Apps for mobile phones are now necessities like my travel towel. Gone are the days of notebook travel planners, real calendar, paper maps (umm what?) and talking to your travel agents to find you the best deals. Everything is at the tip of your fingers these days. And this is why we compiled the 5 best travel apps for Filipinos to help you on your future trips. And the best thing about them is that they are all free!
When I first used Rome2Rio in 2012, I felt a big weight was lifted on my shoulder and this app has become my number 1 app to go when it comes to travel planning. This app covers transportation options from ferry, taxis, trains, planes, bus and other public transportations which are linked to third party and company’s websites for easier booking. And not only that, it also displays the estimated rates and duration which are both crucial in planning your next vacation. The app has also tied with booking.com that also gives you options for your accommodation and linked with Wikipedia for a list of things to do. Isn’t that neat?
Most apps won’t work without a wifi right? That is why Wifi Map is a necessity for me as it solves the issue of connectivity when you’re in a foreign country and can’t use your expensive data plan on your phone. Or even if you’re in a remote area with limited access to internet. The wifi map compiled the passwords of wifi on public places such as cafes, restaurants, tourist areas, parks and other establishments. And it has an option for you to save the passwords so you can access them offline.
You have probably heard of Waze from your Uber or Grab drivers. Waze is the map of choice of majority of the car drivers in the Philippines. It provides real time traffic reports, accident reports, ETAs and prepared routes through its social network integration. Like Google Maps, it provides turn-by-turn voice navigation which are very helpful in driving busy and complex streets during your road trip.
Among search flight providers, Google Flights, hands down, is the best option in my opinion. Aside from its sleek and user-friendly interface, it gives you a month-to-month price list in one go without checking every date. Which makes it easier to plan your trip based on the flight rates. Another good feature of the app is the fact that you can plan your trip in advance even if you don’t have any idea where to go. By checking the Discover Destinations at the homepage, you’ll see a selection based on dates you want to go, continent and interest. This makes planning easier as it gives you the rates not only for the airlines but also for the hotels.
User interface wise, Traveloka is not different from the other hotel booking sites (and even flight search app). But if there’s one thing that Traveloka has an advantage of with the older and bigger players, is that they are cheaper most of the time. The app has promo almost every day that gives you up to 60% discounts on accommodations. Just to give you an idea, I used to pay for this hostel for about Php450/ a night or a total of Php3,150 a week. The price is already discounted by the hostel for me because of my loyalty. But when I started using Traveloka, I managed to save more because I was only paying between Php1,200-Php1600 in my last few weeks in the same hostel. They also have a good selection of hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast and guesthouses. However, the flight discount isn’t much especially if you’re flying long haul so I use it often for accommodations.
(Insider Tip: There are additional discounts on certain hours for some hotels. For example, at 6pm-12am some hotels/ hostels offer up to 30% discount which is already deducted on the listed rates. Then if you’re lucky to get promo codes, you can apply that as well on your booking and get up to 30% more discounts.)