Tripping on apps

If the travel bug nips you often and without warning, get ready to roll with these exciting websites and apps.
Anindita Satpathi        Print Edition: Oct 26, 2014
New websites and apps make travel hassle-free
Cab renting is a breeze thanks to the translation app.

Travelling is fraught with as many niggles as Jerome K Jerome hilariously depicted in Three Men in a Boat. Featuring a typically Brit boating holiday gone horribly wrong, the book is a mantra for millions of hopeful travellers bent on making every trip a journey to remember.

However, it may not be as much fun when you're at the epicentre of a series of mishaps, starting from lost luggage to a missed flight. For once, abject digital dependency may actually be the answer. With your mind all over the place on the day of the journey, a planner could be just the thing you need to keep track of everything.

From apps that sync flight timings with daily appointments to websites that let you book flights last-minute, all you have to do is reach the airport on time. Cab renting is a breeze thanks to the translation app. Plan your itinerary around weather forecasts and impromptu festive celebrations that might clog the roads. If you're feeling peckish, find recommended restaurants nearby. Your induction into the community of digital travellers is now complete.

Choose your Seat
Seatguru Did somebody beat you to your favourite window seat again? Use this handy app to shrug off much of the dread associated with long-haul flights. Interactive seating charts give you an insight into legroom, location of video screens, access to electrical outlets and proximity to emergency exits. You can also recommend or diss airlines, based on your experience, to fellow fliers. Airlinemeals.net JetLag Genie

Get Organised
Hipmunk.com Optimised results and a visually brilliant search engine make Hipmunk the go-to portal for travellers. The stuff of dreams for fliers short on time, it even integrates with Google Calendar. For instance, it prompts you when a meeting is too close to your flight's arrival time. The hotel search function, unlike other sites, prioritises location and not price. Believe us, patrons just can't stop gushing about the Hipmunk user experience. Ajungo.com Worldmate.com

Flight Deals
Skyscanner.com When it comes to viewing flight deals from over 1,000 airlines and travel agents in one go, this is your best bet. Compare and find the cheapest deal as the website throws up all-inclusive prices and directs you to each airline's website. Try out Skytools for additional features. After making a mark in India, Skyscanner plans to expand its footprint with a snappy mobile app. MakeMyTrip.com Ixigo.com

Hotels and Resorts
Lonely Planet.com The perfect site for detailed inputs on local flavour, budget resorts and food hubs, as provided by travel experts, adventurers and zealous tourists. If you're curious about a new destination, run a quick check on Lonely Planet. Raveable.com Grantourismotravels.com

Route Guidance
RoadTrippers This route planner has a mish-mash of user-friendly elements to complement the smart interface. From off-beat spots to restaurants and quirky attractions, there's never a dull moment behind the wheel. The snappy app has a gas-tracking feature that estimates the fuel cost of your journey. You can add up to 28 destinations and make it one rollicking ride. Rometorio Tripadvisor offline city guides

Lap of Luxury
Mrandmrssmith.com Reviewing luxury boutique resorts is not as easy as it looks. Say hello to the Tommy and Tuppence of the hospitality world as they travel to exotic destinations across the world. Get insider tips on must-try exclusive services and know which sea-facing rooms to sweetly insist on. The advice, based on first-hand experience, makes travelling a complete joy to behold. Slh.com I-escape.com

Nearby Eateries
Foodspotting Still your growling tummy - here's an app that will never be at a loss when you need to zero in on a foodie joint. Armed with exclusive information on each restaurant, cafe and street food stall, it opens up a world of gastronomical options for the user. Find out where the cool kids hang and the best joints for local grub. The locals are kind enough to help with droolworthy images and detailed reviews. Dig in. Eater.com Eat your world

Translate Local Language
Voice Translate Pro This app addresses nearly every translating woe, making the lives of hapless tourists everywhere a little easier. With a database of over 100 global languages, it interprets information instantly, so you'll have no trouble seeking directions in a foreign land. Don't give up on trying to pick up the local accent, though. Lonely Planet Audio Phrasebooks Word Lens

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