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Leverage on the power of technology on your next getaway, and master the art of worry-free travel. IMAGE: UNSPLASH

Up Your Travel Game: Must-Have Apps For Singaporean Globetrotters

I gotta confess, I’ve got a constant case of the travel bug (for fun that is, not for work). And whether you're headed to Vietnam, Laos, or any other exciting destination, a smooth and enjoyable journey is a must! If you’re like me, and want to be extra prepared for your upcoming adventure, here’s a list of must-have travel apps that will turn your global escapades into a breeze. Bon voyage, fellow globetrotters!

1. PackPoint

Packing used to be a real ugh process for me. I'd start days in advance because, tbh, I tend to forget things when I pack last-minute. Let’s just say, my S.O. was less than impressed when he had to tiptoe around suitcases on the floor.

This app is such a lifesaver because it whips up a curated packing list once you input your destination, travel dates, and planned activities. No more leaving your sunscreen or cardigan behind, which I’ve somehow managed to do for almost every sweater-weather vacation I’ve been on.

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

2. YouTrip

If you're kiam siap like me and hate paying for markup on transactions in foreign currency, then you definitely need YouTrip. Trust me, that extra 2-3% really adds up. Download the app, apply for a YouTrip card, and wave goodbye to those pesky foreign transaction fees. You can hoard stash foreign currencies in an e-wallet linked to a debit or credit card and top up whenever you want (for example, if the exchange rate turns in favour of you).

Tried and tested: it works like a charm in Malaysia, even though you won’t actually get to store MYR in your e-wallet. Simply charge the transaction to the YouTrip card and the amount in MYR will be converted to SGD automatically at the Mastercard wholesale exchange rate. Rejoice, because you can now shop across the Causeway without the markups diluting your purchasing power!

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

3. XE Currency Converter

Currency conversion can be confusing, especially if you’re hopping between countries. XE Currency Converter has a simple interface that helps you keep track of all currency pairs. Now you'll know whether that LV bag is a steal in France compared to Orchard Road. Personally, I use it to keep myself informed on when to “change money”, you know, when the rates are in my favour. Just set up alerts on the XE app for your target currency pair, and never miss a good rate!

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

4. Reddit

Reddit is like a global treasure trove of travel tips. Dive into subreddits like r/Munich or r/Paris to get recommendations straight from the locals. It's like having insider info on where to find the best croissants in Paris or the most legit schnitzel in Munich. I've discovered some hidden gems through Reddit that have truly made my trips unforgettable, such as the time I ate my way through Lyon!

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

5. Timeshifter

One of the more sian things about vacationing overseas is the jet lag, especially if you're diving right back into work the next day after landing at Changi (been there, done that). Using Timeshifter, you can create a personalised plan to avoid jet lag as much as possible, and minimise down time once you land at your destination, so that you are in the best condition to start exploring.

What it does is that it provides you cues on things such as when to avoid light, when to stay awake or the best time to drink coffee. Trying to juggle multiple time zones and craft an optimal schedule for yourself simply involves too much guesswork. That said, this app is not for those with very rigid schedules or behaviour, so you’ve got to be willing to do as it says.

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

6. LoungeBuddy

Name one Singaporean who doesn’t love atas things. There’s nothing better than relaxing in a swanky airport lounge while waiting for your flight (and yay to free food, drinks, and *gasp* champagne). This app helps you find lounges available to you through the lounge membership offered by your credit card or book lounge access if you don’t have one. For me, it has come in handy because I have access to multiple lounge memberships and being able to see all my choices on one platform is how I would like to start my vacation (heh).

Get it on the Apple App Store.

7. ChatGPT

As a type A, I'm all for planning ahead to maximise vacation fun. But if you’re feeling a little lazy or just need some inspo for your trip, ChatGPT can help craft a run-off-the-mill itinerary. Be detailed with your preferences for the best results. It works wonders as a starting point, and then you can head over to Reddit or Google search to refine the trip further.

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

8. Splitwise

Idk about you, but I find managing the finances of a trip to be super mafan. It gets worse if one person paid for hotels, another paid for some meals and the other tipped the driver – how do you even math?! That’s’ where the aptly named Splitwise comes in. Simply have everyone download the app and create an account, then start putting in all the expenses you paid for and select how many people are chipping in. You can even do so in multiple currencies, and the app just shows who owes who how much in what currency. Heng, now don’t have to run the risk of your friend-group splitting up instead.  

Get it on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

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