◆ Booking. I used their service for all my hostels bookings. I find it practical, and once you’ve booked a few times you get into the Genius Loyalty Program which gives you discounts. I never used Agoda, I personally don’t like the platform and honestly just don’t trust it.
Tip: Whatever app you use, if the place is not overbooked I recommend that you wait till you ask at the reception before deciding whether to book on site or via the app. It was surprising for me that at one hostel I paid more on Booking and didn’t get breakfast whereas when I asked at the recepetion the price was a lot less aaaand included breakfast.
◆ Hostelworld. This could count for another tip. Before picking up a hostel on Booking browse the city you are going to on HostelWorld. Sometimes you find very cool hostels with higher ratings and cheaper prices but that are not registered on Booking.
◆ Airbnb. For when I was tired of being around people for long periods and needed a place for my own. The only thing I dislike about this app is how ridiculously high the “cleaning fees” can get, especially that I always clean after myself and tidy up the place to make it as neat as I found it before leaving.
◆ Grab. This is a big must in Southeast Asia. And a big life saver. It is sort of the Uber of the region. It is affordable in most cities. The prices are higher in some places where the app is not so commonly used yet because there aren’t many drivers.
Plus factor: you get points everytime you book a ride on it (or food delivery, but I never used this service) and you can use the points to pay for so many products and services. Its amazing how many brands Grab is partnered with.
◆ Lens. Another life changing app from Google. This app scans pictures you take with your phone camera and tells you what exactly you’re looking at. I was using it for tropical fruits and plants that I hadn’t seen before. You can also use it for buildings that look historic and interesting but you have no idea what they stand for. It also scans text and translates it on the spot. How cool is that? I was using it to translate food menues from Bahasa 🤷🏻♀️
◆ Polarsteps. I only discovered this app some 40 days into my travels. It is great for documenting your journey. A huuuge advice though: do it starting day one. When I wanted to log all the places I’ve been into it ‘a posteriori’ it was so daunting. There were so many. Also the app only sends a notification when you open it 🤦🏻♀️ which made hard even recording things as I go. I was always forgetting about it. Then 2019 came and Google sent me a mail saying here is a timeline of all the places you have been in 2018, which is creepy but also AWESOME! All I had to do from there on is respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to places google suggested, choosing whether to add them to my timeline or not.
◆ Skyscanner. For everything flight deal related. I flew more in 4 months than I did my entire life. I honestly use the website on private mode, prices go up if you check a flight often (cookies and all). Recently though I’ve been liking Kayak so maybe I’ll switch to it or just use both for budget optimization.
Another awesome website is Rome2Rio, very useful for finding the best way to get from one place to another. It gives you information about everything from existing means of transport, their average costs, how long the trip is expected to last..
A couple more that I’ve been using and found helpful but might not be as interesting to you:
◆ FlightRadar24. Because I am obsessed with airplanes. Seeing the air traffic on this app never fails to blow my mind. You can stay updated on the status of flights of your loved ones if they’re flying long distances with no internet. You can replay your flights itinerary when you reach (within 48h, if more you’ll have to pay).
◆ LastQuake notifies you with earthquakes near you and significant ones around the world. Earthquakes are more common than you would think. I was in Indonesia. In the ring of fire. I don’t think I need to say more 🤷🏻♀️.
◆ Couchsurfing. I tried. But it’s not for me. God knows how my life would be easier if I were comfortable asking people for things. However, I did use Couchsurfing to browse events happening near me and found it great for that.
And that’s about all! Do you know of any other usefull travel apps? Tell me! 🙏🏼