Feeling lost and daunted by the challenges of an Indian holiday? Turn to your smartphones for an app for every obstacle except, maybe, cowpats.
When it comes to travel apps, there are literally thousands of pretenders out there, each offering something the others don’t. It can get confusing, even for the most nuanced smartphone addict. Luckily, we’ve sorted out the wheat from the chaff. From easing the pain of planning to cutting down traveling costs (and avoiding scammy autorickshaws), from recommending the best local eateries to making conversations in Hindi sampler, each one from our collection of the best travel apps is innovative, quirky, and makes India seem less challenging than it is. Unfortunately, there is no app yet for the cow to clear off the road, but there are more than a few for other roadblocks.
1. Packing Pro
For those who understand that there is a science to packing, Packing Pro comes as a handy and an indispensable tool before setting off. Tell the app you’re off to India for two months with your friend and sort out the details like what to pack, what is extraneous and deliver a list of the most essential tools, gadgets and more. It even gives you a separate list for every additional family member or friend in your touring party. Unfortunately, it does not get down to the actual packing.
Available on iPhone; ₹249.
2. XE Currency
The world of foreign exchange is one where the currency you hold always seems to be going down by the one you want soars up. Keep up with the rollercoaster and monitor real-time rates with xe.com superb currency app. It is completely accurate, slick and easy to use.
With more than 5 million downloads on all platforms, there is no doubt which currency app rules the roost. And whose with rates changing rapidly, you can wait till the last minute to get the best value for money. Available on Android, iOS and Windows phone; free.
Don’t you just love the idea of barking your travel plans out to your PA and having an itinerary prepared? Of course, you can stop living in a dream and get WorldMate instead. It’s as good as it gets when it comes to building an itinerary out of simple hotel and flight bookings. Simply send a few various confirmation emails such as restaurant bookings, car rentals, hotels, and flights, etc to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll receive an itemized itinerary of your entire trip, which is editable for your ease.
The premium version of the app goes a step further by giving you real-time updates about any possible delays, so you can soak in the bath for longer before rushing to the airport.
Just because you own a smartphone doesn’t mean there’s a room at the Taj under your name. Hostelworld sorts out the best-rated hotels all around the world and provides a directory of our 30,000 budget-friendly hotels and lodges. In a country of chock-full of guesthouses advertising low rates, Hostelworld’s rating are definitely a neat barometer.
The app also provides access to millions of user reviews reducing the chances of your stumbling into a bedbug party. Hostelworld’s extensive list of Indian destinations with affordable stay options on their database ensures that no matter where you arrive – whether Varkala or Srinagar – accommodation won’t be the reason you cut your trip short.
It takes navigation to a whole new level in a country that still only has a basic Google Maps functionality. The app, developed in India, has painstakingly mapped more than 4,000 Indian cities at street level and 36 cities at house level, 20 cities in full 3D as well as 6.3 million destinations.
Search for the most popular restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers in the city for conveniences like ATMs, hospitals, and more and mark your favorites. The app guides you to your destination with turn-by-turn navigation and even changes routes on the fly if the driver takes a wrong turn or if sudden circumstances warrant it. A true blessing for GPS lovers.
India is a country made for postcards. With picture worthy sights almost everywhere, you will be tempted to print your own cards out. Or you could just use Postagram. Click a picture and this app will deliver it to any corner of the world for a maximum price of $1.99. Before you even consider that, the first five are free.
Your profile picture is your signature on the postcard and a Twitter-sized message remains optional for when images can’t do enough justice. They even guarantee to return your money if the postcard is lost/undelivered or deliver it again for free. Think about it, and it’s really close to social service.
some food recommendations are obvious. Craving paranthas in Delhi? Head to Gali Paranthewali. But for obscure suggestions like the best northeastern restaurant in the capital or authentic Cantonese fare in Kolkata, check out Foodspotting, where millions of locals and visitors have left tips for foodies on the move. Tread carefully on some recommendations, though most are bang-on.
Available on Android, iOS, and Windows.
Roaming charges are everyone’s public enemy number one. So Onavo is something of a Batman in this department. Once installed, it takes into account your usage patterns and wants you much in advance about a possible overdraft on your ridiculously low data plan.
If you have been traveling for a long time, then it will also take into account your previous month’s usage and inform you when you will be out of bytes. It will suggest ways to minimize your consumption with scheduled downtimes, and can also drastically reduce the amount of data required to perform everyday tasks. Easily one of the must-have apps. Available on Android and iOS; free.