Once in awhile something comes along that gives me a very unusual sense of regret, like when I discovered quick dry towels and thought about how many times on past trips I’d brought along a tiny hand towel and had awkward communal shower moments trying to pull on a pair of leggings even though I wasn’t completely dry. Well I recently discovered Sygic Travel (a travel planning app) and that sense of regret filled me once more. I thought about all the places I had travelled in the past where it would have come in handy to have an offline map that showed me where all the attractions, restaurants, bars, shopping, parks, public transportation stops, etc were. I usually download a city’s google map so that I can get around easily but the Sygic App just has so much more that streets and directions; everything you can think of is laid out in a visually friendly and organized manner on a map that is available to download and use offline.
I’m not the most organized person so my trip planning usually consists of making lists of possibilities which usually get left behind and then I have to rely on wifi connections and hotel receptionists to offer up good advice. There are two versions of the app, one is free and the other costs 36.99 AED (about 10 USD). Sygic Travel Planner allows you to plan entire trips down to the minute; if that’s your thing or at the very least, logistically see what sites make sense to visit on the same day. The map will show you how far apart they are, how long you would typically spend at each spot, what public transportation is available for those areas and what restaurants, hotels, nightlife, parks, etc, are nearby. There are organized tours available to book through the app which is especially helpful if you’ve only got a short time and the tours are reviewed as are many of the local attractions.
Sadly, I was not able to use this on my last trip in the Seychelles but I perused the options for my hometown Montreal, and my current City, Abu Dhabi, and even though I know so much about each place the app made me feel like a tourist, as there were so many attractions I had never heard of.
Trip planning often falls to me when travelling with friends, which I don’t normally mind but sometimes I feel like I’m controlling everyone’s time and this is against my nature, I also feel like the mother hen because I always have to remind everyone what time to set their alarm for. In that regard, my favourite feature of the app is that if you are travelling with friends or family, you can share the trip with them and they can help plan and see what’s coming up each day at what time. The only suggestion I would make is to include a budget option where you can calculate daily cost and who paid for what.
The app itself is really user friendly, everything is clearly visible, I can’t wait to use this app on my next trip as I know it will make trip planning solo or with friends, so much more efficient and enjoyable.