India is a vast and vibrant country with endless experiences available wherever you look and a culture that is truly unique. Many travelers flock to this birthplace of spirituality, home of mouth-watering cuisine and endless geographical beauty.
However, with so much to experience and such a different way of life to the one visitors are used to, many tourists struggle to navigate the frantic, occasionally over-crowded and somewhat stuffy life that mother India has to offer them. Fortunately, using these five apps can significantly improve your time spent in this wonderful country and help you get around easily and problem free.
Indian trains are famous all over the world and not always for good reason. The system has a reputation for being extremely overcrowded at peak times and regularly unreliable and late. However, it also connects most of the country, so chances are you’ll find yourself on it at some point.
Fortunately, the IRCTC Connect app is a brilliant little resource that will have you traversing the railway networks like a local. It allows you to check schedules and book tickets, as well as provides you with real-time updates of any changes to your journey.
For those who prefer road to rail, the Ola Cabs app is the best choice for ordering taxis. Although Uber is now available in India, it’s not yet universal and doesn’t offer advanced booking, so Ola is by far your best bet. It might not give you the most authentic view of India, but it does ensure safety and prevent you from getting ripped off.
You chose from three types of cars—mini, sedan or prime—and give the driver your location. The app then waits until the journey has been successfully completed before releasing your payment, so you’ll never end up out of pocket. Although this is an extremely handy resource, it’s worth noting that sometimes a follow-up call is required to ensure to driver knows exactly where to find you.
By far the best resource for local directory information, Justdial is a brilliant way to find all of your essentials in most cities in India. You can search from a list of several common categories, including pharmacies, hotels and cinemas, and the app will list all of your available options. All services are reviewed, so it’s easy to pick the best one for you.
The app has been recently updated, so you can now make bookings, purchases and reservations directly through it. You can reserve your favorite table at the restaurant of your choice, book a doctor’s appointment or even do your online shopping. It truly is a one-stop shop for all the practical elements of Indian travel.
For anybody traveling in India, you put your online security at significant risk by regularly connecting to public WiFi networks. The open nature of these networks mean that any malicious prying eyes can easily see and intercept your data. For those who rely on apps—particularly ones where you input payment details—it’s highly likely that you’ll run into problems. Nothing is worse than having your account blocked while you’re overseas because your bank has picked up suspicious activity!
Fortunately, by installing LiquidVPN, you can easily overcome this issue. The Virtual Private Network app creates an initial secure connection and encrypts all of your activity, so no matter which WiFi hotspot you choose to access, you’ll automatically be protected.
Created in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism in India, the Audiocompass app is by far your best resource for accessing cheap and simple sightseeing tours. It covers over 1,000 points of interest and allows you to listen to in-depth audio guides of many of the best landmarks across the country.
It works offline, so you don’t have to worry about being near WiFi, and completely avoids the chance of you falling victim to a tour guide tourist scam. No longer do you have to worry about carting around heavy guidebooks. Now you can simply plug in, press play and you’re free to tour all your favorite attractions at your own time and pace.
Green Globe App
It’s not just the choices in food that determine how eco-friendly your trip is. Every place you chose to stay and attraction you chose to visit adds to your overall carbon footprint. Fortunately, the Green Globe app has the solution.
It covers a wide range of organizations—including hotels, resorts, tour operators and even cruise lines—to determine which ones have the least environmental impact. From this, you can make responsible and informed choices when choosing what to visit and where to stay. Using an app like this to plan your trip also helps you meet like-minded people and travel companions, so it’s indefinitely beneficial.
As previously mentioned, travel itself is an extremely carbon heavy activity. Although you can offset this by making good choices in what you chose to do and eat, you can never really be sure that you’re evening things out. Particularly in a big country like India, where it requires a lot of physical travel to actually get around, it can be easy to overuse fuel transport and end up having a negative environmental impact.
The Oroeco app is a recent release that helps you track your carbon footprint. It tracks all of your actions to calculate your usage and even offers you tips and tricks to help improve things. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to stay green whilst on the road.
While India is an ideal destination regardless of any factors, having these apps to help you get around is sure to improve your experience. These are just a few of the great online resources available to create to perfect trip, but there are many more like them. If you know of any others that should be added to the list, then be sure to leave a comment below!
About the author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler who loves writing about her experiences. Jess has been lucky enough to visit India and she hopes these apps will help you get the most out of your trip to this diverse and interesting country. You can catch up with Jess and her travels on Twitter at: @Jessstravels.