9 Top Travel Apps & Gear for Android Smartphone

When you’re on the road, a smartphone is a must for keeping in touch and planning your next move. Our style of travel is spontaneous, often picking our next destination when we get to the bus station, or finding a hotel on the spot. And having a smartphone with the right apps makes traveling this way easy.
Both of us use Android smartphones because we’re believers in open source software. We’ve picked our favourite Android apps in various categories to help give you an idea of how we manage our travel. And all of them are free.

1. Best flight search app: Skyscanner

Skyscanner

The Skyscanner app is our choice for booking flights for one simple reason: you can search without a destination. This means you can pick your current city, and ask to just be shown a list of all the countries you could fly to, and their prices. It’s a great way to figure out where to go next when you’ve got no plan and just want to find somewhere cool to go at a cheap price.

skyscanner

Searching cheapest flight from Jakarta to anywhere in the world for December 2013, Finding: Jakarta to Singapore Rp. 150k. Click picture to enlarge.

Honorable mention: Kayak

Kayak

Kayak’s our second choice. It doesn’t support searching to ‘Everywhere’ like Skyscanner does, but it does allow multi-city searches. For example, you might be able to fly out of several different airports. For example, if you’re looking for a long haul flight from around Singapore, you’d probably also want to fly out of Johor Baru and Kuala Lumpur. Since Kayak lets you search with 3 different departure and destination airports at once you can pick the major airports in a region, which is great for finding the cheapest way to get a long distance, like going from Southeast Asia to Western Europe.

2. Best Airline App: Tiger/Mandala Airways

TigerAir

Airline-specific apps are generally a pretty uninspiring bunch, but we love the Tiger Airways app. It’s smooth, quick, and full featured. Tiger has regular sales and the app puts the deals from your current city front-and-centre. We’ve used it often to book our little hops around Southeast Asia.

tigerair screen

Smooth app! Click picture to enlarge.

3. Best Hotel Booking App: Booking.com

Booking com logo

Booking.com is by far our favourite hotel booking app. It’s fast with an easy to use interface, automatically locates you and searches for hotels nearby, and can display the hotels around you on a map. Hotel info is always clear and detailed – in particular, we like that they always tell you exactly what the WiFi situation in a hotel is. Is it in the room, or just the lobby? Is there an extra cost? It’s always in the hotel description. And we especially like that it always clearly shows the all-included final price you will pay for the room, no more additional taxes and fees.

Booking.com

No additional taxes and fees. So it’s easy to compare prices to find the actual cheapest price. Click picture to enlarge.

4. Best Maps: Google Maps

Google maps

Everyone knows it and uses it, but we couldn’t call this a list of the best travel apps without mentioning it. If you need to figure out where you are and which way to go, this is the way to do it. Still, sometimes we leave it closed because we’d prefer to stay lost!

Google maps

Thinking about a road trip in New Zealand? Click picture to enlarge.

5. Best Restaurant/Attraction Reviews: Tripadvisor

TripAdvisor

It’s a quick and easy way to find a good place to eat or something fun to do. We prefer asking locals for help or finding things by walking around and checking out what we see. But there are still times when we’re craving Mexican food in Thailand and need a way to find it. Sure, the reviews are often inflated or manipulated. But at least you’ll discover which businesses cared enough to manipulate the results.

TripAdvisor

Dash! is one of our favourite restaurant in Chiang Mai. We know this restaurant from TripAdvisor. Try the Tom Kha Gai, chicken and coconut soup. Dina’s favourite. Click picture to enlarge.

6. Best Currency Converter: XE

xe

The XE currency app lets you specify a set of currencies you’re working in, and it will convert between all of them and display the results at a glance. It’s no hassle, fast, and works offline.

XE currency

You can have multiple currency set, and it works offline too! Click picture to enlarge.

7. Best Translator: Google Translate

Google Translate

Translates from most languages to most languages quickly and easily. The results can be a little silly, but you’ll always get your point across.

Google translate

You can enter also an article or even the whole link here! Click picture to enlarge.

8. Best Travel Smartphone: Sony Xperia Z1

XperiaZ1

We’ve recently gotten our hands on the Xperia Z1 and are loving that it’s rugged and waterproof so we don’t need to baby it. The camera is 21 megapixels and takes quality shots so we don’t always have to pull out our big camera to get a great shot. Dustproof and waterproof up to 1.5meters underwater for a duration of 30 minutes, this is more of a gadget rather than an app, but nevertheless its durability is a total win in the smartphone category and our perfect traveling companion.

By the way! Pengen Xperia Z1 juga? Coba menangin via kontes foto PixMix -nya #BestofSony!

waterproof xperiaz1

Nggak kuatir lagi HP rusak gara-gara kehujanan. Atau nyemplung ke laut. Atau ke mesin cuci. Yang terakhir disebut, pernah kejadian beneran -_-

9. And finally, the Best Travel Organizer: NONE

We don’t use one! We plan last minute and never need to keep track of a complicated itinerary or set of bookings.

Agree/disagree or want to share your favourites? Let us know in the comments!

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20 Responses to “9 Top Travel Apps & Gear for Android Smartphone”

  1. dodo
    12 November 2013 at 6:20 am #

    Wah ngeliat ini jadi pengen nuker HP gw sama kayak punya kalian…. huehuehue…

  2. Bobby Ertanto
    14 November 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Agree with you Ryan. Most of them are on my gadget too. For flight I mostly use airasia and tiger. But in jakarta area, I use KRL Mania (Commuter Line user) hehehe..

  3. haydar chaidir
    20 November 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    And finally, the Best Travel Organizer: NONE

    We don’t use one! We plan last minute and never need to keep track of a complicated itinerary or set of bookings.
    @haydar114 like It

    • Dina
      30 November 2013 at 1:04 am #

      :))

  4. Muh. Akbar (@indonesianholic)
    17 December 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Diantara semua aplikasi Travel, saya paling sering gunakan google maps.
    sangat membantu ketika travelling.

    #KartuposDuaRanselAngkorWat

    Salam kenal
    @indonesianholic

  5. Ratna
    22 January 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Agree !
    As Lao Tzu said, a good traveler has no fixed plans and not intent on arriving. We tried on our last family trip. It ended fun :)

    • Dina
      1 April 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      wow, it’s really cool to do it that way with family trip!!! kudos!

  6. NotaKembara
    27 January 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Most of the latest range of waterproof smartphones from Sony like Go, Acro S, Z, Z1 etc are very good for travel. I wish Apple would produce iPhone with similar features! huhu

    • Dina
      1 April 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      that will be great, won’t it!!

  7. OpensTrip
    27 March 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    keren…thnaks infonya mba dina

    • Dina
      1 April 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      semoga berguna :D

  8. Ishaq Firdaus
    5 April 2014 at 11:42 am #

    ciee iklannya di tengah2 artikel. hehe

  9. Sharon Loh
    3 June 2014 at 10:15 am #

    You sum it up perfectly! Jadi pingin nyoba satu – satu on my next trip hehe.

    • Dina
      7 August 2014 at 4:16 pm #

      Udah instal semua :D

  10. Harry Hermanan
    24 July 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Sony Xperia Z1, sekarang udah ada yg Z2. Pengeeenn…

    • Dina
      4 August 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Udah dong :D

  11. Aan
    13 August 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Saya biasanya pake google map dan waze, itu sdh cukup

    • Dina
      15 August 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Masih jarang pake waze nih saya :) Google map paling sering untuk peta

  12. Onangnovotna
    15 August 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Mba masih pakai visa Indonesia kan?
    Travelling around the worldnya ga susah pengurusan visanya?
    Tolong dibahas mba :)

    • Dina
      22 August 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Ada negara yang masunya ga pake visa, ada yang visa on arrival, ada juga yang visanya harus dibikin dulu sebelum nongol di border. Dalam kasus yang terakhir itu, kadang bisa diurus dari negara tetangganya :)
      Good luck ya!

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