You could be a fanny-pack-and-binocular-wielding tourist whose bucket list is synonymous to the list of the Seven Wonders of the World, or someone who impulsively blows up three months’ salary to camp in a hidden cave in Mexico.
You might be the kind that buries their head in the binder containing everything from their destination’s topography to its crime rate, or someone that likes to put off knowing where they will wake up the coming weekend. Fret not, no matter which class of a traveller you are, the following list of travel apps will ensure that all your travel fantasies meet their happy endings!
1. EasyRoads: Crafted in 2015 in Mumbai, this app opens the doors to a whole new world of travel for those of us who believe in the old adage, “The journey is as important as the destination.” This first and only roadtrip planning app gives you the legitimate lowdown on the best roadtrips from your city, the sights to behold, the stops to make, the highway hubs to halt at and grab your bites, as well as where to spend the night. As an end-to-end platform, it allows you to book self-drive rides, hotels, and car-maintenance sessions along with a host of other services. Currently in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi,they will be hitting up the roads in five other Indian states by the end of the month.
2. Thrillophilia: The year 2011 gave the travel community a Bengaluru-based portal that can be anything you want it to be – a carefully curated journal where you can simply read about popular and virgin locations, an agent that hooks you up with packages to get you there, or your guide itself, waiting to take you on expeditions to those very. In fact, they have also been selling travel gear that would be especially useful for an adventurous pursuit. Alexa traffic ranks Thrillophilia among the top 20 travel websites here, declaring it India's largest tours and activities company with more than 8,000 tours on offer. It has raised two rounds of funding since its inception.
3. WTFares: This 2014 startup is a potential gamechanger. WTFares is the first app offering free cancellation on domestic air travel by charging a minor premium, making it perfect for all the wanderlust victims whose whims are only restricted by uncertain, busy schedules. Two years down the line, they’ve catered to 20,000 customers, carrying out nearly 500 transactions a month, and grossing around Rs 9 crore over the past year, with a steady growth of 15 percent MoM.
4. Ixigo: As an alternative to Yatra, Cleartrip, etc., Gurgaon-based and Make My Trip-backed Ixigo offers great deals on flights, hotels, buses, and cabs (the latter through a third-party merchant).While their prices and deals are absolutely identical to the prevailing trends on other websites, Ixigo goes a step further and offers mind-boggling cashbacks into various popular wallets. You do not have to pay via the wallet, all you have to do is claim the cashback by providing the wallet’s account details linked with the same ID and mobile number as the ones used to book the flights.In case you do not have an account already, you can sign up within a month of the booking with the same details, and claim your bounties. GoIbibo is a close second as they offer massive rewards too - in the form of points, however, and in your GoIbibo account itself.
5. Google Flights: If you think Google has quietened down for some time after releasing its Google Allo, Google Trips,and Google Play Music in India, think again. Google’s newly launched service, as young as two months old, handholds users with flight bookings by providing information on when the prices for the preferred flight are expected to rise or fall, using an algorithm that scours through historical data of the flight. For instance, if you have selected a flight for the fifth of November to New York on October 20, then Google Flights will notify you with a message stating that the price of the same flight will double by the October 25. In this way, you will know the amount of money you can save by booking the flight on the 20thinstead of the 25th, cashing in on the best available deal at the time. If you have been looking up a destination without selecting any particular flight, then it will roll up a notification bar that offers tips on picking the best, most cost-effective route.
6. ConfirmTkt: Another godsend for backpackers and all those travel junkies who never turn down the call of the mountains and beaches no matter when it strikes. Founded in 2014, ConfirmTkt tells them how likely it is that their waitlisted ticket will get confirmed, based again on an algorithm that combs through past data. The newly launched feature Confirmtkt Alternate, suggests various alternate travel options, like alternate trains, combinations of two trains, or combinations of buses and trains to save the day! The app has over eight lakh app downloads, and serves close to 50,000 daily users. ConfirmTkt has so far raised two rounds of funding: angel investments in July 2015, and in January this year, a pre-series A round.
7. TicketJugaad: Using a unique and efficient algorithm, Ticket Jugaad gives an alternative ticket option in the same train by identifying empty routes, in cases of unavailable tickets, as shown by IRCTC. Launched in October 2015, TicketJugaad tracks quotas of reserved tickets which go underutilised through its journey.
8. TripHobo: TripHobo is an app that makes your in-destination experiences equally memorable and effortless – like travel is intended to be. 2014-born-and-bred, quite contrary to what its name might suggest is for the meticulous hobo – one that lives in the moment but would like each moment to be perfect. With a visual algorithmic trip planner, it allows users to choose where they want to travel, suggests attractions, helps plan each trip day in detail, and make bookings of the same through the platform. At the backend, it runs an algorithm to optimise the trip taking into account travel distances, open/close timings, preferred mode of transportation, etc. TripHobo offers itinerary of what all you can do in a city. The company raised two rounds of fundingfrom Kalaari Capital and Mayfield investors. Currently, TripHobo is home to over 70,000 user-created itineraries and curated content for close to 400 top tourist cities worldwide. In addition to the travel planner platform, TripHobo also provides planning-related information for over 50,000 points of interest that aid users in travel planning.
9. Oneway.cab/BookMySawari: Ahmedabad’s Oneway.cab and BookMySawari are amongst the ever-burgeoning cohort of services that are finally offering one-way cab trips for inter-city travel, albeit the above-mentioned companies, we have found, have the best deals. While BookMySavari provides safe and affordable transportation in over 70 cities pan India through the use of technology, Oneway.cab is operational in the western cities of Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Udaipur, Jaipur, Vadodara, Surat, Mumbai, Nashik, and Pune, covering over 100 one-way routes between any two given places, with a customer base of over 30,000.
10. Zostel, and the "relationship mode" variants of other hotel aggregators: For solo travellers with free minds and freer spirits, Zostel is an affordable and plush chain of youth hostels across the country. Is usually home to some life-changing experiences as travellers from different parts of the world jamboree over dancing flames and spirits and whatnot. Present in 17 cities already, the company is acquiring more and more properties as you read this. Zostel is also backed by angel investors and is in talks with Tiger Global for their next round. And for those of you whoprefer not to be in the content “forever alone” army and are travelling with your partner or bud (who happens to be) of the opposite sex, Oyo Rooms’ “Relationship Mode,” MakeMyTrip’s “RightStay”, and independent startup “StayUncle”, all of which were launched at different points this year, will create a safe, judgment-free bubble where you can spend your quality time without intrusion.
11. Safecity: For women who are breaking out of their shells, shattering the proverbial glass walls, and choosing to travel independently and find their limits, the 2013-born Safecity could help them have just the carefree experience they deserve. It crowdsources instances of abuse and helps women “pin” the creep –pin the location of crimeon the map, we mean, anonymously or otherwise, with nature of it, itsdate and time, so as to create a huge database of disturbances available for all travellers to caution them. There are designated categories for identifying the nature of crimes, for example, rape, sexual invites, groping, a crime against North East Indians or LGBTQ, and disability. It also has a missed dial facility for those with no internet access where they can call the toll-free number 09015 510 510, disconnect it and the team calls them back within 24 hours to record a report.
12. SeekSherpa: Incubated at 91Springboard and funded by VentureNursery in 2014,SeekSherpa is a mobile platform that connects travellers and locals, so that the latter can spend typically three to four hours with the former to show them their city at its very best. The format - walking, bingeing, clickitty-clicking –is decided by the “Sherpa”. They have serviced over 7,000 customers since January 2015 and operates in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Agra, amongst other cities. It is also selected to the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Programme, to be held in Dubai between December 5 and 11. Various walking and photography tour boutique agencies have cropped up locally, but SeekSherpa is the only pan-India network.
Beyond this list, of course, add a little bit of AirBnB for home(ly)stays infused with the local flavour here, or Uber and Ola for haggle-free intra-city travelling there; scour through Zomato for the most delish local food, and keep Google Maps well exercised for finding your way out of even the depths of hell. Now, see you on the other side of your best vacay ever!
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