It is amazing to think how far the world has come in terms of technology. Before the internet you would have to phone the airline 24 hours before your flight to confirm your booking. When I flew to Australia in 1991 I did just that. And when I got to the airport I was told there was no seat for me! Then came online check in and you could simply go onto the internet and check yourself onto the flight. This still does not guarantee that the flight won’t be overbooked. Now we can make use of travel apps. Airlines have an App through which you can book your flight, check in, do an upgrade and get your boarding pass in electronic format. No more paper tickets with a page for each leg of your flight. No more paper boarding passes that get torn and discarded.
The Travel Apps I use
When we travel to Europe we tend to fly Air France. Air France and KLM are sister companies and I have both apps loaded as they work differently. When checking in I use the Air France app which immediately offers us the upgrade option. I make use of booking.com for most of our accommodation bookings. The App works fantastically well and I find it easy to navigate. We have only once had an issue with a booking not showing correctly at an hotel but that did not turn out to be a problem. Volotea Airlines App is one of the best I have used and even though the airline is based in Spain, it is the one we have used for internal flights in Europe. They are cheap and efficient which is all you need for short haul flights.
Google Travel Apps
I love the offline feature on Google Maps and highly recommend you download the cities you are going to visit overseas. They function without data and use your phones inbuilt GPS to detect where you are. You can search for places but you cannot get directions. Even though I can speak a fair bit of Italian and get by in French I have downloaded Google Translate with the languages available offline. It really helps for words I have not come across before, or to explain myself better.
Travel Apps I have loaded
When we travel to England we fly either SAA or British Airways. This year will be the first time I make use of either of the Apps. The SAA App is not in league with any of the other airlines Apps I have loaded. Hopefully the check in procedure runs smoothly. The British Airways App looks good, but that too has to be put to the test. I have the Europcar App loaded and have tried to use it but it really is not good. I find their website easier to navigate and I print out the confirmation as this is needed when you collect your car. As we are travelling to Heathrow I have downloaded the airport App. I have a Heathrow rewards card which I will try to make use of when we are at the airport.
Travel Apps for the sake of having them
SeatGuru is another App I have installed as it is the easiest way to see which is the best seat on a specific plane. I do not use it that often as Dave and I know which seat we prefer on which flight, but it is useful for a plane we have not taken before. I have yet to make use of Uber but have the App installed for ‘in case’. Who knows, one day I might find it useful. XE Currency App is fairly useful if you want to convert your hard-earned Rands into Pounds or Euros. Not something we ever do while travelling though.
Apps for France and Italy
Given the terror attacks in France, the Government launched an App called SAIP. This uses your location to determine if you are near any disaster. If you are close, the App will tell you what has happened and what action to take. I also use the TER Mobile App for the trains in France. It is brilliant, giving you information about the station you are at, the train you need to catch and the time it will arrive and the stops it makes along the way. WiFi is free at the major stations. I have the Trenitalia App loaded as it provides the information you will need for all the trains in Italy.
Is there a travel app that you use I have not listed? Please let me know in the comments below. I am interested to know if I am missing something that is either useful or fun.
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime July 19:
- 2013 – Savory
- 2012 – Venison Pie With A Buttermilk Pastry Topping
- 2011 – Calamari Risotto
- 2010 – Gurnards With Scallops