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TOP 10 travel apps to use in Asia

Atualizado: 28 de mar. de 2018

The world is every day more and more technologic. Even while traveling.

During our (already) long trip around Asia we have been discovering and experiencing some useful mobile apps for different purposes.

We believe they can facilitate your experience and help you to take the most of it.

However, we will not be focused on the trendy and well known apps like, Airbnb, HostelWorld, Google Maps, Uber, Skyscanner, Momondo, Notes and so on.

We believe nowadays most people know these apps, which can also be extremely help. Nonetheless, our propose with this article is to advise you with smartphone apps that we did not know before, but after some research and usage have become extremely useful for different travelling purposes.

Below we present our TOP 10 of travel apps to use in Asia.

1. Know your way around


Maps Me offers free detailed and entirely offline maps with turn-by-turn navigation. Everyone knows and uses Google Maps application while exploring unknown places. Even Google Maps allows to download offline maps, which is helpful when you are abroad and have any or limited amount of mobile data.

However, with Maps Me you only need to have data to download the map of the country you are visiting. From our experience the download is extremely fast. Apart from that, comparing to Google Maps, the the Maps Me maps are more detailed. Small streets that typically do not appear in Google Maps can be seen in Maps Me. It is possible to save locations, search different categories (restaurants, hotels), make hotel booking directly from the app using Booking and share your location via text message or social media. If you have an OpenStreetMap account you can leave your comments regarding different places that can be seen by everyone. Useful recommendations and tips can be usually found!

2. Find the cheapest flights and accommodation


While traveling transportation and accommodation weight a lot in your budget. Hopper is an app that allows you to save up to 40% on your next flight or hotel! This app predicts future prices and notifies you when the prices drop. You can also make the bookings with just a few steps in the app.

It is an amazing app that allows saving considerable amounts of money especially if you are planning in advance.

3. Find the best places to stay


Commonly used in Asia, it is a very good app to find cheaper accommodation. The savings can be up to 80% from Last-Minute Deals, Secret Deals, etc, sometimes more than the ones obtained using Booking. Additionally, some accommodation that cannot be found in Booking is available in Agoda. The info about the different hotels, hostels, guest houses, B&Bs is very complete, with photos and descriptions of the facilities. Also the reviews guarantee you will not regret your accommodation choice.

4. What to do, what to see and what to eat


Lonely Planet books are known worldwide and provide useful insights for travel planning. However, they tend to be quite expensive and hard to transport during the trip, especially if you are traveling with limited luggage or through several countries. This app provides you with useful information about 177 cities in the world, regarding must-see sights, recommended restaurants and accommodation, transport info, among others. It also allows to download offline maps with all the info.

5. Get cheaper transportation


Similar to Uber, Grab offers a safe and reliable ride in Southeast Asia with their transport booking services for taxis, private cars or motorbikes. It works just like Uber. The app recognizes your location, you set your destination and type of transport you wish and you have an estimate of the cost and the time you will have to wait. If you confirm the pick up, a driver will be allocated for you and you can follow his/her path to reach you. Regarding the payment, you can do it on cash or you can also associate a debit/credit card to your account. Moreover, the price is always the one defined when you are searching for a driver.

From our experience in Asia, Grab worked pretty well in places like India, Malaysia, Myanmar. For instance, in Mandalay there is only a beta version which only works with motorbikes. The main advantage comparing to Uber is the price, since the cost is typically cheaper with Grab!

Most of the times it is even cheaper that a normal taxi and you do not need to spend time bargaining the price.

6. Control your budget


To travel you need money. Despite there are several blogs/stories saying you can travel with almost zero expenses, we believe that to travel in a comfortable way money is required.

However, if travelling on a budget, you will also need to control it, otherwise you will end up spending more than expected. For budgeting control we found an amazing app that we have been using since the beginning of our trip through Asia. Trail Wallet is a travel expense tracker. There are similar finance apps, but the main advantage of this one is that it is developed for travel trips. You can create a trip, set a daily budget or a total budget for a defined period of time and choose different currencies to use. You can have all the currencies converted to your home currency and therefore have an overview of all the costs. The app also allows to categorize your expenses and associate tags to each expense. From the app you can have a graph overview of daily expenses or expenses by category. Additionally, it is possible to export all the trip data to an Excel file and work the data as you wish!

In fact, we use this app to export all the data used for the creation of the financials articles.

  • App price:Free for the first 25 items. In App Purchase available to unlock unlimited amounts for 5,49€

  • Compatible with: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (requires iOS 9.0 or later)

7. Spend less bank fees


Money is, for sure, an important issue while traveling. Each country has its own currency. Particularly in a long trip through different countries, the currency will be changing anytime. Probably, for safety reasons, you cannot take with you all the money you will need for the whole trip. Therefore, you will have to withdraw money or use debit/credit cards, which is not always possible. The bank fees related to this type of transactions tend to be extremely high, including sometimes a fixed fee plus a variable fee. If you are traveling on a budget, it will be hard!

So, Revolut appeared to help on this!

For more details check our article about Revolut.

8. Track the best sunrise and sunset spots


If you like to find the best spots for sunrise and sunsets as we do, this app might be very useful. You can check sunrise and sunset times according to your current location and also know where the exact direction where the sun will rise or set.

If you are following us, you now know why we get the best spots for sunrise/sunset.

  • App price: Lite version - Free; Pro version - $9,99 (Apple), $7,99 (Android)

  • Compatible with: iPhone and iPad (requires iOS 8.1 or later) and Android (varies with device)

9. Learn how to communicate


Google Translate allows translation between 103 languages by typing; translation with no Internet connection (offline mode) in 59 languages; translation of bilingual conversations in 32 languages using the microphone; translation of text in images in 38 languages using your camera.

It can be extremely useful as you can use it offline and speaking even a few words on the local languages is always something the local people are very found of.

10. Create your story


Do you like to keep a diary? This is the perfect app for you! And it has some cool features that enrich the experience when reading it some time after the trip has ended.

Day One allows you to create the perfect journal during your trip, compiling all your memories and experiences. Each day you can write, add photos and tags that will help you find specific memories. Automatically weather conditions of the day and location will be saved for each entry. At any time you can generate a pdf version of your journal to share with others... or only for you! The premium version allows you to have unlimited photo storage, unlimited journals, and to synchronize your journals across all your devices.

  • App price: Standard version - Free; Premium version - $3,99/monthly and $34,99/yearly (Apple); $2.99/monthly and $24.99/yearly (Android)

  • Compatible with: iPhone and iPad (requires iOS 11.09 or later) and Android (requires 5.0 or later)


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