8 Funny travel apps

2012-07-05 16:39

Remember the days of map books, postcards and information center visits? If you're younger than 30, you probably don't.

Whatever your feelings are about technology, there's no denying that the dawn of the smartphone has made travel a helluvalot easier.

While there are a load of very useful travel apps out there, we've decided to round up some of the more obscure, light-hearted and weird ones.


Sit or squat

Finding a toilet while travelling can be a bit of a tough call, especially if you're in a bit of a hurry and haven't managed to memorize the all important phrase in whatever tongue is prevalent.

This is when an app like SitOrSquat could possibly save your life, and definitely your dignity!

The app's database contains 100,000 toilets from all over the world, complete with reviews and ratings for cleanliness, an indication whether it's a sitter or a squatter, and a note if the toilet is currently closed. Some even have a photo to boot!

Simply search by city, postcode, or geolocation and you'll be presented with a list of options.

Price: Free

Word lens

Foreign signs can be pretty mind-boggling, especially when the explanatory pictures are as vague as the undecipherable text. Enter Word Lens, an incredible iPhone app that transposes an immediate translation when you line up the foreign sign with your phone's camera.

Unfortunately it's only available in English, Spanish and French at the moment, but many users are pushing for the inclusion of languages like Japanese and Arabic.

Price: the app is free, but you have to purchase a language bundle (e.g. French to English) for $4.99

Healix Travel Vaccinations

If you want to freak yourself out thoroughly, download this app to see which vaccinations you should be getting for the country you're heading to. For example, the app suggests that a trip to Cambodia would only be completely safe if you have the following shots: typhoid, poliomyelitis, rabies, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus and BCG. Pretty sure they're not all compulsory, but just shows what you could pick up!

Scary stuff, but hey!

Price: Free

Taxi Hold'em

I'm wondering if this app was designed for extreme introverts, you know those who can't bear the thought of attracting attention, even when it's absolutely necessary to get them where they want to be.

Well, whatever the reasoning behind it is, this app takes on the task of hailing a taxi driver, flashing a catching "TAXI" sign in black and yellow when you tilt your phone sideways and even letting out a shrill whistle if you so wish.

Definitely NOT an app to catch the attention of South African taxis... they'll just laugh at you and drive on.

Price: Free

Wonders Flip

Ever had trouble differentiating between the Parthenon and the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel and St. George's Basilica? Don't be shy! We've all had similar travel boo boos. Wonders Flip is a learning game similar to flash cards that prompts you to identify different world wonders correctly. Its intelligent progress tracking system keeps track of your answers to help you learn faster.

Price: $0.99


You're in a strange city and indecisive as it is, the sword hanging over your head right now is where to go for dinner? Avoid the trauma of decision making by consulting the slot machine type selector of Urbanspoon. Just enter the location you find yourself in and shake your phone, it will randomly come up with a cuisine type, restaurant and price range.

Price: Free

Google Goggles

Imagine this: you're standing in front of an obviously important landmark, building or natural wonder and while you really should know what the heck it is, you actually have no idea. This is when you take out your android phone, nonchalantly take a photograph and then frantically feed it into the Google machine. Within no time the app would have pulled in relevant information from the web and you won't look like a fool to fellow travellers.

Price: Free


Yet another app to assist those indecisive and slightly lost travellers among us. All you have to do is tell Alfred which kind of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and clubs you like to hang out in and he will be able to assist in finding an array of similar places in whichever strange region of the USA you find yourself in.

Yes, unfortunately it's only available in the US at the moment, but here's to hoping his network of knowledge will expand quickly.

Alfred is available to both iPhone and Android users.

Price: Free

Know of any other obscure Travel Apps we may have missed, why not post a comment below?

Read more on:    travel international

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