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Best apps to plan a perfect vacation


best apps to plan a perfect vacation
Planning a vacation? Here are a few websites and apps that will help you pick a holiday destination, find hiking trails, reserve budget rooms, navigate new cities without a data connection, and even track your train on Indian Railways.









1. HolidayIQ

April 11,2015
HolidayIQ
Android, iOS | Free

HolidayIQ is an India-centric app where you can browse over 2,000 cities, 60,000 landmarks, and read travel reviews without registering with the service. But if you want to share personal accounts of your own holidays or make a booking at one of its listed 50,000 hotels or homestays, then you will need to create a Holiday IQ account.

You can search for a place or "Discover India" to scroll through a list of cities from Katra to Kochi and Dwarka to Dibrugarh that have been authored by other subscribers.

Alternatively, you can head to HolidayIQ's blog within the app for a quick listing of attractions and the "Indian festival calendar" to time your holidays.

Your own travel reviews should include a 250-word description with details like facilities for family or couple, whether free or paid, best time to visit, etc.

2. MAPS.ME

April 11,2015
MAPS.ME
Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Kindle Fire | Free

MAPS.ME is a navigation app that works even without network data access. Just choose the country where you need location services and download the map along with routing information.There is no restriction on the number or the size of the maps you can download.

Once you have these on your handset, you can be offline ­but with GPS set you will still be able to search for important landmarks without consuming any data.

The app allows you to create waypoints of the places you visit to share with friends and family.

If you have 'favourited' places in other map services, you can import those into MAPS.ME as well. And since the data is saved locally, the app's response times for searching, routing, zooming into and out zooming into and out of an area is pretty snappy.

MAPS.ME is extremely handy if you plan on travelling outside your network provider's coverage area.

3. NTES

April 11,2015
NTES
Android, Windows Phone | Free

The National Train Enquiry System (NTES) is the official Indian Railways app for the frequent traveller and tourist. It gives you a near real-time status on the location of your train and the station it is at (or has passed) at any given moment.

You can use this service to view train schedules while you're on holiday or, if you want to know what trains are passing through a particular station, you can check the "trains between stations" option.

Before you set off on your journey, for instance, you can check if your train has been rescheduled, cancelled or diverted.

All you have to do is enter the train number, name, and select your nearest station to get a live update. You can only check for updates on locomotives for the day before, the day itself, and the next day. The app's interface is straightforward, easy to use and almost lag-free.

4. PackPoint

April 11,2015
PackPoint
Android, iOS | Free

So you've booked your travel tickets and your hotel room, and you're faced with tedious task of packing. Well, turn to PackPoint ­ a travel packing planner that will help you organize what you need to pack in your luggage based on the length of travel, weather at your destination, and any activities planned during your trip.

Punch in the city you're going to travel to, the departure date, and the number of nights you'll be staying there and the service will create a luggage checklist for you after factoring details like whether it's a business or leisure trip, if you're willing to repeat wearing basics like shirts and pants and even if you'll have access to laundry facilities.

Once your packing list is built and organized, PackPoint will save it for you, and then you can choose to share it with friends and family in case they need help packing too.

5. Rough Guides

April 11,2015
Rough Guides
http:www.roughguides.com

Whether it's a vacation within India, or a trip abroad, Rough Guides is a superb place to start your planning. The site is easy to navigate and packed with information.

You can browse its guides by continent and gradually distil it down to local regions. You will find sections like where to go, when to go, landmarks you should not miss, rich galleries of photos, and even the next place you can head out to if you're planning a multiple-destination holiday.

Rough Guides also has readymade itineraries for most countries so you don't have to go crazy planning your route.

The best part: you can also initiate a hostel booking from this website.

6. Hostel Bookers and Hostel World

April 11,2015
Hostel Bookers and Hostel World
http:www.hostelbookers.com,
http:www.hostelworld.com

Hostel Bookers and Hostel World are the resources that help you to find and reserve budget hostel and hotel rooms around the world.

Select your destination and the dates of visit, and it throws up multiple options with prices in different currencies, including the rupee.

You can fine-tune results by ratings of the property, and amenities including breakfast, air conditioning, internet, Wi-Fi and secure lockers.

Hostel World even has apps for Android and iOS, as well as what is known as the HostelWorld Recommends Programme -- where the best properties are prominently displayed to help travellers find the highest quality hostel experience available. 

Before you make a booking, try out both services to see which one works best for you.

7. The Culture Trip

April 11,2015
The Culture Trip
theculturetrip.com

What better way to discover a new land than by its local flavour. While Rough Guides gives you a holistic idea about a destination, this website is dedicated to the local arts and culture scene ­complete with its ready reckoners on music, lifestyle, food and literature from the country you plan to visit.

It also suggests books you can read and films to watch before you embark on your journey.

Now while The Culture Trip's content for many places is not quite exhaustive, it is still worth a dekko. And even if you're just an armchair traveller, you can still sign up for their newsletter and follow the website's Facebook and Twitter pages to receive notifications for when a new article is posted.

8. India Hikes

April 11,2015
India Hikes
http:www.indiahikes.in

Those who want to do something adventurous, yet closer to home, should try India Hikes ­-- a place where you can find all the information you'll need for trekking in the country.

The site is regularly updated with travelogues of the latest expeditions, details on new trails, and first-hand news from experienced as well as novice trekkers.

Registering is not compulsory, though signing up for the newsletter will help you keep a tab on trekking events and announcements.

You can refer to its fitness map to get in shape before you start trekking, read up on the treks in your state by month, city or session.

While India Hikes provides trekking-related information that will help you organize your expedition, it also sponsors explorations with the understanding that members will contribute to the documentation on its website.
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