Trippo, FourSquare and other useful, search-and-discover travel apps

2019-02-17 20:06
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Berlin is unveiling a new app that will let people use public transport, rental bikes, car-sharing and taxis seamlessly to travel through the German capital.

The app presented Monday is the work of Lithuanian start-up Trafi and is already in use, under different names, in Vilnius, Rio de Janeiro and Jakarta.

Berlin will be the first major European capital to get access this summer to what Trafi describes as a "level 3" app that requires only a single signup to use all services, with billing handled centrally.

Berlin's aging transport system — a maze of underground lines, trams, buses and light rail — is straining under the weight of the city's growth.

The capital's left-wing government has struggled to integrate new services into the existing infrastructure in recent years. 


Hey, you like to travel? Awesome, same. The admin that comes with planning a trip and ensuring it runs smoothly during however can be a bit of a pain. Luckily, modern technologies and smart devices have made it simpler than ever to ensure that the only thing you have to worry about on your next international adventure is whether or not to have another cocktail.

One great app that has recently caused something a buzz is Trippo, as seen in the above video. Essentially it makes use of machine learning to uncover travel ideas and inspiration through a screenshot. While you're scrolling through your Instagram feed you can simply take a screenshot of that beach in the Philippines and Trippo will collate all the ideas in one area but also give you location information. So planning your travel is as simple as taking a screenshot (which is run through image recognition technology) and stored in a central location for you to refer to later on.    

Many a traveller and social media user is likely familiar with the Foursquare app. It was at one point akin to the current Facebook 'check-in' feature and saw users check into restaurants, clubs, bars, attractions and other venues. Essentially, it was a digital activity logbook overlayed on a map. An exercise in vanity to some and a digital travel scrapbook to others, it undoubtedly has had a major influence on many contemporary applications - particularly those used for the purpose of travel. 

SEE: How tech and travel are influencing the experience economy

A large part of Foursquare since then has been making its database of locations available for use in third-party applications. GPS coordinates are good and all but they are only the beginning, apps need to create experiences around this data particularly for the purposes of simplifying travel as much as possible.

Today, Foursquare is seeing something of a resurgence with the app being used to find locations and attractions in and around a specific location helping you to decide where is best to get a meal or a coffee or just take in the sights.  

Besides Foursquare there are plenty of modern tools right in your pocket that can make planning or being on a trip a worry and confusion-free breeze.

Here are some of the best that you should consider getting for your next big trip: 


Before you even start packing you should have budgeted for your trip costing in all expected, miscellaneous and emergency expenses. But what about when you're travelling on business and you need to account for your expenditure? In steps TravelBank. 

This app was designed with the business traveller in mind.  It creates a budget for a trip based on actual travel costs. Users are able to book flights and accommodation and log their expenditure on meals. At the end of the trip, users are able to file an expense report directly through the app providing transparency and simplicity. Leaving more time to enjoy the experience - even while you work. 

XE Currency

There are many currency conversion apps out there but none so consistently cited as being reliable and accurate as the XE Currency app. Offering live exchange rates for currencies from all over the world from the mighty US dollar to the Baht and everything in between. XE is simple as entering an amount and the equivalent in all other currencies will show on the screen - refreshed every minute. 

Its quick, easy and saves you from having to do a lot of mental math. Another bonus is that you needn't an internet connection to do the conversions although you will have to download the rates when you first select a currency.

We don't need to tell you why a currency conversion app is useful do we, dear traveller? 


Not all weather apps are built the same. While other apps will have you wearing fur while your friends in the same city head to the beach, Accuweather offers you hyper-localised minute-by-minute forecasts so you never get caught in the rain. 

SEE: Travel Tech: The phone that could change your Instagram game

Google Translate

There are no language barriers in 2018. Stop playing yourself and download the Google Translate app. 

At present, it can translate more than 100 languages merely by typing text into your smart device. A nifty feature sees users able to translate text simply by pointing your camera at whatever you're looking to decipher. It's not a perfect science yet but it works well enough to get the meaning across. It also works with audio meaning you can translate the angry Russians and catcalling Italians on the fly.

citymapper, app, travel, tech

(Photo: Supplied, Google Play)


Packing. Is. Stressful. But it doesn't need to be. PackPoint is the perfect app to take the effort out of this mundane, inevitable task that travellers have to endure. This app will literally make a list of things to pack for you. 

Just add your travel dates and destination and the app will create a weather-specific packing list for you. It gets deeper. The app will ask what you plan on doing while you're abroad and make suggestions for things you may need to pack so that you don't forget anything. 



One of the most admired parts of the travel experience is the idea of the unknown and the unexpected experiences that await you. That being said there are some experiences that are better left unknown - like having to use the restroom and not having any place to go. 

Unsurprisingly, there's an app for that. SitOrSquat is literally a restroom-searching app. Pre-loaded with over 100 000 public restrooms, you can, through the app, find one closest to your location. The bathrooms also come with ratings either "sit" or "squat" if they're clean or dirty respectively. Users can contribute to the cause by adding new locations to the database as well as all relevant other information. 

apps, travel, tech

(Photo: Supplied, SitOrSquat)

WATCH: Get more from Google Maps during your travels with these five updates


The GeoSure takes the idea of the unexpected a bit more seriously than the above app and provides essential info about your destination and tips for staying safe.

GeoSure collects data from various sources including the Centre for Disease Control, the United Nations, local authorities, the World Health Organisation and more to compile a safety score for the location you intend to visit. The safety score then describes and reflects all the potential risks (health, political, criminal, environmental and other) leaving you comfortably more informed. 

The app also incorporates crowd-sourced information about crime that may have occurred in a particular area and advises you accordingly.

American Red Cross First Aid

Accidents happen. Even while you're on holiday. Be prepared for the worst case and get this app that will have you way more equipped to deal with any eventuality than you probably are right now. The app offers users step-by-step instructions for dealing with almost any injury imaginable leaving you with greater peace of mind. This app is like a gun or a condom - better to have and not need than need and not have. 


Like Google Maps but different. Citymapper offers users access to real-time departure information, biking and walking directions as well as alerts to any disruptions in the area. 

What makes this different from Google Maps is that the app will also offer suggestions as to what is the best train carriage to be in and what station exit to take when you depart. 

citymapper, app, travel, tech(Photo: Supplied, City Mapper)

Wi-Fi Map

You may fear not being able to post all your pictures to the gram because of a lack of a consistent internet connection but this app will surely allay those fears. The app scans your surroundings and gives you access and information on some 100 000 000 Wi-Fi hotspots updated by the app's over seven million users.

SEE: Google trip planning: 7 ways to simplify your next trip from start to finish

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