I’ve always had an insatiable desire to see the world but turns out TRAVELLING isn’t so easy. In fact, most of the time planning a trip can be a lot overwhelming.
From choosing an accommodation to finding the most cost-effective way to get there, what to do once you get there, how to get around, where to eat, could be a lot challenging in a new city or town. Holidays are meant for breaks and relaxing time-out. You can’t be worrying while doing your holiday planning or ticket bookings.
And therefore, TRAVEL APPS!!!! They have seriously made life so much easier for us. You can save money through notifications when flight ticket prices go down or by comparing different accommodation and choosing nearby stay options. There are coupon codes and first-time user discounts making options even more affordable.
I am sharing some of the travel apps that I personally use and benefit from. And the good news is, all are FREE!
- Taxi: Uber / Ola Cabs / Meru Cabs
There will be times when public transport cannot be your answer to go somewhere, when you have less time to explore a place or because the frequency of public transport is less. Though rusty buses, bumpy roads have their own charm, but when you got to reach early to skip the crowd, you should go for the taxi services. They are quick in response, and you’ll feel comfortable and safer. And if you’re alone, share a cab!
Uber is available in many cities in India. You could even book a rickshaw through these apps and not necessarily cars. Uber Pool is an eco-friendly option to meet fellow commuters on your way.
Ola Cabs, a competitor, also lets you hail private cabs and auto-rickshaws in certain cities. If you’re relying on public transport in India, it’s worth it to also install the Ola Cabs app.
Another radio cab service you might want to rely on is Meru Cabs, which runs its own fleet of cars with trained professionals, unlike Uber and Ola Cabs. Additionally, it also operates between two cities.
- Buses: RedBus
For intercity or inter-state travel, buses are often a convenient option. Redbus is the country’s premier bus booking service, operating across most tourist-friendly destinations. The app is dead easy to use, and several bus operators now support e-tickets shown on your smartphone which means you do not have to worry about print outs.
The app also lets you track your bus location, so you don’t have to waste time waiting for it. The bus ratings help you choose a suitable option and reviews help you decide which bus to choose. The app also has a wake-up call if you are reaching your destination at odd hours of the day.
RedBus is a trustworthy source for purchasing bus tickets and certainly dominating in this sector.
- Trains: IRCTC Connect
Most cities are best connected to each other by trains, and a train journey in the country is an integral part of a travel experience in India. It is pocket friendly, efficient and comfortable. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited, or IRCTC, has a fantastic app that lets you easily book tickets, check schedules, and even gives you alerts on your journey.
In case of changes in plan, this app allows you to cancel tickets instantly. And similarly helps to alert you when your seat is confirmed from waiting list. It alerts passengers on upcoming journeys or change boarding points. This is undoubtedly the most useful app to travel in India.
- Flights: Make My Trip
There are several apps to book flights, but this app does a better job of tracking localized discounts. While Make My Trip also offers train and bus tickets, I would suggest sticking to the afore-mentioned apps for those. Make My Trip app has an interesting video section, and listings of fairs and festivals in India to book your flight tickets at the right time.
It is super easy to use and compare flight prices. Sorting options allows you to book flights at a convenient time or to sort flights based on low-to-high price.
There are plenty of alternatives too, like Goibibo, cleartrip, yatra, skyscanner and they all work pretty well.
- Hotels: BookingNow/Oyo Rooms/Airbnb
Booking.com is one of the best apps you can use to book a room. The big reason? They won’t charge your credit card till a day before your booking, so in case your plans change, you’re safe! They have a wide range of filters that suits everyone’s need.
If you are looking for a stay option to only rest in the night, then Oyo Rooms are the best. Many travelers prefer exploring the city till late hours in the night and take few hours of rest. This makes the selling point of Oyo Rooms, a standardized experience with basic amenities. This is the most affordable and reliable option for bag-packers as well.
Airbnb is a wonderful way to get the feel of a new place by staying with the locals and like a local. It’s a popular choice for international travelers and a fantastic way to save expenses on your next trip. You can get the best advises and suggestions from your host. They usually provide other services such as bikes and travel guides that can help you experience the local culture at low cost.
- Local Directory: Justdial
Any business or service you need locally, whether it’s a doctor, a pharmacy, offices, or anything else, chances are that it’s listed on Justdial — a local directory of businesses that operates across all the major cities in India.
- Food: Zomato
When it comes to restaurant search and discovery, Zomato is indisputably the leader. It is the largest restaurant directory and recommendation service in the country. Zomato has a well categorized system to find whatever cuisine you are in the mood for, and the customer reviews for each joint will help you narrow down what you should have there.
They have plenty of offers that makes food delivery very affordable.
- Travel Advice: TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is one of the best online sources for travelers, particularly because it has in-depth reviews of hotels, restaurants, and sites to see. Photos uploaded by other users are also helpful for getting a glimpse of a place from an unbiased point of view. TripAdvisor is one of the richest resources you’ll find because it has a huge and active community.
- Plan Itinerary: Tripigator
The Indian government has recently introduced an app that helps tourists make their way around the country, and we think it’s one of the best trip planning and organizing apps. The app has two basic functions – 1. Plan a Trip, and 2. Discover Places.
Tripigator is beautiful, easy to use, and is full of handy information that can make your trip better. Its best part is its smart engine. How smart is it? It is so smart that it can plan out an itinerary for you by collecting basic inputs from the user such as destination which is optional along with interests, budget and energy level.
- Travel Guide: AudioCompass
The Official Audio Tour Partner of the Ministry of Tourism, AudioCompass is a free iOS and Android app that helps bring stories of India to a traveler by turning smartphones into personal tour guides. It has over 1,000 points of interest, it works offline, and perhaps most importantly, it saves you the hassle of haggling with a local guide and trying to understand their dialect.
By collaborating with the Tourism department, this app provides you audio tours of famous cities and landmarks of India. Just use this app and you will know everything about the place, with a step by step voice-guided navigation for the listed landmarks. Learn about the history, culture and importance with this digital guide at your service.
This is a guest post by Shreya & Akash couple-travel bloggers from Pune. They are travellers at heart with a full-time IT job. They believe in slow-travel, finding less-visited places in India and travelling sustainably. Nature inspires them the most to travel. They started to appreciate history more after travelling and also learnt to respect every tradition and culture. Travelling surely has played a critical role in shaping their personalities and through their blog https://thetropicalmoon.com they wish to inspire more people to travel sustainably. They are one of those who would choose kayaking or canoeing over boats with engines! You can also find them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the_tropical_moon/