TRAVEL COMPANION WANTED

There are few things people hate more intensely than popular music, queuing, low battery, alarm clock in the morning, washing the dishes and taking out trash. Being unable to plan one’s activities efficiently taking a great amount of time to plan a schedule for a local excursion or travels to distant places.

At the same time though it’s understandable, and even more so when you take into consideration travel time, route and mode of travel, an array of undecided options, prioritizing needs and making juggling choices about where to put scarce resources, and how to avoid disgracefully large egos getting in the way. You already know about it or have experienced it, right? I mean truly. We are living in a fast lane so our inability to make a decision quickly and be in disarray before accomplish anything is dictated by the frantic tempo of modern life.

But really, all these things can be handled with the minimum amount of effort. Im not talking about egos though saying any of this is easy, cause it’s a whole different scene here. Someone’s ego is their perception of their own worth. For example, if someone has a big ego, they consider themselves very important and valuable. That’s OK with me.

The places visited and experiences encountered reflect impeccable travelling credentials on traveller, no doubt about it. And a bag of destinations visited is obviously a common item of value shared between travellers, but excessively bragging that even Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain have travelled less than they have doesn’t put an eagle feather in your cap. Been to North American forests, they fought off grizzly bear attacks with a wooden cooking spoon, killed Anaconda with Bruce Lee’s one inch punch, jumped off the summit of Mount Everest and outran wild cheetahs in African savannah maybe you had the chance of a lifetime to a fly in a jetfighter, they have orbited the Earth in a space shuttle. Travelling is not a competition for Christ sake! Hack away at bragging rights and when you check the bags, double-check the ego too and you gonna be as good as Captain James Cook!

And on that note, let’s get back to the programme. Living in one part of the globe, we didn’t really have much idea about the way things would go and how much any other part would even cost for a travel. We are just perceived as placing excessive emphasis on controlling things that went on. Everybody would hate for all planning to go down in flames, so Im gonna make a few adjustments to a plan.

Travel is a competitive multi-trillion dollar industry, so every company from the smallest as Wanderfly to the largest as Google all want the chance to share in its success. Lately, travel companies have attempted to harness the power of data acquisition and the social graph to build useful travel planning tools. For many, Google and TripAdvisor were the first to arrive and hop on board of the travel apps development among other relatively fresh start-ups like Gogobot.

Travel is all about visual image. So let me give you that visual. When you’re planning a trip, you want to make sure that you are ready to do it properly, get the best deals possible for your flight tracking, car rental, travel expense tracking, booking, price comparison, hotel rooms, etc. Our iPhones have reduced a problem of legwork to a few operations saving even more money. No hassle, no need to count on travel agents and robust graph-based map catalogs with free and premium mobile apps available in the App Store, Windows Store, and Google Play, all of which provide useful tools for all stages of travel.

So let’s take a look at the best travel apps, so you can short-circuit your stress to a bare minimum. APIs popularity is determined using a variety of metrics systems, including followers, GitHub, Twitter activities and search engine popularity based on Google Trends. Our drop of seven metres from the top to the bottom of the cliff I will start out with an undisputed heavily followed champion of the world of mobile travel app development, which locks in clinch the rest of competitors in the mobile applications market, but they are yet to fight back.

Tripadvisor (Free, iOS/Android/Windows)

TripAdvisor pictures itself as the “world’s biggest travel site,” making it a kid’s stuff to provide more than enough challenge of 200 million reviews, facts and impressions about millions of accommodations, entertainment, and leisure facilities, food services, amenities and attractions, from all over the world.

The company provides a nicely illustrated, properly designed and systematically organized website for developers that comprises detailed information about TripAdvisor APIs for those developers who would like to create consumer-oriented travel applications and gives programmatic access to business data and related functionality for accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The API also provides undistorted destination information and advices, including pieces of information of latitude and longitude coordinates for each point of interest and you can calculate the distance between them as crow flies. Other TripAdvisor APIs are available for B2B partners integration approach “TripConnect” and self-implemented partners solutions like online travel agencies, representation companies, hotel chains, etc.

The company is constantly evolving and working to improve and adapt the TripAdvisor platform and recently developed a “Neighborhoods” feature, which helps travelers to cover popular cities and sites. It also added “Just for You” personalized hotel recommendations. TripAdvisor is the universal travel site at your disposal, that enables you to download cities, maps and reviews to your device. The TripAdvisor travel community contains more than 300 million monthly unique users.

Uber (Free, iOS/Android)

Guiding around a foreign city can be a royal pain in the neck, especially if you don’t understand the language or don’t know the etiquette rules for tipping or bargaining. Uber, a popular app-based transportation service relieves the mind of all your worries. This car service app enables you to request a car and tell the driver where to pick you up by pinpointing your location on a map. The app provides you a fare estimate for a ride to your destination. When you arrive at a place, Uber charges your credit card the exact amount, and there is no need to tip. Uber is worldwide, with service running at more than 50 countries.

Uber unveiled its API to all developers in 2014, together with an affiliate program to inspire developers to integrate Uber into their applications. Originally the public API did not have the Request endpoint, which provides “request a ride” service. This endpoint was publicly presented just recently, allowing developers to integrate Uber platform functionality into third-party applications. To further facilitate the building of innovative travel applications with the Uber API and the Uber Request endpoint in particular, the company hosted its first hackathon on ChallengePost giving developers a chance to get ahead with the best applications.

The Uber company provides a very finely designed developer website including detailed API documentation that is well-handled, competent and easy to follow. There is a Python example source code on GitHub that developers can use as a point of departure. Uber also provides a sandbox testing environment where developers can test the API endpoints for their applications.

Skyscanner (Free, iOS/Android)

Skyscanner is a well-known global travel search site that maintains services for millions of flights, car rental services and hotels. Skyscanner supports price comparisons for flights across more than 1,000 airlines, hotel deals, offers and programs in popular cities around the world, information for car rentals from airports, in cities and car hire companies with some of the lowest prices guarantee and much more.

Skyscanner has a perfectly designed API website that with detailed information about Skyscanner APIs as well as interactive API documentation for testing debugging and exploration certain API endpoints. Free APIs incorporate flights live pricing service, cheapest quotes for flights, and hotel booking prices and reservations. Skyscanner APIs can be used to great effect adding specific Skyscanner services to actual deployed applications or to build a consistent full-featured online travel search websites. Skyscanner headquartered in Scotland was founded in the beginning of 2000s as a flight destination specialist. Today the company is spreading globally, concentrating on international markets and persistently thriving its influence and presence in the Chinese travel market.

Expedia (Free, iOS/Android/Windows/Web)

Expedia is a leading light among travel companies that specializes in vacation packages and collecting and distributing vital information about travel destinations, flights, hotels, guest houses, railroad journeys, cruises etc. It provides a background of APIs that developers can use to add hotel, flight and rental car booking functions to their applications. The company launched a portal for developers that provides comprehensive information about Expedia Affiliate Network APIs. The Expedia’s strategy for obtaining global travel market share appears to be mostly going through the purchase of other travel-oriented companies. Not long ago, Expedia has purchased several major travel industry brands, including Travelocity (acquired from Sabre), Trivago and Wotif. It is uncertain if Expedia’s mergers and acquisitions strategy will help the company continue to contend for a title in buoyant travel industry market division.

Google Maps (Free, iOS/Android//Web)

I can’t even imagine driving without headlights of Google Maps. Turn-by-turn navigation works just fine, they still keep on telling you to veer off the highway and right back on again once in a while, but the real time-saving trick is that Google Maps recognizes unexpected delays up ahead of the game, such as traffic, accidents, heavy congestion or road construction. The app automatically finds a shortest and quickest route in an elegant way. It’s a great in-car GPS navigation device, right from the heart.

Viator (Free, iOS/Android)

Looking to save some money for a rainy day but still in the mood for exciting sightseeing tour around the city? Viator helps you find some deals and discounts either close at hand or in the place indicated as long as a convenient location is in Viator’s database of potential cities, regions, and countries. It’s great for ideas of what to see and do, especially when you’re doubtful, although the quantity and quality of the deals varies drastically and cannot be controlled by place.

Waze (Free, iOS/Android/ Windows)

Waze is a community-driven app for traffic metering and other information about the state of the road, including a radar traps, avoiding the potholes, and the sheer volume of accidents and emergencies. While Google Maps let’s you know about major traffic reports and road conditions, Waze knows the specifics. You can even see the speeds at which a vehicle may legally travel on a particular stretch of road or in congestion. In cities, it’s approved and popular among taxi and car service drivers, but it’s equally applicable on highways where traffic is sparse. Watch out, Waze needs to be constantly in touch with your catalog records, even in the background, which runs your battery down.

There are several APIs that, while popular and being very successful in their career, didn’t quite make it into the major league of travel APIs list. These APIs are well worth mentioning and include Cleartrip, Travelport, Wego, Gogobot, Roadtrippers, Kayak, WalkJogRun, TripIt, Yelp CityMaps2Go, Triposo, Foodspotting.

As we travel, we free ourselves; we travel to discover ourselves and our calling. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world like children have a curiosity about the world around them. We travel to bring what little we can, some knowledge in our ignorance of those parts of the globe projection whose treasures are differently dispersed broadening the narrow streets of our mind horizons. And we travel, essentially, to escape and become young self-conscious fools again motivated to slow time down and get it hot, and fall in love once more. So choose among so many nice travel apps a traveling companion that will guide you through the planning stage and development process by any means necessary and always wait for something else something bigger.


Originally published at skorpiouniverse.wordpress.com on August 1, 2016.