Travel | Philippines | Tech

Philippines: My go-to apps

January 18, 2024 | 5 minutes

As I gear up for a thrilling month in the Philippines, I've handpicked a selection of iOS apps to guide, enhance, and secure my travel experience. From intricate itinerary planning to real-time navigation and financial management, these apps promise to be indispensable allies. Here's a deeper look into how each one will contribute to my adventure.

Itinerary, trip planning, and management

Wanderlog: Wanderlog is poised to be my virtual travel assistant, offering a rich, interactive platform where I can meticulously organize every detail of my trip.

This app isn't just about building itineraries; it's about bringing them to life. With features that allow me to import hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, and flight details directly from my email, it's like having a personal travel planner in my pocket.

I can view these plans on a map, see estimated travel times between locations, and even discover nearby attractions or eateries suggested by other travelers. Its offline access ensures that even in remote locations or areas with spotty internet, my plans are just a tap away.

For those moments when I'm unsure what to do next, Wanderlog provides inspiration and organization, making it an indispensable tool for navigating my journey.

Agoda & AirBnb: Agoda will offer a wide range of hotel options with user reviews and loyalty rewards, making it easier to choose the right stay. Meanwhile, Airbnb will not only let me book unique accommodations but also provide experiences hosted by locals, offering a deeper dive into the Filipino culture.

Flight tracking and airlines

Flighty: Flighty is more than an app; it's a comprehensive flight-tracking powerhouse that will keep me one step ahead on my journey. It leverages Live Activities on iOS, ensuring real-time updates are always at my fingertips. This means I can glance at my phone and get the latest information without even opening the app. I'll have details about seats, confirmation codes, plane changes, and even specific aircraft numbers if I wish.

One of the most impressive aspects of Flighty is its historical data on flight punctuality. It can tell me how often a particular flight is on time or delayed, helping me plan accordingly and set realistic expectations. This feature is especially useful for tight layovers or when coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs.

Perhaps most notably, Flighty almost always notifies me of changes before the airlines do. Whether it's a gate change, delay, or early arrival or even a cancellation, I can trust Flighty to keep me informed with its rapid, push-notification system. This level of proactive service and comprehensive flight detail makes Flighty an invaluable travel companion, ensuring I'm always in the know and can navigate airports and schedules with confidence.

Korean Air, Philippines Air, & Singapore Airlines Apps: These apps will be my direct line to the airlines, providing essential features like mobile boarding passes, flight status updates, and the ability to manage my bookings on the go. Singapore Airlines app, renowned for its user-friendly design, also offers in-flight entertainment previews and personalized travel recommendations, making my experience with them even more enjoyable.

Navigation and local transport

Google Maps & Apple Maps: Both apps will be crucial for directions and discovering local attractions, restaurants, and more. Google Maps offers comprehensive street views and business information, while Apple Maps impresses with privacy-focused navigation.

Grab: Southeast Asia's premier ride-hailing app, Grab, goes beyond car rides. It also offers food delivery, digital payments, and local recommendations, making it a multifunctional tool for every urban traveler. Think of it like Uber.

Financial management

Amex, Chase, & Betterment: These banking apps allow me to manage my finances securely with features like instant card locking/unlocking, transaction alerts, and travel notifications. They ensure I can enjoy my trip without financial worries, thanks to worldwide ATM fee reimbursement and no international transaction fees.


WhatsApp: A primary communication tool in the Philippines, WhatsApp is crucial for encrypted messaging and calls, especially with local businesses and transport services. It ensures I stay connected with ease and security.

Facebook Messenger: This app will keep me in touch with friends and family, offering a familiar platform for sharing moments and coordinating plans.

Experience and activity booking

Klook: Klook goes beyond activity booking; it offers in-depth guides, reviews, and even special discount passes for multiple attractions. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to discover and book the best experiences on the go.

Holafly: In case my plan with T-Mobile's International Data pass doesn't work out, this eSIM app will help ensure I'm always connected in the most cost-effective way, offering 24/7 support and the ability to switch between different data plans based on my travel needs.

Language tools

Google Translate & Translate Now: Even though English is an official language of the Philippines, I still want to make an effort to speak at least some of the language and not be a stereotyped foreigner who expects everyone to speak his language. These apps will help me navigate language barriers with features like conversation mode, image translation, real-time voice and text translations, and language detection. They'll be invaluable for understanding local signs, menus, and conversations.

With these carefully chosen apps, I'm set to embark on a journey filled with discovery, connection, and efficiency. They promise to enhance every aspect of my trip, from planning and navigation to communication and cultural immersion. While this list covers the major areas of travel logistics, I'm always open to suggestions. If you have any must-have apps or tips that could further enrich my adventure, please share your thoughts in the comments. Let's make this Philippine journey unforgettable!

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