Top 3 Travel Apps That Saved My Life



There's no denying that mobile apps have changed our lives in many ways than one. I think that this trend has been so helpful to smartphone users. There's probably an app for practically almost everything you can think of, or not think of. Travel, being a popular industry these days, isn't one to be outdated in the app world. 

So of course, during my recent trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, I've made use of some mobile apps that certainly saved my life! I've already been using some of them before, while the rest I've only gotten to know because I had to travel. When it comes to the app department, I think there are so many brilliant ones but I only installed those I thought would really help me. Yup, I only have Top 3 during my trip. 


Here goes. 

1. Citymapper 

I've raved about this on one of my travel posts because this was the most helpful and life-saving app during my travel. If you've read that post, you will know by now that I have poor sense of direction. I get confused with directions easily, and I tend to panic when I feel like I'm trapped or there's no way to go.

Before I headed to Singapore, I knew I'd be traveling alone most of the time so I made sure I was equipped. Citymapper was just the best. I can stop talking now, but I'd like to show you the highlights. ;) 

Description: 

Citymapper is the ultimate transit app, making cities easier to use. 
  • Check nearby departures in real-time
  • Find the fastest route combining bus, subway, train, ferry, taxi, car share, bike share, and walk
  • Follow step by step directions, including the best subway exit to reach the platform
  • Receive alerts when your favorite lines are disrupted

My most favorite feature is the step by step directions! This was the most handy app ever, and the only one I've used for the most part of my travel. It's so good that it gave me confidence that I'd never get lost, or if ever I did, I knew I'd find my way back. You really just have to be patient with yourself. 

As you see below, you have several transportation options. The app tells you how many minutes you'll get to your destination, plus the fares. 

Citymapper App


2. iChangi 

This is the official Changi Airport app with airport info, flight details, and deals. I only installed this when I was trying to connect to the free wifi at Changi. The connection prompted me to download the app if I want to enjoy more hours of wifi, so I did. And true enough, I got 7 days of free wifi! Although of course it's more than enough, I was still happy because I had to stay at Changi for 5 hours before heading to the city, and wifi is life!

Wifi was the only reason I installed iChangi, but that's actually not the main feature of the app at all. I also used it to navigate the huge airport. I mean, even Terminal 2 was big! 

Some key features are: 
  • Receive real-time updates on flight status and gate changes, and share your flight information with family and friends
  • Scan your boarding pass to obtain key flight details, and be informed of facilities, services, shopping, and dining options that are near your departure gate. 
  • Browse Changi Airport's wide selection of world-class retail stores, dining outlets, facilities, and services. 

Not all features may apply to you though especially if you don't really travel to Singapore often, or do not live in Singapore at all. 

iChangi App

3. XE Currency

They say that when you're in Singapore, resist the urge to convert. HAHA! But I did not resist, I knew I always would (convert). There's always that need to know how much the price was if converted to Philippine Peso. I also used this app a lot to know if I was getting a fair amount when exchanging my money.

Side story: I was trying to exchange peso to ringgit at Central Market in Kuala Lumpur. There's this shop that had very high rates. I was a bit skeptical so I checked the XE app, and found out that I'd be getting far too small for my money with their rates. So I skipped it and moved to another shop which offered better rates! XE app helped me save more money not just once but at all times while I was traveling. That's a life-saver for me. 

It was extremely helpful and convenient. I can't believe I didn't use this back when we traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. LOL. The best part is you can use it offline too. 

Key Features: 
  • Stores the last updated exchange rates so it works when the internet decides not too. 
  • Easy to use currency calculator using the converter. Also monitors up to 10 currencies at once. 
  • Live rates are refreshed each minute for every world currency and precious metal. 

XE Currency App


The 3 apps are free to download and use, but additional features may require you to pay a minimal fee. All are available for Apple and Android users. Aside from the 3 major apps I used, I also used some other apps but rather rarely. I consider these my supplementary apps. Who knows these may be of help to you too. 

TripIt 

TripIt is a travel organizer. I really just used it to organize my flight details. The cool thing is that once you receive your flight confirmation email, you can forward it directly to plans@tripit.com and TripIt will create a master itinerary for each of your trips.

You can access your plans anytime, anywhere on your smartphone, tablet, computer, or wearable device. TripIt syncs with your calendar too, and you can easily share specific plans or entire itinerary with anyone. 

TripIt App


GoThere.sg

This isn't really an app. You can access it through any browser. I use this to compare certain directions with Citymapper app. It's an interactive map of Singapore, and pretty much works like Citymapper. I liked Citymapper better though because I don't have to access the browser every single time. 

Google Maps 

I think this doesn't need any introduction. Everybody probably already uses Google Maps. It's been a life-saver too, especially the Google Street View! Because of it, I easily found my hotel when I didn't have internet connection yet. I just took a screenshot of the street view, and amazingly, the vicinity of my hotel became so familiar even though it was just my first time there. ;) 

Grab 

Ride-sharing anyone? I normally use Uber for rides, but only if I need to. I still take the jeepney and buses more often if I'm not in a hurry or if the weather is just okay. Funny enough, I didn't install the Grab app before my trip. I was so sure I'd use the MRT in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. 

In Singapore, yes. But in Kuala Lumpur, my high school best friend would always use Grab so that's what I used too. When I did install Grab, it didn't work for me in KL because it wouldn't send the verification code to my tourist mobile number. I ended up messaging my best friend to book a Grab for me whenever I'd go somewhere. At one point, I asked the guard at the hotel to book a ride for me too. 

Aside from taking the bus twice, and the train once, Grab Car was my main mode of transportation in Kuala Lumpur. Despite a little language barrier, I never had a scary or rough ride at all. All the drivers were very helpful and friendly. I wished I could rate their service but I wasn't the one who booked the rides, so I wished them well and safe trips all the time. It was the best I could do. 


So there you have it! I hope you've found something helpful. Let me know if you've used any one of these apps. How was your experience in using it?

*Featured Photo by Jonas Svidras from Pexels


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