Smartphones and tablets have become an essential item in our backpacks nowadays, especially as wi-fi is pretty much everywhere and roaming charges are soon to be scrapped in Europe. If you’re going away in 2014, make sure you’re in the know with the best travel apps and websites for your trip:
Got a trip to London or New York on the cards in 2014? Don’t dream of setting foot on those pavements/sidewalks without downloading the free CityMapper app. It’s the king of the transport apps, telling you exactly how to get from place to place by bus, train, tube, on foot or by bike. It even includes times, prices and real-time route problems. Plus, one click of the “get me home” button instantly redirects you back to where you are staying. There are plans to cover more cities in 2014, so stay tuned.
In 2012, MyPlusOne launched in Berlin on the back of a simple concept: renting out a stylish studio apartment, with the added bonus of a local guide/friend to be your “plus one”, as and when required. The company is now expanding, with a MyPlusOne network that allows people to meet locals in more cities, including London, Paris and Barcelona. Instead of paying money, users will be able to barter a skill or a gift in exchange for their local experience. Coming soon in beta, the official launch (on getmyplusone.com) will follow early in the New Year.
Still phoning for a cab or simply waiting for one to pass by? How very old school. The smart kids are downloading the right app and e-hailing their ride. Hailo has assembled a network of taxi drivers in various global cities, including London, Dublin, Barcelona, New York, Toronto and Tokyo, and it’s expanding rapidly. Just two taps sends a car your way and you can watch it move towards you via your phone’s GPS. Available on iPhone and Android (free). See also: Uber (a growing private car network) and TapACab (UK only).