What to pack, what to leave? Checking-in suitcases upon others will no doubt take a way a pretty penny from your travel budget. It’s one of the most conflicting moments of travel planning; not even the most innovative app will stop you from adding one more pair of your favorite lynx” Despite the “mild weather” notifications on your screen! And so, while every inch of your essentials could translate to a shift in your budget, isn’t it heaven sent that you can pack earth moving Travel Apps without adding a milligram to your baggage? Here is a list of ten-most useful Apps to pack on your Smartphone this holiday from Jovago.com, Africa’s leading Online Hotel Booking.
AIRPORTS BY TRAVELNERD
Packing maybe stressful, but at least you are packing what you already have. Airport lounges can be pretty busy, and confusing in equal measures. This app, available on is a comprehensive resource for travelers on the go; you can catch a taxi to your hotel/destination as well as locate the same on the app. As if this isn’t cool enough, the app will also help you locate the nearest caffeine-fix hub to ease off the jet lag on layovers. And if you are feeling bold…and maybe a bit broke as well, you can click on the taxi-sharing feature and see who is friendly and daring enough to share your taxi. Needless to say, you (with blessings and great favor) will have made a new friend and sliced the cab fare midway!
The App store is filled with tens upon tens of currency converters; from basic dollar to pound to Yuan to others with current exchange rates, offline convenience as well as the ability to convert a couple of other SI Units including length, distance, energy, temperature, speed and more. Currency conversion apps come in handy while in foreign land thus eliminating the hassle of estimating exchange rates on a manual calculator, or carrying around an SI conversion table in your back pack!. Examples of this app include iPhone’s Converter and XE for Blackberry and android. Say hello to the bureau in your pocket!
WORLD TIME ZONE/DATE APPS
You will find this apps very useful especially when on international travel. Apart from giving precise times and dates, some are designed to create calendar events. It’s important to go for an app that also displays interactive maps indicating the different times for visual interaction. Ensure too that all your Daylight Saving Time (DST) are synchronized in different cities/places of interest. This joyfully makes it easier when planning itineraries and scheduling different activities. You can also customize the map to preferred displays settings as well as personalize to own needs e.g. your places of interests, favorite destinations, cities etc.
DISCOVER AFRICA: HEARD TRACKER
Launched by Safari Operators, Discover Africa, this app is a great tool in keeping tourists abreast with the wildebeest migration across Kenya and Tanzania. This real time information and corresponding updates on migratory paths, movement, predator interactions and accommodation are assembled by tour guides and pilots navigating Serengeti and Masai Mara area. The app has a built-in migration map which consents travelers planning a trip to receive month by month forecasts which comes in handy when plotting the circuit, itinerary and favorable accommodation.
LANGUAGE PRO APPS
Anyone who has travelled beyond their language borders appreciates the need to learn a few words of the host’s language ahead of the expedition. It’s an excellent way to pave for smooth cultural assimilation into the community, and quite effective in achieving new networks. Needless to say, any travel course becomes ten-fold easier when you understand the basics of culture; language being an integral aspect of the same. The new language app, “Duolingo” is praised as a market leader by both linguistic-fanatics and travelers. The app features writing, listening and speaking exercises each with daily goals and progressive levels; “of course if you feel learning the vowels of a new language is an old-dog’s trick to you, then you can always turn to Google Translate” quips Lillian Gaitho, Head of PR for Jovago.com.
For some not very strange reason, vacations, on top of recording more crashes, more miles and more shopping trips also leave a noticeable on many a waistline. Somewhere between fatty servings of nyama choma, spicy servings of alien dishes and copious amounts of alcohol, our otherwise fetish addiction to fitness slips through the itinerary. Do not blame the lack of a gym in your accommodation for your slacking; Johnson and Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout works like a real personal trainer on call. The app features customized work outs coupled with a Smart Work out feature great for travelers who do not want to wallow in guilt at the end of their holiday.
Why offline you may wonder? Because we are preaching the new age gospel, ‘travelling is actually very affordable” This means we can’t risk hefty roaming charges at the end of our vacation. When you are away from familiar territories and, maybe faces, the one thing you want accurate is directions to your point of interest. Good news is that you can access clean, clear and neat maps without having to find the nearest wifi hot-spot. Of course, you will need to be online to initially download/buy the app and save your maps of interest or cache a destination. Popular examples of offline maps include Best Travel and City Maps 2Go.
This should have come at the top, but well, we saved the best for the last. The app automatically connects to your email account after registering; traces all travel confirmation emails and related updates then neatly lists them into complete itineraries. Apart from the basic travel itinerary, the app also connects to all your travel-related purchases from airlines (comes with a seat reservation feature!), hotel booking sites such as Jovago.com, car rentals, taxi services etc. The best part about it is that you can never forget a detail; there is provision for forwarding mails and pinning notes on the App. I like calling it my Travel Mate!
The list is endless, you may notice popular award-winning apps like Waze, Cuppings, Steller, Whatsapp, Esquire, and Skype among other hundreds are missing. Well, we can all agree we’ll never exhaust the list! So, why not start off with loading the basics?