Saturday, May 9, 2015

7 Great Travel Apps

By: Lisa Ng

Whenever I travel, I like to live like a local and avoid anything super touristy. I have a couple apps that I swear by when I'm visiting a new destination. 

It's always fun surprising Paul, my friends and my family with a really cool spot. They're always asking - how did you find this place? Here are 7 great apps that I swear by when I'm traveling to help take your trip from good to great!

1) Urbanspoon – How do you know where to eat when you’re in a new city? Get thee to Urbanspoon and hit the nearby button. This populates a list of place around you and you can pick a place with the highest rating. I just like to make sure that a sushi place isn’t sketchy or chance it that I will have a terrible meal. Traveling is also all about the food for me, so I swear by this app.

2) Yelp – I find that Yelp is very popular in the US and a great place to read reviews on local businesses if you’re unsure about a place. I use this to check out restaurants, spas or when I run into a snag and I need a dry cleaner, auto glass repair shop or any sort or specialty service.

3) Tripadvisor – When you want to make sure your hotel is not bedbug-infested or too good to be true, check Tripadvisor to read user-generated reviews. It’s come to the point that I don’t ever book a hotel without checking Tripadvisor first. I’ve also been able to find some bargain gems using this site, that I may not have considered before.

4) XE Currency – How will you know if you’re overpaying for something? The XE currency app lets you calculate current exchange rates on your phone. 

5) Gate Guru – Wondering what there is to eat and do around your gate? Gate Guru has you covered with lots of tips, advice and food suggestions near you at the airport you happen to be stuck waiting at.

6) Pinterest - I've pretty much ditched guidebooks at this point and rely on my Travel Guide boards that I fill with bookmarks before a trip. When I get to a destination, I can pull up my board and see all the things I want to do. It's way better then lugging a guidebook around and it's nicer when you have one big visual. The Pinterest app is also super easy to use and loads nicely.

7) Hotel Tonight - Need a last-minute place to crash for a decent rate? I find the Hotel Tonight app to have the best user interface and ease of use when you're in a panic and need to find a place fast. You'll find discounted last-minute rates on some of the best hotels in town.

Do you have a favourite travel app for when you're away?

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

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