Top 5 must-have apps on your smartphone to quench your wanderlust

August 08th, 2015

Going outside of your comfort zone–Weekend Fix style.

By Vida Lacano

Suppose you and a friend arrive at any given city with nothing but your mobile phones. What do you do? You use your smartphone to find all the great things the city offers.

Ladies and gentlemen, your gadget with a 5-inch display has now become your travel agent.

Hit reality television series, “Weekend Fix,” shows you how to use the apps you already have on your phone to further enhance your travel experience. It’s a unique concept that has garnered a huge following for the show, resulting in its hosts actor Omar Miller and designer Andres Izquieta becoming household names for backpacker wannabes. On the show, Omar and Andres travel to different locations, using only their mobile phones as a jump-off point to finding out the best places to wine, dine, and rest. Here are five of the apps that the Weekend Fix duo regularly use to get around an unfamiliar place, which we’re highly recommending you download before you go on your next travel adventure:

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Google

And by Google we mean the whole package–Maps, Translate, Youtube, Chrome, Calendar…you know what we mean. Google on your phone is like having a handy dandy virtual Swiss army knife. Everything you need to get done, you just type away. You can ask Google for directions (via Google Maps), watch local travel shows for recommendations (via Youtube) or even translate phrases for you to be able to effectively talk with the locals (via Google Translate). The latter one is especially essential when you are in a new place and there’s clearly a language barrier.

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TripAdvisor

Being touted by ComScore as the world’s largest travel site puts TripAdvisor at number two in this list. TripAdvisor enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip by offering advice and a wide variety of travel choices. Best of all, it allows users of the app to plan and seamlessly book with partner hotels at the best bleepin’ prices. So if you’re a wide-eyed wanderer looking for the best B&B to crash in for the night, fire up TripAdvisor and let the community make the recommendation for you. TripAdvisor is preloaded on most handsets, so downloading is no longer a problem.

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Wheretowee

Ah…doing “#1” and “#2.” That’s always every traveler’s problem. You visit a place and after all the adventurous dining done the night before, your tummy suddenly decides to abandon you by forcing you to rush to the nearest restroom. But that’s the thing. Where is the restroom? Wheretowee app helps you quickly find nearby restrooms (or comfort rooms, for the quintessential Pinoy). But not just any C.R. The app gives you location of nearby restrooms that are actually clean and functional, as rated by other Wheretowee users. Rest assured you won’t find yourself relieving in a place with oh-God-what-is-that-smell kind of odour. The app also notifies you of places without restrooms. Now you know which coffee shops to avoid (because, why would you not have a restroom if you’re serving diuretics?)

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Instagram

Yes, all those #food and #foodporn tags are actually very useful for a local traveler! Instagram can actually tell you what the locals are currently digging in at the moment. Just search for food photos via tags (ex: #food #CebuCity) and see where people are eating and taking filtered photos of their food. Remember, people don’t “Insta-G” bad food–if it’s uploaded on IG, it must be good. Kind of an acceptable #humblebrag, really.

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Foursquare/Swarm

You need to check out a place if people are clamoring to oust its “Mayor” on Swarm. It’s one of the great things the old Foursquare incorporated on its sister app Swarm. Foursquare learns what you like and leads you to places you’ll surely love; Swarm lets you meet new friends. You get to find awesome recommendations based on what you like, what’s currently high-rating, and what trusted experts have been approving. Foursquare and Swarm is undoubtedly a win-win combo. So the next time you want the real deal on Italian food in Quezon City, check out Foursquare. And don’t forget to check in on Swarm.

Check out the rest of the apps used on Weekend Fix! Weekend Fix airs Sundays at 9:30PM on CT.

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