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A Grapefruiteer’s guide to online and offline travel apps

You can see the summer holiday all around you...

Travel Apps Article Image | Bag Tags Airplane

In the student backpacks, where the books have been replaced with summer clothes for daring adventures, on the already tanned face of the people on the street or in the offices where the AC is running on maximum power.

The dice have been thrown a long time ago, and plans have been hatched.  For some the vacation is prepared to the last detail. For other, beautifully spontaneous individuals, a backpack, a ticket and a map is enough.  Just like a summer love, as you travel, your phone memory is getting full of fleeting apps, a one-trip summer stand.

In their travels the Grapefruiteers like to be surrounded by technology.  Discover what their favorite travel apps are, when they decide to take a break from the agency and go to discover the world.


23 travel apps to make your holiday amazing

  1. Tripadvisor— in any town that you are, download the Tripadvisor app. Discover restaurants, cafes and other interesting things to see, in the surrounding area. If you already know where you want to go, check in advance and save a list of cafes, restaurants and other places to visit. You have testimonials, ratings and (for some cities) offline maps that require no internet connection. They work with your phone’s GPS.
    Use it if: at school you received, at least once, the first prize and you want to visit the most popular attractions.
  2. Booking—a useful destination for when you want to make a hotel reservation. To be sure that everything is ok, read the feedback left by other customers, and always choose hotels that have a lot of recommendations. Not always the most expensive hotels are also the best.
    Use it if: you believe that you stayed enough in student dormitories and want to see how it is to stay at a 4* hotel.
  3. Kayak— it helps you discover all the available flights on a route chosen by you. Not all dates are precise, but you can get an overview on the companies that are flying on that route. After you discover the companies, check their website, to see if there are other offers that might suit your need. This is also a good app to find car rentals.
    Hint: when going on a booking or airline website use incognito/private browsing on your browser. You will see that sometimes the prices are lower. This happens because the websites store cookies and if they see that you are really interested in a flight they may increase the price of the trip.
    Use it if:  when you were little your favorite character was Sherlock Holmes and now that you grew up you are watching: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1475582/
  4. Waze—If you decide to go on a vacation by car, this app is vital. It promotes teamwork, and every user that is in traffic can signal the other users of various events such as: traffic control, radar, potholes, heavy traffic or road work. This app contains also voice notifications so you can pay attention to the road and not the phone.
    Use it if: in your soul you feel like a hippie even if you don’t drive a caravan.
  5. Holiday pirates— if you are undecided about your next holiday destination, keep an eye on the offers that are posted inside this website. You will be amazed at the great deals that you can find.
    Use it if: you are a pirate, of course!
  6. Tripit— it helps you plan and manage your whole vacation: travel confirmation, itineraries, tickets, hotel bookings, rental car reservations. As a bonus, it even notifies you if a better seat on the airplane becomes available.
    Use it if: you are pixel perfection.
  7. Vayable— discover unforgettable experiences offered by local insiders, in a city you want to go, or in the city you already are.
    Use it if: if you are creative and allergic to mainstream.
  8. Shopsavvy— an app for the shopping addicts. This app can alert you when there is a deal on a product or if you can find a better deal in a shop nearby.
    Use it if: you can easily relate to the main character in ”Confessions of a Shopaholic”.
  9. RetailMeNot Coupons—it lets you set alerts for local and online deals, from your favorite stores. You can search by category and save your favorite offers.  Just show a coupon on your phone when you check out to get the savings.
    Use it if: you still find yourself in the character above.
  10. Trippy— millions of travelers and local experts have trusted trippy. Have a travel question? Ask it, and a local expert will offer you an answer. Anthony Bourdain and Tim Ferriss are just some of the people that answered questions on the platform.
    Use it if: you want local insights and just could not find your answers on the internet.
  11. Speech Trans— Communicate with ease using this app. You just speak and the app translates it in a language of your choice.
    Use it if: you speak French like Joey from Friends https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqwzvtjeYBQ
  12. Viber or What’s up— use it to keep in contact with your family and friends whenever you find a Wi-Fi nearby.
    Use it if: Skype is mainstream and you definitely need better stickers and emoticons to communicate.
  13. [RO] turistinfo.ro— The Romanian, low-cost,  alternative to Booking.com. If you want to travel in Romania, and want to use this website, get a Romanian friend to help you out because there’s no English version. It’s useful because you can find affordable accommodation, check the prices, opinions of customers and even see images of the rooms and suroundin scenery.
    Use it if: you are Romanian or you have a Romanian friend, with a lot of patience.
  14. Wunderlist— it’s a to-do and reminder app for your mobile phone. It’s ideal for planning a trip in two or more people. The app allows notes, tasks, lists and you can even share all of them with the people involved. It’s also very useful for parents that are very busy and have to manage a chaotic program.
    Use it if: you are a master planner and want everything to be perfect.
  15. Tripomatic— it’s an app for those that prefer walking trips and enjoy having their own itinerary. You can make your own map, with your personalized itinerary, save valuable location data, print it and, for over 300 cities, they have offline maps.
    Use it if: if you are a visual person, map addict and a free spirit.
  16. [RO]RazvanPascu.ro— A Romanian travel blog with articles on beautiful places to visit in Romania. He speaks from his own experiences and talks about hidden travel gems in Romania.
    Use it if: you want to read a personal perspective.
  17. XE Currency App for iPhone— currency converter app to that you can use all over the world.
    Use it if: money is a problem.
  18. Yelp— one of the best apps to find places to eat, drink and have fun. You can sort by distance from your location or price.
    Use it if: you are afraid of tourist traps.
  19. Uber— an alternative to taxis in big cities. Pick a destination, the fare price is shown and your credit card is billed. Very good if you are a foreigner and don’t have local currency.
    Use it if: you want to be in trend with all the bloggers and vloggers that travel using Uber.
  20. Airbnb— Just as the site says, rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190+ countries. You can find a place nearly everywhere you want to go. You pay on the website with your credit card and Airbnb will make sure that everything goes well with your reservation.
    Use it if: you still like to live student style and enjoy socializing with the hosts.
  21. Foursquare— discover food, coffee, nightlife, fun, shopping and other things to do. The tips section is a very nice addition to this app where people share valuable information.
    Use it if: taking decision based on crowd sourced information is your thing.
  22. Road trippers— a digital map with everything that you can find on your road from point A to point B. Discover attractions, natural wonders or even Weird Stuff. This is designed for people that go on trips using a car, motorcycle or bike.
    Use it if: your wheel is spinning.
  23. Toilet finder— exploring uncharted territories, you got to go, what do you do, what do you do?
    Use it if: you are the first to ask “Is there any gas station nearby?”


Here are five extra tips that the Grapefruiteers wanted to share with you.

  1. Subway Map— “Whenever i set foot on foreign land I try to find a subway map as fast as possible. The criss-cross of lines and colored dots remind me of Prison break. It gives me an adrenaline rush that makes me happy. As a bonus the metro tells you a lot about the level of culture of that civilization. If they are friendly or grumpy, if they offer the seat to a girl or not etc.
  2. Museum audio-guide— “Although it costs some extra money, an audio guide is a very good investment. You will stay a bit more in front of each exhibit but the stories and details offered are a fair compensation.”
  3. Full Restaurants—”If you stray from your itinerary and you stumble upon a restaurant full of people, that are laughing and speaking in the language of the country you are visiting, GO inside. Bonus points if the menu is not in English. This means you just found a good local restaurant.”
  4. Guided tours— “If the entrance at the museum is spreading on several kilometers, the best way to overcome this is to pay for a tour. They can be private or group tours. You will skip the line and will enjoy a story well told.”
  5. Offline Apps— “There are several offline apps that promise to work without an internet connection. Be sure to check them in advance. Some of them have partial functionality and you don’t want to find yourself lost in a city with a map that does not work.”

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  • Tags: holiday app, holiday apps, travel app, travel apps
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