Thursday, 14 May 2015

How to travel in 2015:

Travelling isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when you’d wave goodbye to your family at the airport and not hear from them again until you were back on home soil. And there is no longer any excuse to rock up to a hotel in the middle of the night, hoping they have room for one more sorry traveller.

Perhaps most empowering about travel in 2015 is the fact that we no longer have to rely on a travel agent to organise every second of our trip. Thanks to technology, we can now plan our own adventure with the scores of helpful websites and apps that are available for the well-informed traveller. Here are some of the best:

A gift from the organisation gods, TripIt is our pick of travel websites. The website and app allow you to keep all your travel-related information in one place. Email TripIt (or manually enter) all your trip details, including flight information, accommodation, activities and tours, and TripIt will organise it all into one nicely organised itinerary. Save or print, and you’re ready to go!

When you’re organising a trip, there are often so many places to stay that the choices can be overwhelming. How do you know if you’re staying in a nice area? Or your hotel has a nice swimming pool? Trip Advisor offers useful advice from seasoned travellers for hotels, restaurants and activities in the area of your choice. The reviews aren’t always fair (you will hear from a number of fussy tourists), but do your research and it will pay off. You can also leave your own reviews, and gain “badges” for the number of reviews you’ve posted. 

As we discovered on our Europe adventure, quality WiFi is not always available when you’re travelling. Avoid the stomach-turning roaming fees and download apps that can be used offline. The Pocket Earth app allows you to download detailed maps for use offline, so when you get lost in the middle of nowhere, you have a chance of finding your way back. No more carrying around an oversized travel map, or stressing about access to Google Maps.

Want to live like a local? Check out Airbnb’s website and app for short to long-term rentals. You can choose to rent a single room in the premises, or rent the entire place. Airbnb is an affordable option if you want something more than just a tiny hotel room. You will often be offered insider knowledge into the place you are staying by the owner, gaining a glimpse into some of its best-kept secrets. There are thousands of listings all around the world with reviews from people who’ve stayed there.

Happy travelling!