Being in a new city for any length of time can be challenging, and even if you have several days to explore, it can be hard to decide how to spend your time. I have noticed that my friends and I often find ourselves looking to our mobile devices for ideas. Where do we go next? What type of restaurant should we look for? Does that museum charge an admission fee?
Though these questions can become overwhelming, we are always able to answer them without needing to wander aimlessly, ask a local for directions, or even call ahead. Though some might say that relying entirely on a phone to help navigate a city takes away from the experience, using travel apps to guide you through new places can also save valuable vacation time.
For developers, travel apps can be a great way to break into the mobile market. Take, for example, Alviero Chiacchieroni. He designed a mobile app using Syncfusion controls for Windows Phone to help guide tourists through the small village of Collevalenza, Italy. He knew there were few resources for visitors to the town, and was able to provide useful recommendations with the app. In addition, building a specific type of app that can fill a void in the market can potentially make a difference for millions of people, and can be extremely profitable as well. Apps like Uber, a taxi booking service, have seen incredible success in large cities by simply putting themselves in the traveler’s shoes.
If you’re planning to travel this season, here are some other apps that you might find useful:
- Vamos: This app for iOS and Android devices uses a map to display Facebook events occurring near your location. This is a great way to instantly find fun things to do, whether your idea of fun is walking around an outdoor farmer’s market, dancing to live music, or people-watching from the window of a cozy café.
- PassportParking: Use this app to find metered parking in participating cities, and then use your phone to scan and pay for your space. And don’t worry about wandering off for hours; you can add more time to your space from anywhere.
- HopStop: If you do not have access to a vehicle, HopStop will help you find your way. Whether you are walking, biking, taking a taxi, or using public transit, this app gives you directions, departure times, and bus and subway schedules. It even tells you how many calories you’re burning, which is especially useful after you’ve sampled a little too much of the local food.
- Seamless: Of course, local food can only be enjoyed if you know how to find it. Or, for Seamless users, if the food can find you. While review-based restaurant rating apps like Yelp and UrbanSpoon are great ways to verify the quality of restaurants in the area, this app allows users to browse menus, look for coupons, and order food for delivery or pickup, all in one place.
What are your favorite travel apps and sites? Share them with us in the comments, and remember to tweet at us why you love being a developer. You could win a GoPro camera to take with you on your next journey!