Bold statement, We know. You probably think this is going to be yet another boring round-up of the latest travel apps that are being pushed out by press releases sent to every b logger and their mother. But no. These aren’t your traditional travel apps. We are not talking about TripAdvisor or Viator or Expedia or Lonely Planet downloaded to your phone. They’ve got great apps, but seriously—they’re just not that much fun.

NOT YOUR TYPICAL TRAVEL APPS

GRINDR


grindrOr similar gay alternates:
Jackd, Planet Romero, others…
Hetero equivalents:Tinder (also LGBT-friendly) or maybe even OkCupid

This shouldn’t come as a surprise but the best travel tips often come from locals. And what better way to connect with locals than through sex! (KIDDING!) Hookup apps don’t have to be used for sex. However rare you think it might be to meet someone through a hookup app for a nonsexual time, trust us—it happens.

Every app is what you make it. And that’s no different than your stereotypical hookup apps. Just don’t be a douche about talking to strangers on these apps. Be respectful, kind and honest. Friendliness can go a long way and you might just get some good travel tips out of it, too.

INSTAGRAM

It’s not just an app for filters Instagram isn’t probably an app you instagramthink about using for travel tips, but it’s actually super useful. Before going to a new place,your can search the name of the city/country as a hash-tag to see what types of photos people are putting up. You can use it to find cool things to do or even cute cafés and restaurants.

Your look for ‘grams with a cool style (or, let’s be serious: cute boys) and then check out their feeds to see what other places they go to. It’s not to be a creeper,—it’s just that if this person was in the same café that you’re enjoying, who’s to say the other bars, restaurants and café’s they’re uploading photos from aren’t equally interesting. It might sound time-consuming, but 5 minutes on Instagram and you might find yourselves at an underground club you’d never find in a guidebook.

FOURSQUARE & SWARM

 

foursquareEven with the split personality, still useful for spying on friends

We love using the Foursquare app when travelling because you can search by keyword or topic – so if you’re sitting in your hotel room and looking for a great place for brunch, you just search for “brunch” and see what comes up. While they unfortunately split the app into two, with Swarm swallowing up the check-in feature, the two apps are still integrated pretty well. The Foursquare app shows you if any friends of yours have been to places nearby or even just ranked or recommended somewhere, so it’s a great way to come back home with more interesting stories to share with your friends. “Oh hey — I went to the same café you had brunch at last year in London. Didn’t you just love the pancakes?!” No, that’s not creepy at all when it’s with a friend!

 

TWITTER

Honestly, it’s not just for sharing what you ate for breakfasttwitter

There are simple ways to use these apps which anyone would find useful. Twitter’s search feature is one of the best available search engines on the internet. Bet you didn’t know that. Go to the Twitter Search page and click “advanced.” You’ll find a whole lot of options including a “local” feature where you can search only tweets geotagged in a specific destination — just enter the city and hit Search! Smart PR professionals will already know about this feature (hopefully).

As a tourist, you can do the searching and see what you might find. On your phone, the Twitter app handily sorts your searches by “Top Tweets” and “All Tweets” so you can essentially see things that are either popular or else just things that are recent.

 

GOOGLE MAPS

googlemapsBecause it’s not always fun to get lost

Obviously there’s the map function so you can get from Point A to Point B. But there’s also a powerful search feature built in. Type “bars” and it’ll show you bars nearby. Your can use the app by starring/favourite each place you plan on going to when in a new destination—that way they’re easier to find when you’re out late and confused about where you are. The favoriting of places also helps you to find them again later (when you’re signed into Google on your computer) so you can quickly leave reviews and maybe even upload a photo or two