Travelling Apps are your best friends.
Ah, travel. Whether it’s getting lost in a book in your best, most comfortable armchair, taking a vacation you and your loved ones have planned for months, or jumping on the last stand-by seat to somewhere, anywhere, just so long as you haven’t been there before, the desire to travel seems to be something deeply seated in all of us.
Something new, though, is the proliferation of apps – short for “applications” – which make the travel lives of our plugged in world easier, safer, and just plain more fun. But with so many available, which ones do you pick? Read on to find out about three of the best.
Let’s face it: Money is the fuel of travel. You don’t necessarily need a ton of it, but without any at all you certainly won’t get far. Either way, once you cross the border to wherever you’re headed, you’re going to need to know what the cash you brought will buy you. In other words, you’ll need to know your new country’s exchange rate.
Enter the XE app. With a simple, pretty interface, it takes the work out of changing your dollars to euros, pesos, baht, or pounds sterling. You can, of course, select whatever your own specific currency is, and XE’s app will show you the current exchange rate for one or multiple currencies, depending upon your needs and wishes.
It’s worth noting that while apps like XE are certainly accurate, they show the inter-bank rate – the wholesale rate banks get for swapping millions in cross-border cash at a time. You can get this rate by using an ATM and in some other instances, but don’t expect it if you use an independent money-changer or the airport’s currency conversion system, because you won’t get it.
2. SEAT GURU
Seat Guru is a marvelous thing for people who like to (or have to) fly a lot. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a bad seat in coach. If you want to avoid sitting next to the passenger’s little bundle of joy who just won’t stop screaming, or finding yourself next to the worst-smelling lavatory in existence, or even if you just want a little more room to stretch your legs, SeatGuru’s app is for you.
Picking a good seat and avoiding the bad ones couldn’t be simpler – green is good, but stay away from the res ones! Developed in conjunction with TripAdvisor.com.
3. FLY RIGHTS
This next app will make the hearts of all freedom-loving people sing. Developed by a Sikh advocacy group in response to religious profiling concerns, Fly Rights lets you do one simple thing: Turn the tables on the TSA. If your screener gets a little too aggressive in their pursuit of evil and mistreats or harasses you in some way, this app will allow you to send a complaint directly to the TSA website. It also posts it on the app itself so that users can share experiences with each other.
With the proliferation of available travel apps, the idea that three apps are all you need is somewhat laughable. However, the above three will get you where you’re going in comfort, make sure you’ve got enough money when you get there, and make your pre-flight security ordeal just that much easier… and when travel is ultimately about the world around you rather than the apps on your phone or tablet, that’s a fine start.