Although TNT should be your travel bible, we can’t ignore technology and how it makes travel just so damn easy. So ditch those heavy guide books and get ‘appy with our top five travel apps.
Backpacker Love (by Cameron Wakefield)
Ever tried sending a old school postcard while on a bus or a boat? Well the iPhone Postcard App sends an old-school postcard, anywhere in the world for $4.90. You have the option to use photos of your own, or photos from the library of donated photos by other backpackers. Whist the card gets you brownie points with your family and friends, all proceeds after the printing and postage go to causes that are struggling for funding like the Sonrisen Orphanage in Peru, Lao Kids, Thembalithsa in South Africa or Reconnecting Children to Nature in Columbia. You know your Mum will love it! (backpackerlove.com)
I’m the kind of traveler who can think of nothing worse than ticking off places listed in the Lonely Planet and I absolutely loathe going places where there are more tourists than locals. Now I have Yelp!, a directory of literally thousands of local activities, restaurants, nightclubs and heaps of other things to do, all recommended and reviewed by locals. Yelp! takes things to another level due to the shear amount of reviewed listings, and the ability to easily search for things nearby. It also cleanly displays listings with everything you need to know such as a summary, price range, photos, opening hours etc. So, the next time you are searching for ‘the best pint in Perth’ or ‘the best sangria in Seville, Yelp! has your back! (yelp.com)
If you are a habitual traveler and absolutely useless human being when it comes to getting organised, you need Tripit. This app helps you organise everything travel-related in one centralized location. It syncs your trip itinerary, booking confirmation emails, calendar events, social feeds and transport information all onto one platform. So you have all the important travel info in one place at all times, without having to switch between apps while you are on the run. It uses geo-location technology to automatically detect your location and environment and serve you up relevant and accurate info such as local time, weather, and traffic information based on where you are. (tripit.com)
This funky hostel-booking app (that is powered by hostelworld.com) targeted at travellers who want to connect with other travellers and explore new places together. You will find profiles of other travellers who will be staying at the same hostel and a chat history of residents that gives you a sense of the social vibe of the hostel. It is also an alternative way for you to meet and mingle with other travelers kind of like Couchsurfing or Meetup. Wehostels also engages its community by rewarding users with $10 in travel cash when they successfully refer the app to other fellow travellers. It’s like getting three beers during happy hour! (wehostels.com)
When it comes to comparing hotel prices all over the board, no one does it better than our very own, homegrown HotelsCombined booking website. Their hotel-booking app, ‘i Find Hotels’ rocks because it is ad free, multilingual, covers over 220 countries and has more than 2 million deals from its affiliate networks like Hotelclub, Expedia, Agoda, and Booking.com. It will tell you the different prices advertised, all conveniently consolidated in this single app. When I’m traveling on a budget nothing pisses me off more than finding out that I got screwed over because someone else got the same tour or accommodation package I did for cheaper. With i Find Hotels, prices are a whole lot more transparent so you can ensure you are getting the best price in town. (hotelscombined.com)
About the writer: Kevin Lippy is a backpacker who loves creating apps. His latest app called ‘Knocked App’ (knockedapp.com) allows users to instantly ‘knock up’ their friends photographically, giving the appearance of being nine months pregnant’. He is an original member of Travel Massive (travelmassive.com) a world-wide community of locally organised meet ups for travel companies and bloggers and is currently building ‘Brokepacker’ which allows backpackers to be rewarded for referring others to tours and activities etc.