The Hunt for the Ultimate Travel and Exploration App

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There was a time when the mobile phone was used for little more than communication – an emergency line for when you were traveling, out and about and needed to contact someone quickly. In the decades since the first mobile phone was created however, we’ve seen monumental changes. As illustrated by an infographic posted by the Computer Science Degree Hub, mobile phones evolved from simple brick phones in the 1980s to powerful machines in the early 2000s. In 30 years, the smartphone has evolved to become one of our most trusted tools.

When smartphones began to accept third-party applications and add-ons, it became clear that the possibilities for functionality would be endless, especially for explorers and travelers. Software developers, Gaming Realms, a company that hosts the gaming portal Free Bingo Hunter says, improved mobile internet capabilities have facilitated the increased adoption of smartphones, as they’ve allowed for a greater number of things to be done on the device. Unfortunately, 50% of all smartphone app usage is still from gaming, and many travelers are sure to find that there hasn’t been an app that provides all the features one would want.

There are many that come close, of course. Trip Advisor’s range of smartphone apps are a great start, providing information on most destinations, as well as reviews of establishments and outdoor experiences. However, the app can be severely limiting for those who like to go off the beaten path, and documenting your journey can’t be done right from the app itself either. For those who like to maintain a travel journal, an app like Off Exploring might be the better choice, especially for when you find yourself without an internet connection most of the time. Still, the app can only do so much, and we find ourselves asking: what does a travel and exploration app need?

Perhaps it’s a combination of everything: an app that crowdsources information on top destinations, as well as alternative experiences in a region, allowing users to share their experiences and document their trip with photos, with interactive maps that are available offline. The app should also have a list of emergency numbers in each country, so you know just who to call should you ever find yourself in a bind. Weather forecasts would also be a great addition to the list of features. Right now, there are several apps that provide these features separately, but the ultimate travel and exploration app should have all of them in one neat package.

Such an app would take years of collating information, and making it all available offline would require huge amounts of space in the local memory of the smartphone, but with innovation on smartdevices continuing through the years, it doesn’t seem impossible for us to get this app in the future. What other features would you like to see in the ultimate travel app?

6 thoughts on “The Hunt for the Ultimate Travel and Exploration App

  1. The best travel App we’ve found (we don’t use many) is Triposo.

    It allows one to download travel information by country (pulled from a variety of sources, such as Wikitravel, Wikipedia, Tripadvisor, etc), and best of all, once you’ve downloaded the relevant country, you can access it offline.

    Even the maps work without wi-fi!

  2. I don’t use any apps and hadn’t really thought about having a crowdsourced app for something like this. I do search travel blogs and read travel guides from the popular choices (Frommer’s/Fodor’s/etc.) but I don’t want to be too “prepared” when I visit a place. I enjoy the element of surprise and I have a sense of adventure when visiting a new place but not knowing every little thing about a place.

    I know I have the habit to check Yelp when I visit a place to know good places to eat; however, I’ve been trying to break that habit and just ask people or just go to a place uninitiated. However, with all that said, I like the idea you are proposing and I wonder if there really is anything like that out there right now.

  3. Ate Bela, to be honest, I don’t use any apps to search for a destination. I would still stick to checking out blogs because you can actually see how sincere and honest their reviews are about a place. It gives me the thrill. As for documenting my thoughts, I would still prefer to stick to a simple notebook and pen. It’s much easier for me to jot down everything on a piece of paper. But, I still like the idea that you decided to post something like this. Maybe if there’s such an app that is really perfect for travel and exploration, then I might give it a try 🙂

  4. I feel like we have many apps for many elements of travel, like different kinds of maps, places for food, methods to meet locals. But it would be great for an app to combine all of these together, so much so that it is the only app you need for the practicalities of a traveler (itineraries, directions) and as a person wanting to interact and experience culture/countries (meeting locals, free tours, upcoming events)

  5. I get a little overwhelmed when there is one site or app for everything I could possibly think of. I’ve been more drawn to apps that offer quality over quantity. The more simple and streamlined, the better! For me at least. I do think it would be fun to have an app that covers something like wilderness exploring. Something with a compass (although the iPhone has one), survival guides, field guide for edible plants, trail maps, etc… maybe that already exists.

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