App way to travel

App way to travel

When an app transforms a smartphone into a compass, credit card or tour guide, these days a mobile device is all a modern traveller needs to ensure a pleasant journey.

But not all apps are created equal.

Some, such as WiFi Finder, are great ideas that do not work as well on the road. The free app is supposed to locate Wi-Fi spots and save on data-roaming costs, but these are awkward to locate offline.

Foodspotting crowd-sources culinary recommendations - but sadly, it is underutilised so the repository of dishes is not as rich as it could be.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good apps flooding the market, many of them free or inexpensive.

They work well online and offline, and serve the important daily needs of travellers, such as calculating foreign exchange, providing directions and translating menus.

SundayLife! looks at 16 apps which smoothen the journey.


A last-minute staycation or flight cancellation might have you fretting over finding a place to stay, but thanks to apps such as HotelQuickly and HotelTonight finding accommodation can be a breeze.

HotelQuickly focuses on the South-east Asia and Australasia markets and offers 20 to 30 per cent off best rates at three- to five-star hotels such as Pan Pacific and ParkRoyal.

The trade-off is that users can make only same-day or next-day bookings for stays of up to five nights through the app.

Meanwhile, HotelTonight specialises in last-minute listings for North American and European destinations.

Bookings on this app can be made no more than seven days in advance. Each listing includes pictures of the hotel, descriptions of its amenities and reviews.

For those on a budget, particularly backpackers who plan their travels day by day, HostelWorld is ideal. The app links travellers to 25,000 international budget accommodations and more than 3.5 million user reviews. Each listing includes pictures, prices, descriptions of the amenities and reviews, so travellers know exactly what they are getting when they book.

All these apps, which are like smoother, sleeker versions of TripAdvisor, are free and available for both iPhone and Android phones.


Though it started out as a networking tool, Foursquare is one of the best apps for getting insider tips and a local perspective on a destination. The app lets users leave comments about a location, be it a restaurant, museum or nature park.

Log in to Foursquare to find out which cafe serves the best coffee or which restaurant has the best brunch and what time you should get there to avoid queues.

More than 50 million people use Foursquare, so you are guaranteed to gain insights, no matter where in the world you are. You can search by destination and activity, and the app keeps track of your preferences to better gear its future recommendations.

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