Whether you like planning your holidays to the smallest detail or leaving things up to chance, it’s always good to have as much information on hand as possible. Here are some websites and apps that can make your trip easier, giving you more time to relax and enjoy yourself.
The publishers of the acclaimed travel guides have a website with information on destinations and things to see, as well as feature articles and travel news. There’s a forum for all things travel, with topics ranging from house-swapping to insider tips on the best places to visit. There’s a travel checklist with advice on the best time to get your travel insurance, vaccines and visas. And, of course, there’s an online shop if you feel you can’t leave home without a travel guide.
While lots of websites offer search engines and user reviews for hotels, restaurants and flights, TripAdvisor is probably one of the biggest and well-known on the web. The website claims to have over 45 million traveller reviews and opinions, meaning you can check up on that expensive hotel or holiday rental property before making the booking, to make sure it’s worth it. You can even use it to find a restaurant if you’re not sure where to dine.
This nifty website allows you to create an online itinerary and plot your daily activities so you can share details and photos with friends and family. You can also browse holidays taken by other users and ‘clone’ their trip or edit it to suit your tastes. The interface is quite intuitive and it’s easy to find, share and save reviews on hotels, restaurants and attractions. Next time you want to book a holiday, but aren’t sure where to start, head to TripWiser and start planning.
With so many travel apps out there, it’s hard to know which ones are worth forking out money for. The XE Currency Exchange app is handy for overseas travel as it has every world currency and can refresh the exchange rates every minute or save the latest updated rates for offline use. You can personalise the settings to show only the currencies you need and, best of all, it’s free. The app is available for iPhones, Blackberries and Android smartphones.
Another good app for frequent travellers is FlightBoard. This one lets you turn your iPhone or smartphone into the arrivals and departures board of any airport in the world. Just choose the airport you need and FlightBoard updates all arrivals and departures every five minutes. Useful for checking the status of flights if you have to pick someone up from the airport and to ensure you never run late for a flight again. It costs a few dollars and is available for iPhones and Androids.