5 must-have travel apps

January 24, 2014

Where a smart traveller goes, a smart phone usually follows. In this age of digital nomads, our phones also double up as guide and companion. So load these apps on to your phone and discover that sometimes, being connected while travelling isn’t that bad.

Trip Advisor

Today, travellers are forming online communities and sharing their experiences and tips. Perhaps the best place to tap into this treasure trove is Trip Advisor. Reviews of hotels, honest feedback on food and services, and tips on rooms – it’s everything you need to know about a hotel before you’ve even left home! And it’s not just about hotels. You can check out reviews on destinations, landmarks, attractions, restaurants, bars, and even beaches! Remember to create a profile and share reviews and tips with those whose advice you’re benefitting from. Travel karma has the sweetest reward.


There are several advantages to being on Instagram. It lets you share your travels and experiences with friends. It lets you follow and befriend fellow travellers. And it lets you tap into a large, and rapidly growing, community of global travellers and discover great destinations to plan for. Just remember the importance of the hastag - #. Use them on your own photos so that people can find you and search using them to connect with other musafirs.


Don’t you just hate it when you return from a wonderful vacation and can’t remember the name of the local delicacy you enjoyed? With Evernote, you won’t need to fear that any more. This incredibly handy app lets you make extensive notes when you’re travelling. It lets you take photos and attach audio to them so that you remember exactly how to pronounce your helpful guide’s name. And it lets you sync this information to your computer, so you have it on hand when you’re sharing pictures on Facebook or updating your blog.


Chances are you already have WhatsApp. And while it’s great for sending out forwards and jokes, it can give you more than a few laughs when you’re travelling. It can save you a lot of money by eliminating the need to send costly text messages while roaming. It can help you stay in touch with family and friends in one convenient group. And it can help you send attachments like photos without needing to log into your mailbox. Just get a data plan that factors in roaming charges, remember to use free wi-fi wherever you can and you’re good to go!

Google Maps

We’ve left the best and the most obvious one for last. Google Maps is THE best way to discover a destination yourself. Fill out direction fields and viola! You get route options for various modes of transport. You also have voice navigation that speaks out directions, so you’re not at the mercy of unscrupulous drivers. Our musafirs have found the directions impeccable in places that were out of mobile coverage too! Remember to mark and name places you discover, for fellow travellers to find. That’s how you found that bar by the beach, didn’t you? And don’t forget to turn on the GPS.