Have An ‘Appy Holiday
Long gone are the days that we would devote an entire day to booking a holiday in a travel agents— and that is all thanks to the trusty smartphone. We now have the ability at our fingertips to book flights, hotels, and even withdraw cash. In this article, we take a look at how the world of holidaying has been altered by the introduction of travel apps.
Booking the trip
So, guess what time it is? Holiday time! You’ve finally decided that in order to alleviate the ever-mounting stress caused by modern working life, you are in desperate need of some time away. A matter of years ago this stage would have consisted of visiting your local travel agents, perusing through the telephone directory style brochures. Now, this can all be done on your mobile phone.
Booking a seat on the flight
There are a wide range of flight comparison apps available on the App Store and Google Play Store, all with their own unique selling points. For the sake of keeping things simple however, we have whittled this down to our favourite three.
Some of us don’t know where we want to go but we do know we need a getaway and we know how much we are willing to spend. If this sounds like you, 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.
We are often quick to purchase flights as soon as we decide we’re going away, in a fear of increased prices down the line, only to discover a price drop— 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.
What if there is actually a cheaper flight we didn’t know about. 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.
Booking a place to stay
Airbnb is, undeniably, one of the best existing apps. 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.
When you are there
Scrap the paper checklist — your phone can do it for you! Packpoint assesses the weather forecast for you on a daily basis, while also asking you the activities in which you will be partaking, so its impossible to leave your hiking boots or swimming shorts at home.
Just like no longer having to visit the travel agents, you’ll also not require traveller’s cheques 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.
Understanding what is going on in a new city is of paramount importance. 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.
Without a transfer waiting for us outside the airport, Hotelinfo could be an absolute 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.
Here, with Lookers who sell the Audi TT, we’ve detailed a few handy travel apps but, the market is awash with them, so take a look!