OR WAIT 15 SECS
Put the latest apps to work for you on your next vacation. GeoSure uses crowd-sourced data to determine whether a location is safe. Localeur will help you find restaurants and activities favored by locals. And Google Translate will help you break down any language barriers you may encounter.
Apps can go a long way toward making your trips easier and safer. The new generation of hotel apps allows you to reserve rooms, check in, request items and services, and also check out. You don’t need to interact with the hotel staff unless you want to. Third-party apps also seek to improve your travel experience. Discover apps that reveal local recommendations, translate phrases into scores of languages and provide information on safety in destinations around the world.
Both hotel and travel apps promise information and services literally at the touch of a screen. Choose the right app and you’re likely to get your needs met, whether it’s reserving dinner, booking a massage, finding a reduced-price hotel room, obtaining a translation or assessing a destination’s safety. Consider the following handy apps before leaving on your next trip.
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Convenience appeals to both tech-savvy millennials accustomed to instant gratification as well as to Baby Boomers looking for fewer hassles on the road. Most big chain hotels proffer their own apps.
Marriott Mobile App: Marriott appears to be leading the pack with its well-designed, easy-to-use, and functional app. Just tap to find and book a hotel, check in before you arrive at the property, unlock your room, request standard items — dental kits, towels, soap, track loyalty points, and check out. Use text messaging to request additional items from phone chargers to luggage assistance.
Hotels.com App: Like the company’s website, this app enables you to find a discounted hotel room, manage your reservations and track your rewards points.
Booking.com App: With this app, you can search Booking.com’s more than 800,000 listings. Helpful filters allow you to search by city, landmark, price and other users’ reviews.
More Apps to Use When Traveling
GeoSure: Safety remains a primary concern for travelers. GeoSure aims to help by synthesizing safety data from sources such as the UN, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and Interpol with crowdsourced reports and other data to provide GeoSure Safety Ratings, “the most granular, trusted safety ratings in the world,” according to the app’s description. While that remains to be seen, an app that provides more than the U.S. point of view, utilizes big data to analyze situations, and incorporates real-time, local comments is certainly worth a try, especially when traveling overseas.
Localeur App This app uses locals in various destinations to recommend their favorite restaurants, shops, bars, and hotels so that users can (possibly) experience the city as a local would. Localeur currently covers more than 40 U.S. cities as well as Toronto and Vancouver. As always, user beware. An expert touting a specific gym or shop could be related to the owner, have little background to make a judgment, or, the localeur could have just tipped you off to a hidden gem.
Google Translate: Want to introduce yourself to your new Slovakian friends but don’t speak Slovak? No problem. With Google Translate, type in the words, phrase or sentences you need, and the app translates your statement into one of 100+ languages. Some users find Google Translate easier to use than iTranslate, another translation app.
Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips