select the best app for your purpose! The best way to keep up to date on new and improved travel apps is to use online technology blogs to follow the latest digital media news. In the meantime, to try and help make things a little clearer, here’s our guide to three of the best travel apps for 2015.
The website TripAdvisor’s five-star ratings for hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions around the world have become a must-check resource for travellers who don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to scour the web for in-depth but often contradictory information about the places they’re planning to visit. At TripAdvisor, it’s all there in one place, complete with invaluable crowdsourced user comments from real people. TripAdvisor now has a range of apps available for you to check out city maps and nearby attractions while on the go, including their downloadable offline city guides – including London, of course – which you’ll soon find are indispensable.
Using your Skype account remains the best way to avoid exorbitant mobile phone charges or the unexpected high costs of roaming networks when calling home from abroad. Calls are routed through a Wi-Fi network from less than two pence per minute pay as you go, and, of course, Skype-to-Skype calls are free. A range of subscriptions are also available, which in some cases offer unlimited free calls to certain countries in return for a monthly fee.
Uber was ground-breaking when it was first launched in San Francisco in 2010, and it is still developing and expanding. One of the great success stories of the app revolution, its collaborative consumption model has been much imitated, but this consumer-driven transport network remains one step ahead of the pack. Uber is now established in major cities around the world, including London. Taxi fares are billed direct to your credit card, and you can track your pick-up car’s progress as you wait – just two examples of the convenience and transparency attracting millions of global users.
With these three apps on your phone, you’ll know where to go and how to get there, and you will be able to tell your friends and family all about it without breaking the bank. There are many more travel apps available, of course, but these three examples have most of the essentials covered.