For our #GlispaOnTheRoad series, we caught up with Julie Huang, Head of Business Development SEA. She’s recently back in Berlin after a trip to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia and was eager to share her top insider tips for mobile apps in the region.  

When I was at university, someone once read my left palm and told me that I would be traveling a lot in the future. I don’t really see myself as an adventurous person, so at the time it didn’t cross my mind that traveling would become such a big part of my life. But then, I started my current job, which involves frequent flying back and forth between Europe and Asia. Since joining Glispa, I have never stayed longer than three consecutive months in Berlin, the city where I live.

The realization that I’m constantly on the move only hit me when I was emailed by two separate airlines about becoming an upper tier member – I guess this means I’m in a good position to share my experiences (and “shortcuts) with fellow travelers to Southeast Asia.  

Spoiler alert: They all involve mobile apps, which have truly guided and inspired me during my trips through the region. As a mobile marketer I can confidently say that I’m not alone with this. Figures show a massive surge in mobile internet usage in Southeast Asia and these users spend the most time on their phones, globally. People rely on their smartphones, and app companies are constantly coming up with new services. Here are my “must haves” for traveling around Southeast Asia.



For planning my trip, I normally use a few apps to compare offers and make sure I get the best option for my long flight to Asia – a trip with multiple stops is definitely is not my preferred option. Skyscanner is undoubtedly the best option for spotting flights. After that, I make the booking with Traveloka, since I can get an extra point on top of my miles.



The moment I get out of the plane, I open the next app for getting a taxi or a driver to pick me up from the airport. If speaking the local language is a problem, taxi apps like Grab or GO-JEK can come to the rescue. They make it easier for users to type in a destination address, so there isn’t a struggle when it comes to getting to a hotel or bargaining on the fare.  

It’s important to note that not all airports actually allow users to book a Grab or GO-JEK on site, so I recommend walking outside of the airport to do so. At airports like Sukarno Hatta, Grab counters take care of the bookings.

One of my top insider tips is to rent a car on an hourly basis. So far, I’ve discovered two apps that provide this service. allows people to connect with available car rentals and take one for a minimum of ten hours (the price in the app doesn’t include food or fuel). For those looking for a shorter trip, Grab, which is only available in Indonesia, offers a minimum rental period of one hour with no extra charges. This app also allows the driver to add parking money to the bill at the end of the trip.


Data Plan

As my booking habits indicate, internet data is one of the most important things I get in any country. A single trip, in which I sometimes visit three to four countries, requires going to three telecommunication counters within just two weeks. However, I can save time and energy by getting just one number for all three countries. How? International data roaming! And the best part is, I can use one app and top up. Ayopop is my saviour because it lets me add my credit card and buy data immediately.


Food Review and Delivery

I am a foodie, and I always love to eat like a local. But in cities where it can take one hour to move just six kilometers, cravings can change pretty quickly. Food apps like Zomato and FourSquare are great options when in search of the best restaurants nearby. They provide opening hours, reviews and pictures of the food. In Singapore, I highly recommend HungryGoWhere, which is popular with the locals and comes with more detailed reviews.

If I’m in a hotel and still want to enjoy a local delicacy, I’ll go with GO-FOOD and Grab Eat. They allow me to get meals from restaurants, and even street food, delivered to where I’m staying.  



One of my favorite travel benefits is that I can shop for a better price (thanks to the currency), especially during special seasons like Great Singapore Sales (GSS), 11/11, 12/12 and Ramadan. Shopee is a notable shopping app that accepts foreign credit cards – but I also pay through Indomaret in more local shopping apps like Tokopedia, Blibli and Bukalapak.  


What do you think?

Are there any apps you recommend? I’d love to hear about them. Reach out via Instagram. And if you want to follow us on our further trips, check out #GlispaOnTheRoad.

Julie Huang

Head of Business Development SEA/ IN, Glispa

Based in Berlin, Julie is working with major clients in multiple verticals across Southeast Asia and India - with devotion: Her miles prove how much she has traveled between Europe and Asia. She has never stayed in Europe for more than three months in a row. Want to chat about optimizing your mobile campaign? Reach out to Julie via LinkedIn.

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