Are you a traveller or a tourist? Where do we draw the line? Or rather, who draws that line? This curatorial role used to be the sole preserve of travel magazines and guidebooks. If you’d done your research before that trip to Thailand after reading those things, you were a traveller. Else, you were a tourist, part of a headless herd looking for good deals and ghar ka khana. However tenuous, that divide still holds true. But as both increasingly turn online for that great tip or cheap flight, how do you sift through all that digital data out there? Enter the travel app. At the touch of a finger, you can now get live currency conversions (XECurrency), choose the cheapest hotel or flight (TripAdvisor), make point-to-point itineraries (Rome2Rio) or speak the local language anywhere you go (DuoLingo). Soon, there’ll also be an app called Access Earth, a sort of TripAdvisor for persons with disability. For now, here’s a list of five travel apps that are changing the way we travel (or, um, tour).
- PeakFinder Earth
Remember the times you were gazing at some Himalayan panorama from some fantastic vantage, awed and confused by the jumble of great peaks? Well, turn on the app, focus the phone camera on the view, and you get a silhouette map, each peak neatly labelled. Click on the view to zoom or get info on any peak. For hilly areas with poor connectivity, download and store region-specific views from a global database of over 2.5 lakh peaks to summon up offline. No more arguments with some officious uncle on whether you’re looking at Chaukhamba or Nanda Devi! Available for iOS and Android.
This is an app that encourages you to fearlessly explore cities on your own. With a current database of 40 cities from around the world (no Indian...