4 Versatile Travel Apps to Try at Home or on Your Next Vacation
Are you on the lookout for the latest app you won’t be able to put down, the next gadget you’ll be itching to get your hands on, or the slickest new tools to make your workday more productive and your downtime even more fun? Then look no further than our favorite site for finding the latest and greatest tech products.
Each week, we review the crowdsourced links posted to a website called Product Hunt, where tech-savvy users post their best finds and discuss the latest apps and gadgets with a growing community of developers, designers, investors, founders, and tech enthusiasts.
The detween 600 and 800 reportedly use the site, a great testament to its ability to surface products that would otherwise fly under even the best-connected people’s radars.
We took a look at all of the apps, gadgets, and services posted on Product Hunt last week and chose four inventive travel apps that make short work of discovering new places and experiences, whether you’re venturing out in your own backyard or are in an entirely unfamiliar city or region.
Elsewhere by Hitlist is an app that helps you find locations you’re statistically likely to enjoy but may not have heard of yet. (Hitlist is an app that enables you to choose where you’d like to go and stay informed of the best deals on airfare.)
Elsewhere’s website explains: “Elsewhere sends you down the road less traveled based on a continuously evolving algorithm that compares your preferences against millions of data points collected from previous users of the app. We index the best and least known sites in the world, bringing you fresh perspective. Like the Music Genome Project or the Netflix algorithm, predictions get better the more you use Elsewhere.”
Hitlist Chief Executive Gillian Morris explains on Product Hunt that the team built Elsewhere “for Techcrunch Disrupt’s hackathon. We wanted to explore Amazon’s new machine learning tool.”
HeyLets is a newly relaunched social travel app that acts as a social city and travel guide, “powered by locals” and “built on positivity.” The app shows a personalized feed of experiences and places that locals recommend, enables you to post your adventures to inspire others, and lets you select your interests to find experiences that are right for you.
With Hey Lets, you can discover experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise found out about, and add experiences you want to try to your wishlist. The app currently features about 20 cities to explore. “Forget lengthy, negative reviews,” notes the App Store description, “HeyLets is about sharing recommendations, with a photo and a 200 character description. Join our community of fun seeking adventurers, now in 91 countries, and help us make the world a more positive and inspiring place!”
PHIND, described as “Shazam for landmarks and locations” on Product Hunt, is an iOS app that helps you discover information about historic sites, restaurants, and other attractions nearby. With PHIND, you can take a photo of a place and find out about it, all from a single app. PHIND’s website explains that the app was created “for people that want to explore areas and unfamiliar surroundings without having to ask or pre-plan. With PHIND, take a photo of any location, attraction, or landmark. We’ll identify the image and bring back useful information, tips, photos, and places nearby.”
When you take a photo, PHIND recognizes the image and saves it your Camera Roll. It then retrieves information and facts pertaining to your search, and works with companies like Yelp and Foursquare to provide tips and reviews on the places you discover. PHIND also displays shared photos and photos taken by other PHIND users. When the app identifies your photo, it can also tell you the best places nearby — from food to shopping — or lets you book an Uber ride to your next destination.
TextHotel is an invisible app that enables you to book a hotel room by texting your hotel request. TextHotel has operators standing by 24/7 to answer requests, and guarantees “the best price.” Chatting with TextHotel is free, and when you request a hotel, the operator will let you know the total price, which you’re asked to confirm before you’re billed. You can book a hotel anywhere in the world, and the service has access to more than 400,000 hostels, all-stars properties, and all-inclusive resorts. You can also request your favorite hotel or give the operator a more general idea of what you have in mind.