Let’s just state the obvious: Technology has made our lives a hella lot easier in a hella lotta ways. A prime example of this is travel. Providing means of communication, navigation, and documentation (to name a few), it’s pretty easy to see the benefits. With that being said, there are A LOT of apps out there… like, a lot. And while some of these stand out above the rest (here’s lookin’ at you, Insta), there are definitely some hidden gems out there that don’t get the recognition they deserve.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss which apps, in my opinion, are the most helpful when it comes to travelling — My holy grail, go-to apps that cover getting around/navigation, budgeting, inspiration and more. Hopefully there is an app or two in here that will change your next travel experience for the better!
Two words: Offline. Maps. That’s right – this app will provide you with local maps, even when you have no data! The only thing you have to remember is, you must download the maps you need before leaving home, or a location with reliable WiFi. I do not recommend downloading these maps when you are abroad, using data, as it will be v expensive. With Maps.me, you can have access to routes and key locations whenever you need them.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might know that I have written about this app before (click here to read my post on how I budget for travel)! Tricount is an app I use to keep track of all my budgets (monthly and for travel). Tricount allows you to keep track of how much money you are spending on different things, and when you are spending it, in categorized folders. The next-level feature of this app is that it gives you the ability to share folders with friends (for example, people you might be travelling and sharing costs with – up to 29 people), and automatically documents who owes who how much money. Forget stressing about expenses and doing the math yourself, and let technology do its thing – enjoy your trip and square up with friends later on.
I feel as though this one goes without saying… this app is not only perfect for documenting travels, but for planning them as well. Mostly, in regards to trip preparation, I love to use the “save” feature of Instagram to create albums of photos I find inspiring. I like to save photos to these albums as reminders of locations I’d like to shoot my content in, and as a way to get me excited about what’s to come.
This is pretty general, but most airlines should have their own app. This is extremely helpful when it comes to keeping track of your flight, allowing you to receive important notifications like check-in reminders, delays, and gate locations. Some airlines even allow you to use an electronic boarding pass through their app, which is not only convenient but also way better for the environment! It’s a win-win in every way.
This might seem like an obvious one too. But, did you know that, in addition to standard translation through typing, Google translate also has a photo feature which allows you to highlight words from things like signs and menus, to provide you with translation? This feature is particularly useful in countries where you encounter languages that you cannot type on your keyboard, or for when you just don’t feel like writing! It should be noted, like all electronic translation services, you may not get an exact perfect translation, but between the camera, handwriting, conversation and voice features, you’ll have plenty of methods of translation to help you get around!
I have to admit… I was pretty late to the Pinterest train. Not fully understanding its value as a search engine, it was something I originally felt was just “one more thing”. Boy, was I wrong. Similar to Instagram, I like to use Pinterest to create boards of inspiration themed to different countries or places around the world. While I categorize my boards the same way I categorize my saved albums on IG, the key difference with Pinterest is that you can also save blog posts – not just photos! This is an excellent way to keep track of not just photos for inspo, but notes on places to eat, things to do, hotels to stay in, etc.
A more recent discovery for me, this app has made a huge difference in the relatively short time I’ve been using it! While Calconvert also functions as a regular calculator (and a measurement converter), the function I primarily use it for is its currency conversion. With more than 150 different currencies on the app, you can select whichever ones you’d like to compare at any given time. Therefore, I can input the cost of an item in the local currency and Calconvert will show me what the equivalent price will be in any other currency I select (for ex. CAD – the currency I am most comfortable with).
And there you have it, my holy grail travel apps! I’d love to know if there are any apps out there that are your ‘must-haves’, that I haven’t listed here.
Applications mentioned in this blog post (all icon images taken from http://itunes.apple.com)