Top Travel Apps
Author: Krisna Pradipta
Photography: Courtesy of Hotel Tonight
As much as we love it, travel can be testing: flights to plan, hotels to book - even deciding where to go can take away from the fun. Fortunately, there's an app to help with almost all of that.
Kayak, for one, is a great all-rounder. Available free on all major platforms, it offers price comparisons for flights, hotels and car hires. It also features a flight tracker and a customised itinerary planner that handily pulls all the details of your trip into one place. It's not new, but it's still one of the sharpest and easiest to use on the market.
For fans of our national carrier, the Qantas app (free on Android and Apple devices) browses, compares, books, and tracks all of the airline's flights. It even sends flight reminders, gives driving directions to the airport, allows you to check in online and offers the lowdown on gates and lounges.
For the less navigationally blessed, Citymaps2go saves maps and guides in your device to be accessed any time without an internet connection, and allows you to search for addresses and GPS locations offline, too.
Language barriers can be difficult at times, and while there are plenty of interpreting apps on the market, we like Google Translate best. It works with more than 90 languages and can save translations to your device without an internet connection. And while it won't turn you into a fluent pro, its feature that deciphers signs and directions captured with your camera phone will certainly help you get around.
Mr & Mrs Smith's application has lovers of boutique hotels covered. Exclusive to Apple devices, it allows you to browse and book more than 950 Smith-approved properties around the globe. You can search via destination and collection, or scroll down the "tempt me" carousel for inspiration. There's a 24/7 booking support button that connects you to your nearest hotline anywhere in the world, and a wish-list library to save all your top options.
The newly released Hotel Tonight app is a saving grace for last-minute bookers. It allows you to browse a handpicked list of top-rated hotels, and book a room that very same day. It features detailed profiles on each property, and themed slideshows for pure inspiration.
Instagram's new search tools are worthy of a mention, too. The "places" tab provides the location of, say, a restaurant, hotel or bar and pulls all related posts to that particular address. "Top search", meanwhile, lets you search not only the hashtagged posts of a business, for example, but also geotagged posts and accounts as well.
Then, of course, for when you're travelling within Australia, there's our personal favourite: the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. It offers more than 700 of Australia's finest eating and dining experiences, searchable by location, cuisine, venue type, ratings and opening hours. There's also the Hot Plates section that puts the spotlight on our favourite new restaurants of the moment, and a handy booking feature that allows you to secure your seat at the touch of a button.
Now all that's left to do is pack - there's probably an app to help with that, too.