Planning your gap year travels can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s your first solo travel adventure.
How do I get from Melbourne to Perth? How do I know it’s the cheapest route? Where can I find honest reviews for hostels? What’s the best way to keep track of all my travel plans? These are all questions that first-time travelers worry about but look no further, the apps listed below will ensure you have everything planned and organised in no time.
Rome2rio is the perfect trip planning app for any backpacker to help save you time and money when trying to get from one location to another. You simply type in the city you wish to travel from and where you’re planning to go and Rome2rio does the rest for you. The results show you all of the different ways you can get from A to B, including flights, trains, buses and even driving routes. You are also shown an estimate of how long each route will take and how much it will cost. One nice feature is that the app does not just focus on the bigger companies, such as Grey Hound, it will also show you the routes available with smaller companies and let you compare the prices and pick the best option for your travels. To make it even better Rome2rio can be used anywhere in the world!
Hostel World’s app makes picking your perfect hostel a quick and enjoyable experience. To begin your search you type in a location name, select your dates and the number of people staying, you’re then presented with a list of hostels in that area. Depending on the location you’ve picked this can be a vast list but don’t worry the app includes an array of useful filters to narrow down your search including nightly price, hostel rating and facilities. You can then view the remaining hostels either as a list of if you want to narrow down your area further in the form of a map. Once you’ve chosen a hostel you can read reviews from previous guests and see the different rooms available. Booking your hostel is then only a few clicks away and after your first booking, your details will be saved meaning it’s even simpler to book in future.
Hostel World stands out over other hostel apps due to its popularity and as a result the sheer volume of reviews for each hostel, meaning no nasty shocks at check-in.
The app also has a selection of hotels and B&BS for those times you’re looking for a slightly more luxurious experience.
Camper Mate is a must have app for anyone planning on camping during their gap year but by no means should be limited to just those camping, as it can also be used to find things such as free Wi-Fi and ATM.
The app shows you nearby campsites on an easy to access map, you can then select a campsite to see more information, including facilities and pricing. Using filters you can narrow your search down to the exact type of campsite you need, as well as being able to search for nearby facilities when on the road.
The app is not reliant on its own review system and instead links TripAdvisor reviews seamlessly within the app. This has the benefit of providing users with a great selection of reviews and a much truer image of each campsite.
Unfortunately, Camper Mate is currently limited to the two most popular stops on anyone’s gap year bucket list Australia and New Zealand.
So, you’ve booked your flights. Organised you’re first weeks hostel. Planned a few events you want to check out in the first few days but how do you store all of this information in one place that’s easy to access? That’s where TripIt comes in, letting you store your whole itinerary in one place. TripIt does not stop at just storing the basics such as your flights and hostel bookings, it even lets you save directions, notes, tours and concerts. You can create different trips, perfect for organising your year based on different locations.
To make it even easier you can link to your email account and allow TripIt to automatically add bookings you have confirmation emails for. And just when you thought TripIt couldn’t make your life even easier it lets your share your itineraries with friends and family, so no more writing down all of your flight details and hostels addresses for every relative that insists on always knowing where you are.
You’re ready to leave for your year of adventure and have never been more excited but there’s a 24+ hour flight standing between you and your plans, don’t worry because you can now enjoy videos and web articles while 30,000 feet in the air. Yes, I know you’re probably thinking this means paying the airlines crazy Wi-Fi fees to access the internet but no, not with Pocket. Pocket allows you to save web pages and videos to your phone that can then be viewed later without internet access. Suddenly that long-haul flight doesn’t feel as long.