Downloading the latest holiday apps for your phone not only makes the trip logistics easier; it also adds a whole new dimension to the travel experience.
In today’s tech-driven world, a smartphone has become one of the most essential pieces of equipment you can pack when you go on holiday.
Not only do today’s nifty smartphones offer high quality cameras, internet access on the go and a means of contacting loved ones back home; they come with a whole host of slick travel apps that can solve all manner of issues when you venture overseas.
Even on islands in Southeast Asia, wireless networks and SIM cards are readily accessible, which means your smartphone is as useful as it would be back home. Searching for the best local dim sum restaurant in Phuket Town? Trying to order a cab to pick you up from downtown Bangkok at 3am? Seeking out Bali’s best heritage attractions? If any of these scenarios should like you, never fear – the phone app is here.
Have you ever set your alarm at an optimistic 7.00am for a full day of sightseeing on your first days of holiday, only to realise the curse of jet lag has caused you to repeatedly hit the snooze button until 11.00am? Yes, it’s surprising how easily a half a day spent admiring glittering temples or trekking up the side of waterfalls can so easily be is lost. Fortunately, travellers who download Jetlag Genie
(available on iPhone) can avoid this problem. The Genie, which lives within your magical phone, creates a customised action plan of activities and sleep times based on the flight times you programme in yourself. By calculating time zone differences, the Genie configures the best sleep-time plans, the right time to have a go at daily activities and even provides a melatonin guide for those who want to pop a few anti-jetlag pills.
Everybody’s free (to use sunscreen)
While large numbers of visitors head to Thailand in search of that perfect sun-kissed tan, it is an unfortunate likelihood that some may end up with more of a red raw lobster look. Those of us who need a few gentle reminders on how to look after our skin can download Apple’s Sunscreen
app for a little extra guidance. Sunscreen
is able to calculate the UVI rating of your current location and set a countdown timer to alert when is the optimum times to slather on a little more sunscreen. So you can sip as many cocktails in the sun as you like without having to worry about when you should apply your next layer of protection (although watch out for de-hydration).
Nobody wants to spend hours of precious holiday time wading through stacks of travel guides and magazines to find out about all of the attractions in the immediate vicinity of their holiday villa. Instead, why not sip your morning coconut juice with Pindrop
open on your phone? It’s the perfect app for travellers that revel in a little spontaneous exploration because it offers up a treasure hunt of the local area by dropping GPS pins of intriguing local attractions onto the map of your vicinity. You can also browse user-made suggestions regarding the best local sights to visit, and even stumble across the best kept secrets of your holiday neighbourhood.
Love to Listen
If you don’t enjoy squinting through your sunglasses at the well-worn pages of a travel guide, it’s pages madly flying about in the sea breeze, then HearPlanet
(available on iPhone and Android) is the travel app for you. This useful app is a digital audio travel guide that utilizes information from Wikipedia. All you need to do is pop on a pair of headphones and absorb the app’s gems of wisdom through your ears, which leaves you free to hold up your camera and snap Thailand’s natural and cultural treasures at your leisure.
The Perfect Postcard
drags the quaint holiday tradition of postcard writing through the present and into the future. Instead of picking out 10 generic images of beaches to send home to your friends and loved ones, Touchnote
offers an app and print service that allows you to use your own holiday snaps to send postcards home. Simply snap your selfie in front of the Big Buddha statue, input your message and the recipient’s address, and viola – your own personalized postcard will be sent off to make your friends and relatives jealous.
by Wayne Hue