Planning for an overseas holiday?
Aside from getting all the big logistics settled such as booking flight tickets, choosing accommodation, and so on,
You should also consider the nitty gritty such as mobile apps to make your life traveling abroad much easier!
From helping you navigate to getting food delivered to your accommodation, here are the best travel apps based on popular destinations!
TL;DR: Mobile Apps to Download When Traveling Overseas
|Destination(s)||Navigation Apps||Transport / Ride-Hailing Apps||Food Delivery Apps||Communication Apps|
|Japan||Google Maps, Japan Travel||Japan Travel||Uber Eats||LINE|
|Korea||Naver Map, Kakao Map||Kakao T, Subway Korea||Yogiyo, Shuttle||Kakao Talk, LINE, Telegram|
|Taiwan||Google Maps||Go! Taipei Metro, Bus+, Uber||Uber Eats, Foodpanda||LINE|
|China||Baidu Map||Didi||Mei Tuan, Sherpa's|
|South East Asian Countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines)||Google Maps||Grab||Grab|
|Australia||Google Maps||Uber, Ola, Didi||Menulog, Deliveroo||Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp|
|United Kingdom||Google Maps, Citymapper||Uber||Just Eat||WhatsApp, Telegram|
In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of travel apps that may be a bit more foreign to Singaporeans and how they can be useful to you.
Apps to use in:
What Apps to Use In Japan
First up, we have the most popular destination for Singaporeans to travel to.
Map Apps For Japan
When it comes to navigation, Japan uses what Singaporeans are already familiar with; Google maps.
Aside from that, however, Japan Travel by Navitime is a highly recommended app to use.
Most of us know how complicated Japan’s railway system can be, especially if you are in Tokyo. Thankfully, this app has an interactive railway map and even helps you optimise Japan Rail Pass routes.
Japan Travel also takes it a step further with helpful travel guides, a built-in itinerary planner, and the ability to search offline for free Wi-Fi hotspots, money changers, ATMs, and train stations. Pretty cool, huh?
Japan Travel by Navitime
Communication Apps For Japan
When it comes to communication, most Japanese people and businesses use an app called LINE.
It is Japan’s version of WhatsApp/Telegram but way more fleshed out as a social media app.
LINE is available in English and operational in Singapore too so you can contact any Japanese businesses to confirm your bookings before heading over.
What Apps to Use in South Korea
Another popular destination for Singaporeans, Koreans use vastly different apps from what we are used to.
Map Apps For South Korea
Despite the presence of Google Maps, Naver Map and Kakao Map are far superior thanks to more in-depth and updated information.
Naver Map is considered to be the most accurate navigation app in Korea. Like Google Maps, you can also check information such as locations, reviews, and menus of famous restaurants or shops.
While Kakao Map is not as popular as Naver Map, it is preferred by Koreans for its integration with other Kakao apps such as Kakao Talk and Kakao Taxi. Signing up for a Kakao ID easily let’s you access all of these apps.
There aren’t too many major differences when it comes to functionality so it’s great to download both to see which is better suited for you!
Transport Apps For South Korea
Want to take a taxi in Korea? You’ll have to download Kakao T (Taxi), the all-in-one ride-hailing app that mirrors Grab in Singapore.
It has an English version available for tourists. However, you’ll only be limited to taxis as you’ll require a Korean number if you want more vehicle options.
If you’re planning to take the subway in South Korea, Subway Korea is the app if you want the fastest and most accurate subway station timetables.
You can also select the departure station and station you wish to arrive at, and the app will calculate the best route for you!
What Apps to Use in China
Map Apps For China
Thanks to China’s Great Firewall, Google Maps is blocked in China, unless you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
But if you can read and understand Chinese, Baidu Maps is the Google Maps equivalent in China.
Transport Apps For China
For ride-hailing, China has Didi.
Luckily for us, the app has both Mandarin and English versions with an interface similar to Uber.
Communication/Payment Apps For China
For communication and payments, everything revolves around WeChat, China’s super app that combines instant messaging, social media, and payments into one.
The most important feature of WeChat is WeChat Pay, which the majority of Chinese use for their day-to-day transactions. Currently, we are only able to link our foreign credit cards but with limited payment options.
As China has become a cashless society, you may find yourself stuck if you don’t have WeChat Pay.