Travelling can be full of hassles and goof-ups, but travel apps can offer you a bullet train ticket to a breezy and hassle-free trip, says Norris Lemuel Lasay.

Going on a trip is no doubt expensive, but travel agencies offer good deals and discounts on vacation packages. Tourists should therefore strive to get the most out of this break, and maximize the value of the money they spent. They can at least trim down the hassles by using smartphone travel apps.

Over the years, tourism offices and agencies have stepped up their campaigns to lure travelers. One of their notable moves is the introduction of free apps for the gadget-bearing visitors. These can be downloaded on iPhones, android mobile phones, and other smartphones.

The Convenience of Travel Apps

Bringing a smartphone along on a trip can be bullet train ticket to a breezy and hassle-free trip. With the ubiquity of mobile phones, travelers may as well make the most out of their devices, and use them to get around possible blunders. There’s a myriad of choices for traveling apps. But it is imperative to choose the most functional programs among the bunch. Think about your basic necessities as a tourist in an unfamiliar territory, and do the app selection according to your list.

Weather checkers: Weather checkers are one of the must-have apps for travellers. Being in the know on what the weather has in store for you helps you plan your activities for the day. It also helps you device an ideal itinerary. Choose an app that can feed hourly updates from local weather centres. Getting one that can give ten-day forecast is also recommended.

Map apps: Getting lost could attract opportunists in a foreign country. With the rate of crime rates around the world hitting an all-time high, naïve, lost tourists are easy targets for thieves and robbers. Walking around with head buried on a widely spread map is now overrated and a sure sign for the criminal minds that you are a tourist. Having maps installed on mobile devices, on the other hand, allows travellers to roam around in a strange area without calling too much attention. Maps and navigation apps are also customizable, thus eliminating the need to bring multiple maps for different destinations. Most of the programs available even allow users to key in their desired location. The maps will give them easy-to-follow instructions on how to get there.

Locator apps: Landmark, restaurant, and hotel locators are also essential. There’s a wide pool of apps that can find the nearest establishments for you and also provide directions. The most advanced travelling apps even come with automated reservation functions to various bistros and accommodations. On the same token, gas station locators also alleviate the difficulty of finding fuel shops. Unless you are traveling with a public transport, you have to get an app that can give you updates on the nearest location of gas stops, along with the updated price ranges of diesel and petrol.

Avoiding Bad Apps

When these apps fail to meet your expectations, which is very likely, it beats the whole purpose. Remember that the industry is brimming with apps that claim to be the best but don’t really live up to their promise. Choosing the most beneficial programs may therefore be an ordeal. Make use of user reviews to avoid bad choices in apps. Each app comes with its own unique identity and feature. Delve beyond the product description and get first-hand information by going through feedback from other travellers. The larger the number of positive comments, the more reason for you to download the app.

It is also important to get the apps only from reputable stores. It is not unheard of to download a virus disguised as a smartphone app.