• Jinal Inamdar

10 Travel Apps That Will Save You Time & Money

Planning to explore a scenic hill station in the North or tranquil beaches in South? You’re going to need a lot more than just a backpack and some money. To avoid any hassle, you need to plan, research about a destination and then make the reservations.

What if there’s no time for research and planning? You ask? Or if you're simply lazy to do some elaborate planning

You can rely on your smartphone! Yes, you read it right, there are multiple mobile applications developed by trusted organizations like the Ministry of Tourism that can ensure a safe and undemanding travel experience. Have a look at these 10 useful travel apps which you must download before your next trip:

1. Aarogya Setu

Due to the on-going pandemic, the Government of India launched a mobile app to prevent the spread of infections like Coronavirus. This contact-tracing app helps in identifying containment zones across India using which you can steer clear of the areas where you are prone to being infected. Another objective of this app is to connect essential health services to people who are/might be at the risk of being infected.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

2. Incredible India

Now you don’t have to rely on word-of-mouth to find places worth exploring in the country. Incredible India, an app by the Ministry of Tourism, is the information hub of popular sightseeing places, restaurants, certified hotels and various experiences that India offers. The app can also be used to find important facts about cities and landmarks in the country. So whether it before your trip that you wish to know more about some places, or whether you want to understand more about a place while you are there, this app is all you gotta open!

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

3. TripIt

TripIt is a saviour for every traveller who is not used to elaborate planning. As soon as you login, the app will ask you details of your travel (like duration, budget and time of the visit) and it will plan and create a suitable itinerary for the same. It can also sync details of your flight, hotel, car and other reservations with the calendar in your phone and add it further to your master itinerary.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

4. PackPoint

You keep on forgetting the most important things while packing? Fret not! PackPoint is a free travel packing list organiser that will literally pack the bag for you. The app helps in keeping a tab of the essential items that you would need for your trip whether its leisure or business. Not only this, it also tells you what to pack according to the destination and its atmospheric conditions. Another mind-blowing feature of this app is that you can link it with the travel planner apps like ‘TripIt’ and it will automatically create a packing list.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

5. IRCTC Rail Connect

IRCTC Rail Connect is the official app of IRCTC, launched by the Indian government. It can also be used for online rail ticket booking, checking PNR status, train routes and seat availability. All in all, IRCTC Rail Connect answers to all queries related to the Indian railways.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

6. FabHotels & AirBnB

FabHotels is a budget hotel booking application. You can use this app to find 100% hygienic hotel rooms anywhere in India. All FabHotels come with free Wi-Fi and ACs, among others.

AirBnB too is an app that has a list of budget friendly hotels all around the country. It even has some beautiful hotels in remote locations and its completely safe, economical and also clean.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

7. Google Maps

You must be quite familiar with this one as Google Maps is one of the most used applications in the world. It helps in checking distances and finding directions. You can also locate nearby ATMs, restaurants and landmarks which is a huge advantage for travellers. What else? The app also shows multiple routes to a destination which comes handy while dodging heavy traffic across congested towns and cities. Trust me this is the only app that helps me stir my way on most of my solo trips, as I am really bad with directions.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

8. Uber/OLA

Both Uber and OLA are cab service providers present across all major Indian cities, as you may know it. Its quite handy when you are new to a place or don't know locations and just know your point to point destination. Not the most economical way to commute, but sometimes when you're lost, have walked enough for a day or just need to be urgently driven somewhere, the app comes in real handy. Its also great for outstation trips. However, a lot of cities do not have the facility of an Uber or an OLA and in such a case, make sure to download the local cab app of that specific city. Like Goa Miles for Goa.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

9. Google Translate

If you’re North Indian and you’ve ever been to the South, you know the hustle of not being able to interact with the locals; neither can you ask for directions nor enquire about any certain place. Thanks to Google translate, it can translate not only notes but also conversations (into 43 languages), handwriting (into 95 languages) and images (into 50 languages).

I've used this on almost all my international trips, sometimes simply to learn few basic pleasantries to sound courteous and involved.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

10. TravelSpend

Last but not the least; TravelSpend is an application to track your travel expenses. It can work wonders for travellers with a restricted budget. The app will help you in sticking to your budget. You can also use TravelSpend to split bills or convert currencies.

Available on: Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Though there are multiple substitutes to each one of these apps, I've put across in this list apps that I personally use and trust. So, in case you are looking for a mobile friend to help you plan, pack, travel, understand or navigate, install these before planning your next trip, to make it safe, sound and hassle free.

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