Everyday you play with The Internet Of things. It’s just normal now. What used to take you hours is now done in seconds. Your world is connection, online and it’s brilliant. Travel too has “come a long way” in technology since the days of paper airline tickets.
Mobile apps are your best way to interact with online travel services. Use these apps to improve your holiday.
- Airbnb: Fancy a fully equipped apartment with home comforts in your favourite neighbourhood abroad?
- Booking.com: Choose your hotel based on ratings and reviews from travellers around the world.
- HostelWorld: Save money and obtain a social life instantly – stay in a hostel. Perfect for large European cities. Hostels also have private rooms too.
- Couchsurfing: Connect with travellers wherever-ever you are right now with “hangouts”. Explore together!
- Facebook: Join groups for expats and digital nomads anywhere, like the Expats in Tallinn/Estonia group (over 10 thousand members). Facebook is also a handy way to buy and sell while abroad.
- Badoo: A popular alternative to Tinder. So I’m told…
- Stay in touch with Messenger, WhatsApp and the most exciting new kid on the block – Telegram.
It’s 2019. When was the last time you actually order “room service” that wasn’t a bowl of chips? Good news: Dining-in is now everywhere and anywhere. Airbnbs, Hotels and Hostels are all covered with these 3 food delivery apps:
- Wolt: Very popular in Europe!
- Bolt: (also a ride-share and electric scooter app) is launching “Bolt Food” in Europe and South Africa.
- UberEats: The original, but they’re not everywhere.
- Google Maps: Download maps for offline use. Save on international roaming fees!
- Instagram: Take a sneak-peak at your next destination.
- WordPress: Find a travel story for the pure enjoyment of reading, get inspired by someone else’s adventure or become informed about your next destination.
Apps Lead to Rome
- Bolt: 1 app, 2 purposes, hail a ride or rent a scooter.
- Uber: The original ride-share app, less common in some parts of the world, like Estonia.
- Yandex Taxi: Russia’s version of Bolt/Uber (available in several countries). Apparently the cheapest.
- Electric Scooters: Bolt (Estonia), CityBee (Baltic States), Lime (Finland, Australia, US).
- Spinlister: Peer-to-peer app like “Airbnb for bicycles”.
- NB! Cities like Helsinki have their own public transport ticket apps like HSL. Every city’s different so keep that in mind too.
Friends, it pains me to see this happen to you. The two worst ways to buy foreign currency are also the most common being – from a bank/money exchange booth or Western Union (those guys are the worst). The other sad case has got to be one I’m guilty of myself – swiping the damn VISA Debt/MasterCard abroad, worry about the exchange rates and fees later, right? Here’s the better options:
- TransferWise: Open an account (for any currency you want) in minutes for free. Get a borderless debit MasterCard and enjoy very cheap exchange rates and the fastest transfers you’ve ever seen – especially if you’re an Aussie.
- Revolut: Another company similar to TransferWise though I’m still experimenting with them at this stage.
- PayPal: An odd ball this one… I’ve actually used PayPal to pay for accommodation in Canada and coffees in Australia. Got money in your PayPal account? Spend it abroad via the app. Avoid withdrawals and exchange fees.
- Comparing Prices: Both Kayak and SkyScanner are straight forward ways to compare airline flights.
- Google Flights: Flexible with time and general direction? Use the interactive world-map without specific “to-from” destinations searches.
Speak The Language
- Google Translate: Perfect for translating text on-the-go. Google translate also have audio and visual features, like the ability to translate text through your phone’s camera. Functionality depends on the language though.
- Learning a language takes time and practice but Speakly and Babbel can support your learning through exercises, grammar tests and vocabulary building.
Apps are specifically designed to optimise online travel services for that very device you carry abroad. Your phone! Use these apps to make your life abroad as it already is back home.
Did I missed something? Please contribute your own comment below. I’d love to hear from you. For more, watch this video about cashless China’s WeChat app: