We’re living in a digital age where travellers take all sorts of gadgets and devices along with them on their journeys, and with good reason. Nearly every traveller will take some form of electronic device like a smart phone along with them. There are certain travel apps that will make your travels loads easier, so in this article we’re going to look at five general types of App that you should download to help you on your travels. Note that examples given will be based on apps available for iPhone.
1. Offline Maps
If like me you’re not a fan of having to constantly open a huge paper map in the street that will scream tourist then offline maps will be your friend. Often you can find apps that don’t need wifi to give your location which means you can see exactly which way you’re walking and of course you can notice if you’re heading off in the wrong direction. As a rule now, I always download an offline map if I know I won’t get a lot of internet access and I’m worried about getting lost. Even if you don’t use it that often it’s comforting to know that you can use it if you need it.
2. Local Guide Apps
Many offline map apps also have built in guides for restaurants, hotels, cafes, tourist attractions, the lot. Trip Advisor is one of the leaders in this field. But sometimes its best to find alternative ones that rely on local knowledge rather than on sponsorship and ratings.
e.g. Spotted by Locals, Cool Cities Collection
3. Currency Converter
In most cases if you’re dealing with a currency you’re not familiar with and there isn’t a straightforward conversion you’re going to struggle with working out how much things will actually cost. It’s worth downloading a basic currency converter which works offline and can show you in an instant the rate in your home currency. Trust me if trying to work things out in your head isn’t for you, you should invest in one of these apps.
e.g. XE Currency,
4. Local Public Transport
Big cities will often have intricate public transport systems. For an outsider it can be hard to figure out the routes but there are often loads of Apps that can help you out. Often the travel company themselves will have an official app, but there are also apps out there that can plan your route for you or even just show you a simple map of the whole system.
e.g. London Underground – there are heaps of apps that provide route planners for London’s Underground system. Just type in the name of the transport system or company and get looking.
5. Accomodation Apps
If you don’t have a set structure to your plans it’s always handy to have some accommodation booking apps on your phone. When I travelled round Europe I was constantly using HostelWorld’s app to find places to stay in my next destination. You might think it’s easier to just use your browser and go to the website but some of the apps are really well formatted, easy to use and they give you all the important information such as directions and contact numbers all in one place.
e.g. HostelWorld, Booking.com
So there we have it, 5 types of App that you should download for travelling. Add to the fact that most phones these days have pretty neat cameras built in and you could make this list even bigger with photo editing etc, but these are the most basic that you should invest in to make tech-savvy travelling a breeze!
Click below to see my ultimate travel planning toolkit. Full of useful web resources and more info on travel apps.