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7 Lesser-Known Travel Apps You Never Knew You Needed

Trust us, you'll need these.


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7 Lesser-Known Travel Apps You Never Knew You Needed
Image: Journalist on the Run
Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) is looking to bring back the airline’s glory days and one of its initiatives is to promote the development of travel-related mobile apps. Over the weekend, MAB held the MABHackathon, Malaysia’s first airline mobile applications development challenge. The purpose of this challenge was to explore the future of travel experiences by harnessing the creativity of our local talents, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

The two-day event had 100 participants grouped into 21 teams competing with each other to develop a prototype or mobile app solution. The results were presented to a panel of judges from MAB subsidiaries: MASwings, Firefly and Aerodarat Services, as well as its partners and leaders in the travel and transportation industry: IBM Asia Pacific, Greater China and Japan, Maxis and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Image: Harian Metro
Ukay Wizard emerged as the first group to win an airline hackathon in Malaysia, bagging RM20,000 and economy class return tickets to London. The group developed an app called MUM (Malaysian Unaccompanied Minor), which helps to track unaccompanied minors or special needs passengers.

This app is just one of the many innovative prototypes these talented individuals conjured up. So while we wait patiently for more creative apps to materialise, here are some lesser known but useful travel apps that you never thought you needed.

LoungeBuddy

Image: Technobezz
Don’t you just love having hours to kill in between flights? You’ve surveyed the entire airport, bought enough souvenirs for everyone on your Facebook friend list and you just entered the same bookstore for the fifth time. Why not pay a visit to the airport lounge instead? LoungeBuddy allows you to view, book and access airport lounges around the world instantly. Whether you’re an economy or first class traveller, this app is here to help you make the most out of your layover.

Duolingo

Image: LinguaLift
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to speak the local language when visiting a foreign country. All the hand gestures and sign language you thought you were well equipped with just don’t seem to get you to the right places. Fret not, Duolingo is here to save the day, offering quick lessons that teach you the basics of how to read, write, listen and speak a language. It may not be as detailed as a full-on foreign language class, but it will definitely get you by when you’re travelling. No wonder this app already has more than 70 million people registered!

TripIt

Image: iTunes
If you have a trip coming up that involves more than one hotel and flight, and keeping track of booking numbers just isn’t your thing, then TripIt might just be your new travel buddy. This app collects all your travel information including confirmation emails for flights, hotels, transportation, event bookings, and basically compiles it into a comprehensive itinerary for you, accessible anytime, anywhere. All you need to do is forward your emails to the app and it’ll do everything for you. It’s like your very own travel personal assistant!

AroundMe

Image: iTunes
Ever found yourself in search for the nearest restaurant, bank, hospital, supermarket, cinema, or even petrol station in your travels? It’s normal to find yourself in the middle of nowhere, especially when you’re backpacking in a foreign country and the plan is just to go with the flow. For those times when you’re stuck with no place to go, AroundMe helps to identify your exact location and list down businesses closest to you along with the distance from where you are. Fast, accurate and easy to use, this app is another travel must-have when you go abroad.

Flush Toilet Finder

Image: Go4it
You never know how important having someone to tell you where the toilet is until you really need it, because when you gotta go, you gotta go. Flush Toilet Finder is a handy app that helps you find the nearest public toilet from wherever you are. It has more than 190,000 public loos in its database and works even without internet. So install this app today and say goodbye to running around town with sweat dripping down your face trying to hold it in!

Splittr

Image: iTunes
When you’re travelling with a group of friends and you’re having trouble splitting the bills, Splittr is your answer. This app helps you to share any travel-related expense with your friends. You just have to enter expenses as you go, including who paid for what, and let Splittr to the rest. It is especially useful for long trips with various destinations. It also supports different currencies without the need for conversion. So forget about penning down confusing numbers in a notepad and forcing yourself to use your mathematic skills that are obviously lacking, and download this app before your trip!

PackPoint

Image: We Design LA
If you’re one of those people who need to pack every single item into your luggage “just in case”, PackPoint helps you to filter out things that you probably won’t even need by providing a checklist of essentials that you only REALLY need based on the length of your travel, the weather, and your activities planned. This intelligent app also considers the purpose of your trip, whether for business or leisure. Now you don’t have to worry about paying extra for overweight luggage!

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