When I travel, I rarely bring my computer. Even though my MacBook air is light, it’s still some space and weight that I avoid if possible. My iPhone then becomes my tool to book transportations and hostels, to find my way around and just do every thing else that is much easier to do with technology! Here are the 7 apps I never travel without, and neither should you!
I wrote a second part to this article! Read it here!
Skyscanner is an app that allows you to find cheap flights. You enter your location and your destination, the dates of your travel and they will find the cheapest options. I can’t guaranty you it will show you the absolute cheapest price (I suggest you also shop on other website like Flight Network or Flight Hub). However, Skyscanner is the best for flight shopping because you can set alerts that will send you a notification every time the price go up or down. Whenever I see that the price drops considerably, I check on other flight searcher websites (chances the price of other flights with the same destination dropped as well) and book the cheapest. You can save so much money by shopping your flight tickets the right way. You can read about all my tips on how to shop for cheap flights here.
If flights need to be shopped for, long distance buses do to. Busbud is the app for that! Once again, you enter your location, destination and the dates of your trip and it will suggest different trip possibilities, showing you the cheapest first. Unlike many other websites (or any simple search engine), it will also find bus companies that are a bit less known, which mean cheaper prices!
I’ve talked a bit about this Hostelworld app on my post on picking the right hostel but I can’t tell you enough how this app has been helpful to find the best hostels and, in this way, make my travels much better! The app is wonderful because not only can you find and book the best value hostels; you can easily use the app to look at future booking and the directions to get there. After every stay, the app will ask you to rate the hostel, with assures an accurate rating!
Something really tricky every traveller experiments is figuring out currency differences. As if the fact that Math didn’t make it hard enough, it also keeps changing! Using a calculator can give you an idea, but mistakes are possible, and you don’t want to end up paying a box of Pringles 25$ when you though it was 0,25$! Currency app (not the most original name, I know!) is therefore your new best friend for grocerie and shopping expeditions. You simply enter the item price; select the country you’re in currency and it tells you what’s the amount in your familiar currency. It works offline as well! No more currency headaches!
- Google Maps
Many apps can bring you from point A to B but Google Maps remains the best because it works everywhere! The instructions are clear, even if it’s your first time on a new transportation system! I love that it not only gives you indications but also a map and, most amazing thing, if you load the map while having Wi-Fi, once offline, the blue dot (aka your position) will move with you so you won’t get lost! Getting lost can be fun, but not always when you just got into town and still have your backpack on.
- Google Translate
I know Google Translate kind of became a joke but truth is, it works! It’s often used for one by one word translation but it also understands short expressions and it can do much more than this! The little speaker icon will read it to you out loud (especially useful with languages that have different alphabets) and the microphone lets you record a word if you can’t understand what someone is trying to tell you. However, there is more to this app: you can actually scan a text with your phone and it will magically translate the whole thing into the language of your choice ! Imagine using it on menus, direction signs, etc. Much faster than looking up word by word in a heavy dictionary you carry around! Really good news: it also works offline!
No I didn’t forget an “e” in this app name. That’s how you write it. Backpackr is an app I dreamed for before I realised it actually existed. It’s a social network for travellers. You first create your profile with your picture, the country you come from, the places you’ve traveled to and your online passport. Then, you can enter your future travel plans. Backpackr will find other travellers with similar plans and you can contact them. This is great for the solo travellers that are worried to get lonely: you can plan to meet other people for drinks upon arrival to new cities and make sure you’ll quickly meet other people! However, I believe waiting to meet people in real life at the hostel or while walking around town remain the best way to make friends!
If travelling should be a time to get off technology and disconnect from these social medias that tend to take too much time from our lives, smart phones are still worth our pockets on trips because they are great tools to make sure our travelling goes well. So, fellow Antevasin, download these apps, pack your bag and go see the world!