The must-have travel apps for Kenyan globetrottersWednesday February 15 2023
Have you travelled to a destination and struggled to make yourself understood? Or got lost navigating the city?
Apps can help travellers overcome language barriers and find their way in new places with ease. So which ones are Kenyan globetrotters using?
Agarther Gichaga, a public relations consultant and also a fashion designer finds travel to be therapeutic.
She often travels for work and leisure and having mobile apps has eased her travel woes and afforded her quick cheap deals.
She uses Kiwi app to book flights. The app also facilitates hotel bookings and car rentals thanks to its partnership with booking.com and RentalCars.com.
Pack Point, is another app that helps make packing less stressful. It shows the traveller what they need to bring based on their length of trip, the weather, and any activities that they are planning on the way.
There is also a priority pass that offers access to more than 1,300 lounges in the world as well as meal vouchers at selected airports at an annual fee starting at $99 (Sh12,384).
There is also the Flight Aware app that allows the traveller to track flights via a live map, check-in delays, gate changes, and cancellations.
This app is useful in instances where the traveller has a tight connection or just has the desire to track their flight.
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“On top of the apps, the best hack to getting cheap flights for me is to plan and book ahead of travel. I plan everything in and around my life. Travelling is so much fun, and it doesn’t have to be expensive,” she says.
Another app that comes in handy that one can use during the flight to have a great experience is the Timeshifter, which helps one avoid jet lag.
It also offers inflight and post-flight suggestions. The app maps out when a traveller should avoid or seek sleep, take a short nap or stay awake.
In addition, it tells you if you should consider supplementing with caffeine.
The calm app helps a traveller relax when they have anxiety by giving them a chance to listen to soothing sounds, meditate or relax to a point where they sleep or are in a relaxed state.
It offers topics like self-awareness, breathing, lowering stress levels as well as happiness and has options for relaxing and focusing as well as stories for both children and adults
XE Currency Converter
The XE Currency Converter app provides live, up-to-the-minute currency rates, and gives the traveller a chance to store and review them even when they are offline.
When it comes to giving tips, GlobeTips advises on how to tip appropriately in more than 200 countries.
“These days airlines have online software-aided programmes that would detect frequent fliers and prioritise their requests. The secret to cheap flights is direct online booking several months in advance if you can,” says Clive Wafukho, another frequent flier.
Mr Wafukho adds that another alternative is to use travel agents out of the US.
“They normally block off lots of cheap flights. Luggage is prioritised by software at most airports for frequent fliers together with business and first-class travellers,” he says.
Apart from using a travel agent, Stellamaris Miriti, a frequent flier and travel agent advises travellers to use apps that set up price alerts.
Google Flights and Hopper are the best though booking directly with a travel aggregator is not always the best option.
While you might get the best price, having a middleman makes it tougher if not impossible to deal directly with an airline or hotel.
Booking directly with the provider makes it easier to purchase a changeable ticket, add a cancellation policy or discuss solutions to any problems that come up.
Travel aggregator sites are only great for finding average prices, flight routes and schedules but only book through them if you find it uncomfy having a chat with a provider should any issue arise,” she says.
Trail Wallet is the best app for a traveller who desires to have an easy travel expense tracker. One can organise their expenses by trip or by month, add expenses as well as set a daily budget.
There is also a Google Translate app that is compatible with 108 languages and takes a photo for translation.
Tripadvisor is the most common especially when it comes to getting reviews of destinations or places.
“It's one of the most comprehensive online sources for travellers and comprises background information about different regions and cities.
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It also has highlights of what to see and do and travellers can read reviews of restaurants, hotels and activities, written by members of the Tripadvisor community, as well as see photos they have uploaded so you know what to expect before you arrive.
Tripadvisor has relationships with various booking sites, too, which means once you finish researching hotels or restaurants, you can usually reserve them,” she says.