I won’t disappoint you; apart from all the known mobile apps that include MakeMyTrip, OYO rooms etc, I will introduce to you a few mobile apps that you might not have heard about because they are exclusive to India traveling.
The usefulness of Mobile Apps related to Traveling.
Before I share my idea of advantages of using Mobile Apps when you plan a holiday travel, I will let you in for a surprise.
“Do you know that more than 30% of the frequent travelers don’t use mobile apps because of fear of security breach?”
It is no secret that with the growth of mobile technology, just about every industry including drinking water suppliers to homes is ‘mobile app ready’ that are ‘social media sharing’ friendly too.
This is more so in the tourism and travel industry. This is evident from the fact that 100% of us do not use printed travelogues, maps and travel guides anymore. We rely on the feedback, and reviews published in the mobile apps such as Trip Advisor, Make my Trip and Zomato.
We are living in an era where the world is literally at our fingertips. Our holiday planning is made from the comfort of couch holding a 5.5 inch widescreen mobile phone and manipulating the following mobile apps and the whole planning is completed with meticulous details in about an hour or so.
Once we have made up mind about the destination with the help of many travel related websites that include:
- Lonely Planet
- Travel plus Leisure
- Nerd Nomads
We then proceed to find and book the cheapest flights using various mobile apps.
It’s wise to download local mobile apps when you’re traveling to another country. Here’s what you need to download if you’re touring India.
Make My Trip Mobile Apps
Make my trip is the most used mobile app to find and book flights tickets. In addition, we can use this app to find and reserve hotel accommodation and car rentals too. Make my trip is a smart app that has the nuances to find discount offers from flight operators and hotels to get us the best travel deals. Moreover, in my experience, they are the most dependable travel organizing company followed by other players that include:
- Clear Trip
I trust ‘Make My Trip’ app because they are ‘data leak proof’ in my opinion.
Next step in our travel planning is to find accommodation that suits your budget.
We tend to spend more time in researching about various types of accommodation in our destination because we expect to spend more time in hotels than in planes.
Actually, I find it vice-versa. I found myself spending more time in planes and cars than in hotels.
Nevertheless, we want to stay in maximum comforts that our money can buy. Apart from the recommendations from friends and relatives, we seek the mobile apps’ help in finding the hotel rooms based on user ratings.
I would list the three best apps that I have used in the past.
- Make my Trip
- Clear Trip
All the above plus many more lead by booking.com can help you find the best hotel room and serviced apartments in India. As far as the pricing is concerned, there won’t be a distinct variation between these three mobile apps.
Apart from star hotels and budget hotels, one can also stay in OYO rooms, serviced apartments and Airbnb.
OYO Rooms Apps
There is an exclusive mobile apps offered by the oyorooms.com The more popular OYO-rooms come with the modern day luxuries that include:
* Free Wi-Fi
* Free breakfast
* Ultra modern bathrooms
Airbnb has an exclusive apps in Google Play.
Airbnb comes under home-stay. It is an exciting concept in the hospitality industry. It helps you to find lodging (sometimes boarding too) offered by people like you and me. The types of accommodation include:
- short-term lodging
- Vacation rentals, apartment rentals,
Since the price is considerably cheaper than any other type of accommodation, it has become the preferred choice for travelers.
It is like the paying-guest type of boarding and lodging in all the major cities in India such as New Delhi and Bombay.
Couchsurfing is another affordable hospitality service combined with social networking website. The website acts as a platform for travelers to find paying guest accommodation at someone else’s home.
Since we will be staying in a stranger’s house, security can be a major concern especially if the house is far away from the city and other facilities like restaurants, shops, local transportation like metro and taxi etc.
In this type of accommodation, you won’t be given a separate room but will be asked to sleep on a couch in the living room. Users who opt for this type of service usually want to sleep overnight, freshen up in the morning and leave, not to come back again during their stay in a particular city.
After settling in your choice of accommodation, you would want to taste the local cuisine even though your hotel is equipped with a high-end restaurant.
What more do you want than the Zomato, the world’s number one local restaurant identifier? I am sure every other city in every country will have the Zomato except a few countries. Zomato not only recommends you places to eat but bars, cafes, and pubs too based on current trends and user ratings. Most of the recommended food joints will deliver food at your doorstep.
There are alternative apps to Zomato that include Food Panda and Swiggy. They are available in Google Play Store.
This is an alternative to Zomato and I have been using it for a long time now and I am very satisfied with its usage.
So, your next requirement as a tourist in another country is to find the cheapest local transportation to move around.
UBER and Ola
In India, you must download the most popular and affordable taxi apps UBER and Ola Cabs. There may be some more dedicated to certain cities such as the Meru Cabs in Bangalore but the recommended ones are the UBER and the Ola Cabs. Both are reliable.
AudioCompass in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism in India has built a vast library of audio clips that contain guided audio tours of all the top tourist hotspots in the country.
InterCity hopping by Red Bus.
Those who could not afford to go by planes, the next best option is to go by buses that are operated both by the local Government, neighboring state Governments and private operators. All these bus services are aggregated by a mobile apps called the ‘Red Bus’.
For intercity travel, though traveling by train is comfortable, the buses are always a convenient option because the number of buses plying between cities is more and at various times of the day making it as the preferred choice than the trains.
Redbus is India’s premier bus booking service. The apps is very easy to use. The Red Bus has partnered with almost every other bus operator in the country except the state-owned bus service.
Traveling by trains
India is largely connected by the Indian Railways. I would say the Indian Railways is the largest rail network in the world. The trains go to every major city as well as remote villages including small towns situated in the hills.
The best way to book your train ticket is through the railway’s apps IRCTC. It is very easy to use and accepts all forms of approved payments. The only drawback is, you cannot use it before 12 noon.
With this apps you can also order a meal at in-between major stations and can also book your stay in large rooms called ‘Retiring Rooms’. However, they are available only in select railway stations.
IRCTC when expanded read as “Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’.
It is a ubiquitous local business and service directory. Most of the local shops and various skilled service providers such plumber, electricians etc have registered with the local directory Just Dial, India’s largest local assistance geographically.
For an International traveler, it may not be useful but for the citizens of India visiting other Indian cities, the TOI app is very handy.
It is the largest television news channel.
Book my Show
With this useful mobile apps, you can book tickets for events, movies, sports events and various other shows in the city where you are staying or where you are heading next.
I might have left out a few more useful apps for touring in India. If you know of any such apps, please let me know through the comment form below.