Three Must-Know Travel Apps

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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Yes, it's back-to-school but those in the know, and who can, travel in September. Say hello to airline specials, shorter lines at security, off-season hotel rates, milder weather and, if lucky, deeply discounted end-of-season sale items. So if you have “neither chick nor child” or are able to leave the kids with grandparents, September is a great month to escape. In the spirit of making your next getaway even more fun, Style Observer (SO) found three mobile apps that you unquestionably should download.


Conceptualised and started by Groupon founder Andrew Mason (and recently purchased by Bose), Detour is an audio tour app that allows “tourists and locals alike” to discover off-the-beaten-track gems and learn about under-represented communities that traditional tour companies will overlook. WIRED magazine likened using the app to “walking around in a movie”. It's an apt description as there are notable narrators such as Marcus Samuelsson and Ken Burns. Detour is available in 10 US cities including New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and Chicago; and eight international cities including London, Barcelona, Paris and Berlin. The app is free and available both for Android and iOS.


Initially a website, SeatGuru helps travellers to choose the correct seat during the online check-in process. Want to know which row has a power outlet, extra legroom or is far from the bathroom? SeatGuru has you covered. Just plug in your flight number and the app will identify the type of plane you'll be flying on and display a colour-coded map of the best to worst seats on your flight. The app is free and available both for Android and iOS.


Even if you're flying hostility class (coach), add a little luxury to your airport experience with LoungeBuddy. The app allows travellers to “view, book, and access airport lounges around the world in seconds”. LoungeBuddy allows you to virtually peer behind the opaque doors that separate quiet airport lounges from the mayhem outside before paying. The app was founded in 2013 by Tyler Dikman, who racked up a million points on United Airlines before his 30th birthday. His intimate knowledge of airports across the world and their lounges makes LoungeBuddy a trustworthy resource. The approximately 2,500 worldwide lounges in the LoungeBuddy catalogue have amenities such as WiFi and showers, food and bar service (apparently some lounges don't serve alcohol) listed. Download for free on either Android or iOS and kick back and relax in a well-appointed airport lounge on your next trip.

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