In Deco’s The Big Idea Issue 95 issue on shelf now, we discover a new way to travel with Behomm – an invite-only site for Designers and Visual Artists offering home exchange worldwide. Get your copy to learn more about the varied styles of beautiful homes you could exchange with on your travels. Behomm is a glimpse of how the face of travel is changing to suit the ‘millenials’ – a collaborative generation with a strong online social community – and an ever-growing sector of the traveling community.
Another new way to travel is with Guided – a collection of online travel guides by Cereal magazine, offering curated, original content and practical advice on where to stay, where to eat, what to see and where to shop.
Currently featuring ten destination guides online, London (pictured here) is their preview city guide , with others such as Paris, Manhattan, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Hong Kong and more to follow this year. An annual subscription of just 20 GBP allows full access to download and print-out the guides to take with on your journey.
Another great online tool to utilize on travels, is the growing number of travel apps. With so many to chose from, Time out listed their top 50 best travel apps. We selected our favorites (listed below) out of their fantastic selection including Time Out’s own free City Guides app:
Don’t bother paying up for one of the many currency conversion apps out there in the digital hinterland – this freebie is slick, easy to use, and – best of all, since it uses live currency rates – completely accurate. It’s been downloaded more than five million times to date, so don’t even think about hopping on a plane without it.
Leave 10% on the table after a meal in Tokyo and your generosity will cause offence; do the same in New York and you’ll be called a skinflint. Thankfully, wherever you go, there’s this – a nifty tip calculator to help the mathematically challenged split bills and tips while neatly sidestepping social embarrassment.
Available on iPhone (£0.69)
Anyone who’s ever accidentally downloaded a large email while on holiday will attest to the ridiculousness of data roaming charges, and though there’s no indication from the networks that they’re working on putting things right, there are measures you can take to avoid an end-of-month sting. Once installed, this app drastically reduces the amount of data required to perform everyday tasks, such as retrieving email and posting to Facebook. We’re not entirely sure how it manages such a feat – we just know that it works and we’re not about to complain.
The closest thing most of us will ever have to a personal assistant, albeit a hell of a lot cheaper. All you have to do is forward your various confirmation emails for flights/hotels/hire cars/restaurant bookings etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org and the app instantly generates an itemised itinerary covering your entire trip. Better still, upgrade to the premium version and the app will keep you in the loop in real time, generating alerts to let you know when flights are delayed or gates change.
Public transport information covering 68 (and counting) of the world’s biggest, busiest metropolitan hubs. So whether you need to pick your way across downtown Denver or catch a bus out of Norfolk, you should never be more than a few taps away from a neatly displayed, stop-by-stop itinerary.
PinPin ATM finder
Nothing quite matches the sheer, sobering terror of suddenly realising you’re in a moody part of a strange town with no money for a cab ride back to the safety of your hotel. Not to worry though – chances are a cash machine is just around the corner, and with this in your pocket, you’ll always be able to find one with minimal fuss. Over 220 countries are listed, meaning you ought to be covered for even the most exotic of jaunts.
Available on Windows Phone (free)
With data roaming charges still laughably high, knowing where to find a decent wi-fi hotspot is essential if you’re to keep the twitterati up to date with details of your latest sojourn. No need to charge through the city waving your handset around like a fly-swatter, though – simply fire up this handy app and follow directions to your nearest source of wireless internet. Best of all, the offline mode means you can download maps before you go, thereby dodging a massive bill.
Time Out city guides
Our apologies for the somewhat self-important trumpet-blowing, but we just couldn’t let you go without a little cheeky reminder about our own fleet of painstakingly researched, expertly written travel apps. There are editions for more than 20 of the world’s biggest cities, each stuffed with comprehensive insights into the finest restaurants, bars, shows and exhibitions on Earth. Best of all, each and every one of these indispensible digital marvels is absolutely free. What can we say – we’ve got big hearts.
Compiled by Marushka Stipinovich