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Clever online tips to plan your holiday

Online-travel-planning

Whether you are a repeat victim of the “Travel Bug” or a reluctant vacationing shut-in like me, travelling is an exciting, fun, enlightening and overall positive life experience. Still for many people (myself included), travel can be a somewhat daunting and scary prospect; preparations need to be made, language barriers considered, maps to be studied – the list goes on.

Let’s take a look at some websites and apps that can help you plan your next great adventure!

Research

Finding transport and accommodation is important, unless of course you are particularly adept at couch surfing or happen to be Les Stroud.

You can search and book flights and accommodation, and even check reviews for local hotels, hostels, dives or whatever – all from your own smartphone. By definition, travel is being mobile so why tie yourself to one location?

  • Some great accommodation search and booking apps include: Expedia, Kayak, and Trip Advisor.
  • Flights can be tricky to research, especially if you have multiple journeys and stopovers. Skyscanner lets you search and compare flights with ease.

Language barrier

Translation apps have come a long way in the last few years, with more and more languages being added and even the option to record speech and translate it!

While pointing and gesturing may work for basic communication, you can get much more out of your travels by making some preparations and not look like an ignorant tourist to the locals. At the very least, you’ll make friends by learning how to say hello, please and thank you.

  • Google Translate: Android, IOS – both free.
  • Word Lens: Android, IOS . This app is very cool. It allows you to use your camera to take a picture of some text and translate it. This is some Star Trek level stuff right here!

Eating and eating well

Well, to me at least, eating is the most important part. I’m not ashamed to say: I travel to eat!

  • Foodspotting: Android, IOS. Another really cool app, find out what there is to eat in your area and how good it is! Search for your favourite dish and more.
  • Ask around: Talk to other travellers, acommodation staff and tourist information centres to get insider tips on where to eat and recommended local food apps.

Practicalities

Don’t forget the little but very practical things.

  • XE Currency: Android, IOS. Last time I travelled, I did all the currency conversions in my head. I got it wrong about 50% of the time, due to varying levels of tired and sober – don’t let this happen to you. XE Currency is a really smooth currency converter and a valuable travel app.
  • Weather:  There are many, many weather apps – In fact your phone likely comes with a default widget or app to display the weather on the home screen. Weatherbug is a great, free one which I have used personally – Android, IOS.

Even if you don’t have a specific travel destination in mind, you can still explore the possibilties. Get started with Lonely Planet.

Do you have any favourite websites or apps that you use to plan your holidays? Or maybe you’d like to share your travel with tech experiences? Let us know in the comments below.

One comment

  1. Erlo Pietsch says:

    I must be missing out on somthing. I used my international phone for phone calls only. I wonder what all that roaming cost. Thinking how long it takes to get to something useful on the internet without a keyboard.

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