Travel Apps Part 1: Preparing for the Travel

For any minor or major traveling, there is always researching and planning to be done. I do research on my laptop and on my iPhone. This blog will have a two-part series of apps that I use for traveling. The first part will be preparing for the travel and the second part will be regarding the apps that I use while I’m at my destination.

I use several apps to prepare for my travel. A large part of it are airline apps. I downloaded apps of airlines that I either A) am a frequent flyer of or B) an airline I flew on and really loved. So for airline apps I have: United, JetBlue, and Southwest. The United app also allows me to watch movies directly from my iPad or to check email while in flight.

However, aside from the airline apps, I also fancy using Kayak. I actually prefer the app rather than going online and visiting their website. I find their app to be user-friendly and free of clutter. It also helps me find the cheapest airfare, regardless of what airline I choose to use. Another nice feature of Kayak is the price alerts. It alerts you when an air ticket at a chosen destination is within the price range you selected. For example, if you are looking for a $300 ticket to Hawaii from San Francisco. You can put those choices on price alert and you will receive a notification if there are any airlines offering that fare, or lower, to your chosen destination. Nice, right?!

After booking a flight,  a hotel, and perhaps a car rental, it would be nice to have all confirmation details in one central location. For that, I use World Mate. You can see all your upcoming trips, but also your past trips. It helps you book a hotel from the app directly, or to make a limo reservation. The free version of the app is supposedly going to expire soon, so I downloaded the paid version. I don’t find myself using this app often, but I like how I can keep tabs on my past trips. It always brings a smile to my face when I think back of those past trips.

I also check on the exchange rate of the foreign currency in the country I’ll be visiting versus the almighty U.S. dollar. I travel with a tiny bit of cash for small shops and for tip money, but I prefer to pay with a Visa that has no foreign transaction fees tied into it. And, it’s always nice to know what you’re going against. So for that, I have a Currency app.

I also do research on hotels, activities, and restaurants. For that kind of inquiry, I use Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor is like the Yelp for travelers. Reviews and ratings from other fellow travelers to help narrow done the best hotels, activities, and restaurants within your budget at your future destination.

Last but not least, traveling wouldn’t be as fun without the local interaction you’ll be making. So, I find it useful to learn a few words or phrases in their language. A Translator app is crucial when traveling to a foreign country to say a greeting or to ask for something in their local tongue. I highly recommend a Translator app in addition to your pocket-book of phrases or your cd/podcast of the language you are trying desperately to learn.

So, this is what’s in my arsenal of travel apps. I hope you found this helpful, and if there are any other apps I’m missing out on…do share about them.


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