For uninformed travelers, life can be miserable. A little information at your fingertips can make the journey way better.
Mobile services from the likes of iXiGO and Makemytrip and Cleartrip are quite helpful with hotels and in a limited fashion with buses and trains.
There are way too many people giving you flight information and selling air tickets so we are going to talk more about rail and road transport.
1. Find your bearings: Google Maps
This app by Google is almost the de facto choice for everyone who has a decent smart-phone. Its easily one of the best apps. Its got detailed maps and free voice guided turn by turn navigation and live traffic update. Download Google maps for Android here. For iOS, here.
2. Buy rail tickets
Railway ticketing site IRCTC has tied up with ngpay to let you buy tickets from your phone. The app is snappy. But railways allows you to use mobile services only between 1.30 am – 8 am and 12 pm to 11.30 pm. The app doesn’t work in between. Ngpay is more like a mobile wallet and can help you with other things such as shopping and recharging. It helps you with air tickets too. Download ngpay app for android here. Go to Ngpay.com from your mobile to download for Nokia, Blackberry and iOS. Cleartrip also lets you book train tickets from its Android app.
You could also point your mobile browser to http://www.irctc.co.in/mobile and use your existing user name and password to log in. The mobile site which is in beta lets you book tickets, check history and cancel tickets. The same timing that goes for Ngpay app, applies to this one too.
3. Buy bus tickets
If you are in Karnataka, you could use the Karnataka state government’s transport site to book tickets. From your browser, go to m.ksrtc.in and book tickets with your credentials.
For Mumbaikars who travel by the local trains, Mumbai Lifeline provides good service. Go to their mobile site mumbailifeline.com/m to get details. It gives you a list of all trains from a point to the other at the time you select.
Redbus has a great mobile site which can be accessed from your browser. Go to www.redbus.in/mob/index.aspx, find and book tickets. Its easy to use. Same goes for Travelyaari. Type in m.travelyaari.com and book away. Makemytrip lets you book bus tickets on its Android app.
PayTm has a fantastic mobile wallet app too. They allow you to book bus tickets on their website but not on the app. The only option on the app is to pay Tolls on the Delhi- Gurgaon route using the app.
4. Keep yourself informed: eRail
There are way too many applications to give you train information. Some of them are serious about it and the others are simply apps which have made it to the app store but will rarely be updated. eRail is a brilliant app for train information. It helps you find your booking status (pnr status), train timings and seat maps. Download the eRail app for android here.
5. Wake up on time: Tring on Train
Train travelers often run the risk of sleeping past their station. Tring on Train can help here. Its a location triggered alarm which notifies you when you are within a kilometer of your destination. Its easy on your phone battery because it doesn’t use GPS. Download Tring on Train here.
6. Hate train food? Try Travelkhana
Travelkhana.com is a meal booking platform that connects train travelers with restaurants on the Indian Railways network and enables train travelers to easily place orders via website, phone, SMS, or mobile app.
Many indie developers and app making companies have created interesting apps to help you travel better. If you have used or created a reliable app, help others find it by posting in the comments section.