When we look back upon the travel industry in 2014, it’s impossible to ignore how mobile apps are changing the way we plan, accommodate and experience our trips. In addition to utilizing apps to adequately prepare for traveling, consumers are using their phones for all aspects of their trip, from sharing reviews of their hotel experience to downloading maps of the city they’re in. According to TripAdvsior, in Q3 of 2014, more than 150 million people downloaded various versions of their apps, ranging from GPS technology to social media sharing.
It’s obvious that the smartphone is becoming an essential travel planning accessory in this day and age. Let’s review some of the most used, innovative and, frankly, best travel apps of 2014:
“Global Mobile Awards gave Citymapper the Best Overall Mobile App Award in 2014.”
While this app was introduced in 2011, it received an extensive makeover in 2014, resulting in one of the most downloaded and acclaimed travel apps of the year. Citymapper is a must-have app for anyone trying to navigate their way around a big city using just about every transportation method you can think of to find the most efficient route. It uses real time data to calculate your estimated time of arrival, taking into account elements such as the weather or traffic. It can project the amount your cab fare will be if you’re contemplating on taking one, or it will suggest the public transit routes that are the cheapest and fastest course to your destination. In 2014, Citymapper received more than $10 million in venture capital funding to improve their data resources, and their network is constantly updating their services. Whether you’re late for a meeting while on business travel or just trying to figure out the cheapest path to reach a tourist attraction, downloading Citymapper on your smartphone will help you understand why the Global Mobile Awards gave this program the Best Overall Mobile App award in 2014.
Anyone who’s accustomed to international travel knows the difficulty of constantly having to figure out the translations to foreign languages. Whether you’re scrambling through your pocket translator book to figure out which facility is the restroom or Googling away on your smartphone, there has been no simple solution to this issue other than being fluent in the language. Now the world has TripLingo, an app that has been around for some time but took over the travel app world in 2014 due to its sheer convenience and brilliance when it comes to simple translation. TripLingo provides full translation and common phrases for 13 languages, with an additional 10 languages supported in the app’s voice translator tool. TripLingo also provides relevant culture information for the country you’re traveling to. Travel and Transport was so impressed with the features and functionality of the TripLingo app that in 2014 we partnered with them to integrate this functionality into our own app, eTTek Dash.
Everyone knows how big of a pain parking can be, especially if you’re driving a rental car in a city you hardly know. The makers of Parking Panda have apparently felt your pain, and designed an app that essentially does everything for you besides park the actual car itself. Parking Panda allows users to scan parking opportunities, compare lot prices and reserve your own parking spot in 40 major U.S. cities. Besides being able to instantly reserve a spot, you can receive exclusive parking discounts for using the app. Parking Panda helps you review hundreds of parking garage options instantly, so you can swipe through which spaces have the best prices as well as location.
Traveling details such as comparing parking prices, finding your way around the city and translating traffic signs are all essential aspects to traveling. Perhaps the primary reason we love smartphones during travel is for capturing and sharing our experience. While the major apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat offer users to share glimpses of their travels, one new app in 2014 smokes the competition when it comes to documenting your journey. Cameo is an app that allows you to instantly shoot, edit and share customized videos you make during a vacation. You’re the director with Cameo, with access to dozens of styles and effects, as well as an easy editing program and cloud storage. If you’re far away from friends and family, Cameo is the latest way to update loved ones of your voyage. The only drawback is that Cameo is currently only available for iOS devices.
Are there any other apps that you’d like to include in this listing? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!