As summer is coming with quick steps, it is also the time of year to start planning your holiday. The Internet provides a limitless resource for travel information, so much that it feels a bit overwhelming. For this reason, we have decided to test the Travel app that comes by default with Windows 8 and 8.1 and share what you can do with it. Can this app provide all that a user needs in order to fully plan a vacation from one user interface? Read this article and find out.
Powered by Bing, the Travel app provides a wide variety of resources in a well-designed and interactive interface. But what sets it apart from the many other resources and apps of this type?
1. Discover Interesting Travel Destinations Around the World
First of all, the Travel app shows you photos and brief information directly on its live tile, on the Start screen.
If you tap or click on it, the app opens and it takes up the whole screen. It immediately starts sharing information about interesting places around the world. Oh, you haven't decided yet where to go? No worry, the featured destinations include several popular destinations around the world that can give you a clue about where to start a vacation.
2. Learn About Each Travel Destination, Schedule Your Flight and Book Your Hotel
If you click or tap on a location or country, the Travel app pulls up on your screen a bit of history about it, the location on the map, the weather and the currency used, so that you have your facts straight when you arrive there. Sometimes, when selecting a destination you are shown an article about that location and several pictures. The amount of information displayed differs from destination to destination.
The fact that it is powered by Bing means that the Travel app not only provides the user with general destinations, but it also integrates a quite nicely organized Flight Search tool as well as a Hotel Search tool. Let me explain a bit more about the latter two:
- The Flight Search Tool allows you to check the status for specific flights and it can find them in a very short time and with great accuracy, as we have tested.
Using the world renowned KAYAK Travel Search Engine, the Travel app can gather and display flights depending on your needs and destinations.
- As far as Hotel Search is concerned, the Travel app relies again on the KAYAK Travel Search Engine, providing detailed and up to date information on hotels and resorts in the searched area. However, it also pulls up results from other travel search engines like Booking.com, hotels.com, TripAdvisor and others, taking you to their website in Internet Explorer if you decide to access them.
3. Get the Latest News & Data About Travel Destinations
Another very nice part of the Travel app is the fact that it also shares the latest news about the destination(s) you are interested in, or those which you searched for, keeping you up to date with general travel information and tips so that you can enjoy your vacation.
4. Keep Track of Your Favorite Travel Destinations
The Travel app allows you to create a list of Favorites, where you can store the hotels you liked, the destinations that you might consider as well as news articles that you found interesting. This helps when trying to be effective about your searches.
You favorites are automatically stored in your Microsoft account and they are synced across Windows and Windows Phone devices where you have the same Travel app.
5. View Gorgeous Panoramas from Around the World
The last thing that caught our eyes was the fact that you can enjoy beautiful panoramas as well as videos related to different places. They provide a 360 insight on the places that you might be interested in. It gives you the feel that you are actually there, letting you explore the surroundings just like it would be if you were turning your head around.
The only downside is that panoramas are available only for the most popular destinations.
The Travel app is not ad-free which for some users might be a problem, but it's not filled with advertisements like usual websites are. The advertisements are quite easy to bypass without grabbing your attention and they usually are about traveling or other Microsoft apps that you may enjoy.
Now that you can see what the Travel app can do for you, you might consider giving it a try and let us know what you think. Do you believe that it covers all your necessities while planning a trip? Let us know in the comment section below.