Travel services: We continue to collect services that will definitely not be superfluous in your smartphone during your next trip. In the previous editions of our big review, we plotted routes and booked tickets, as well as looked for inexpensive accommodation. This time, we will choose the services that will simplify your life when you have already reached your destination.
Why do you need it? To get from point “A” to point “B”.
A huge database of maps is useful for navigating the city and for long-distance road trips – in fact, the application can be used as a navigator. Most importantly, maps.me works offline. You just need to download a map of the area you are interested in advance. And then – type in the name of a street, hotel, bar, or store into the search and move along the paved route. Even ATMs are marked on the maps.
Use automatic suggestions and search by category. Places can be bookmarked, emailed to friends, and grouped by folders (for example, “visit” or “favorites”). Maps take up little memory, but they are very fast and can rotate depending on the direction of your movement.
Why do you need it? To find the best restaurant in town.
An old-timer service for finding cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, and attractions in any city in the world. The cool thing about Foursquare is that it remembers the spots you visited, which are pulled up through the friendly Swarm check-in app, and learns your preferences. To do this, when registering, you can immediately identify areas of your interests, for example: “cocktails”, “nightlife”, “lounge” and even “for singles” or “comfortable sofas”. Based on the information it gathers, Foursquare will show you the places you’re most likely to love too.
You can independently find the object of interest, for example, by the tags “breakfast” and “cafe”. All the necessary information is collected about each place: opening hours, price category, and contacts for booking, as well as reviews and ratings of visitors. According to the creators, more than 75 million reviews from locals and travelers are available in the database. Some users, for example, leave a password for the wifi or tell them which dish the chef is best at in this restaurant.
Pay attention to the language in which users leave reviews. If an institution has a high rating, and all reviews are written only in local Swahili, then this coffee shop is adored by the local public.
Why do you need it? To “compare notes” with previous clients.
The largest recommendation service contains over 200 million reviews from travelers. A well-thought-out interface helps not to get lost in all this diversity. Enter the city you are interested in into the search and switch between the main sections: guides, attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc.
It is convenient to estimate the rating of each place according to different parameters. For hotels, these will be “location”, “cleanliness”, “service”; for bars – “food” and “atmosphere”. The guides are also broken down into numerous categories: 3-day tours, shopping tours, family travel. Each year, the site publishes ratings of the best destinations, hotels, and restaurants around the world. The quest to make it to the coveted Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice lists drives thousands of establishments around the world to go out of their way to please the customer.
You can also search for flights and accommodation through the service. True, we do not recommend using it in this vein – all the more, we have recently made good selections – both for searching for tickets and for renting housing.
Why do you need it? To order a taxi is quick and convenient.
When traveling without a mobile connection, it can be difficult to call a taxi. Using the Uber mobile service, you can book a ride simply by connecting to the Internet in 59 countries around the world. The application will automatically determine your location by GPS (you may not even know the exact address), show rates in a specific city, and call you the nearest car. After the ride is complete, payment will be charged to your bank or PayPal account, so Uber will ask you to enter your credit card number during check-in. So that the cost of the trip does not come as a surprise to you, indicate the start and endpoints of the trip and find out the approximate amount. If you are traveling with a company, the invoice that has run up is easily divided between the accounts of your friends in Uber.
Don’t be surprised if a girl is driving the taxi. The company recently launched a program to massively recruit one million female drivers worldwide.
Why do you need it? In order not to shout “Chef, two counters!”
Alternative service for finding a taxi using a smartphone in European cities is provided by the Estonian startup Taxify. The application shows all the drivers closest to you with information about cars and rates. Choose a suitable taxi and track its approach on the map. It is not necessary to pay for the trip with a card, you can simply pay the driver in cash. By the way, Taxify services are also available in some Belarusian cities.
Why do you need it? To avoid the difficulties of translation.
Well-known translation services from 90 languages of the world can be used without connecting to the Internet. It is enough to download the language pack of the country you are going to on your smartphone in advance. On the road, the application is also convenient in that you do not have to waste time typing words with your hands – for many languages, the translation function using a camera works. Take a photo of the text or just point your phone camera at it and read the instant translation. With a mobile translator, you can even at least communicate with the locals: click on the microphone icon and ask the interlocutor to repeat the phrase in order to hear its translation.
Why do you need it? To find the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot.
While many travel service companies are working hard to create convenient, compact, and fast offline databases for their mobile applications, the issue of fast and cheap Internet access on the road is still urgent. In order not to miss the news about the political upheaval in your native Krakozia while traveling, install WiFi Map on your smartphone in advance. In an unfamiliar city, it will determine your location using GPS and show the nearest wifi spots with passwords, if required. Copy the password and connect to the outlet through the usual phone settings.
Why do you need it? To get to the best concert of your life.
You can catch interesting concerts while traveling using the Bandsintown service. View information about all the music events in the city where you arrived, or simply track the tours of your favorite bands and artists. Sync your account with Facebook, Last.fm, Spotify, and Deezer to create lists of musicians you like. If you like a concert, you can order tickets directly through the application.