Top apps for holidays
Smartphones and apps have changed the way we travel. Here are our suggestions for a high-tech holiday.
Whether your ultimate holiday is a road-trip with destination unknown, a luxurious beach resort or a fun-filled city break, your smartphone is sure to be at your side all the time.
And, as you'd expect, there are now apps and websites that make everything – from planning routes, to booking accommodation, to getting the inside scoop on the hottest spots to play and eat – a cinch.
Before you've even downloaded additional apps, your smartphone already has a vast amount of info at the ready: mapping, weather guides and time zones will share essential info about your location or destination.
Before you go
Planning where to go is half the fun. Worldwide phenomenon TripAdvisor gives you personal ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and destinations around the globe.
Photographs, maps and tips from holidaymakers like you make it a trustworthy and very useful starting point for planning your holiday.
Along with a vast variety of online booking sites, AirBnB has added a personalised accommodation experience into the mix. You can rent accommodation in a private home, either a shared room or private room in a shared house, or you can have the entire space to yourself.
If you prefer self-catering and getting local tips or are planning a long stay, this is an ideal way to book your accommodation.
Once you're there
Getting around has never been simpler. It's easy to access information on public transport in major international cities, while Uber private taxi service is an efficient and stylish way of getting around.
Simply download the app, set your location and you can instantly order a taxi. Some of the best features of this service is that you don't need cash as the cost is automatically deducted from your registered credit card. Secondly, drivers – and passengers – are rated so you know who your driver will be, what their rating is and can leave feedback if you're not satisfied.
But, perhaps the most convenient feature of all, is that you can use the app wherever you go in the world, so whether you're calling an Uber in Hong Kong or Joburg, your profile and settings remain the same.
International travel guide Time Out is known for its independent reviews of top spots in cities around the world. Their city guides are available as apps, which can then be accessed offline – saving you data charges in a foreign city. Reviews, maps and recommendations by some of the most in-the-know writers are at your fingertips. Also look out for apps of local tourist authorities, which can be very useful for exploring a new city.
A homegrown app that is taking the travel world by storm is VoiceMap. Guided tours of a variety of destinations both in South Africa and abroad add a wonderful touch of local flavour. Locals, writers, tour guides and actors narrate these walking guides that take you on an insightful journey: explore the Bo-Kaap's history or Newtown's graffiti art with an insider's view.
It works offline too and interactive maps help you to stay on the right route. International destinations include Sydney, Shanghai, Rome and many more.
Note: While these apps are free to purchase in the app store, you will need data to download and use the app.You can buy data bundles and stay on top of your balances by logging in to My Vodacom »