Tourist hotspots are easy to find, but the fun part of traveling is discovering unique and offbeat places. These travel apps will help you find something different and fun to do on your next trip, apart from suggesting the must-visit attractions.
We’ve already talked about some decision-making travel tools to find a destination that fits your needs. Once you’re there, you need to figure out what to do. From asking friends for recommendations on a map to free guided walking tours, here’s how you can make the most of your vacation.
1. Triptipedia (Web): Tips by Travelers and Locals
Wikivoyage and Wikitravel have a worthy rival in Triptipedia. Even if you use the two famous Wiki sites, you should also search this alternative for unique travel tips and advice in the form of personal experiences.
Triptipedia is completely user-generated, which means fellow travelers and locals add information about any place. The difference from the Wiki sites is that each entry about a place is like a blog post. A visitor or a local will share their insights on the city and the attractions. This also gives you the chance to comment on that post and get advice directly from the contributor, unlike Wikivoyage or Wikitravel.
The Travel Tips section is worth a look regardless of where you are going. These are often generic travel tips, such as how to plan a family trip. Try the Tours and Activities tab to find local experiences, most of which are paid.
2. The Culture Trip (Web, Android, iOS): Free Alternative to Lonely Planet
The Culture Trip is one of the best free travel guides on the internet today. It covers most cities in the world, with an emphasis on helping tourists discover the history and culture of that place in non-traditional ways.
Each destination has multiple articles and videos, all of which is original content for The Culture Trip. It lets you create a wishlist of items to see based on these. Some cities have full guides that are as good as any travel agent’s efforts. I’d recommend downloading the app because you can then save articles and videos offline, which can help save data when you’re in a foreign country.
Like Atlas Obscura, one of the best sites to randomly pick travel destinations, The Culture Trip points out a side of the city that you won’t easily find in travel guides. That’s what makes it special, and worth a gander even if you’ve picked up a Lonely Planet.
3. Where Would You Go? (Web): Ask Friends to Plot a Map for You
Google Maps has made it easier than ever to find your way around a city. So much so that if fellow travelers and locals told you where to go on a map, you’d manage the rest alone. That’s exactly what you can ask friends for with Where Would You Go (WWYG).
WWYG doesn’t require you to register, yet creates a unique map for you. Add your point of origin or first stop, your final destination, and a few preferences like the number of hours you’re okay with traveling between two places or whether you’d prefer to stay in one place.
With your input, WWYG will create a map with a unique URL. Share this URL with your friends, or even on travel forums. People can add spots they think are particularly interesting, along with a comment on why they recommend it. WWYG can create the best possible route for you to see all of these points, but I’d still use Google Maps for that part of the exercise.
4. TravelChime (Web): Planner and Mapper, Especially for Groups
Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, it’s a good idea to map all your points of interest in one app. TravelChime lets multiple users create a common itinerary, although you can use the app as an individual too.
The easy interface of TravelChime makes it special. Once you sign up and invite your friends to edit it, you can create lists, such as places to visit, food and drinks, etc. Now search for a place and add it. You can also use Google guides, available within the app, to add common touristy points of interest.
Like WWYG, you can ask non-group friends for advice by sharing the link to your map. But they will need to register or login with Facebook or Google.
The best part about TravelChime? Once you’re done building the itinerary, you can export it to Google Maps. It’s a unique map that you and your friends can follow, with all the places of interest mapped neatly on it.
5. FreeTour (Web): Find Free Walking Tours and Budget Activities
Most major cities have volunteers and guides that conduct free walking tours of certain parts of the city. It can be difficult to find these with a Google search. FreeTour aggregates major budget-friendly activities in one place.
The app lets you filter the activities by price, rating (powered by TripAdvisor), languages, and categories. Apart from walking tours, you can try cruises, day trips, food and drink, nightlife, private cars, or Segway tours. Interesting activities can be added to your favorites to check later.
Each activity has a detailed description, along with ratings from customers and user reviews. And there’s a precise map pin for the meeting point. FreeTour has a large community, so you will find reviews and ratings for almost every activity, which makes it easier to find out information.
The Essential Travel Tools
Everyone has their own style of travel that they prefer, but it never hurts to get a few more ideas. While the above apps will tell you which spots to check out, there is more to traveling than that.
From expert travel blogs and itinerary planners to customized packing lists and cheap ticket finders, our list of these cool travel tools will help you have a safer and more enjoyable trip.