When travelling having a mobile phone can really come in handy. In the past few years technology has expanded so much that having certain apps can really help your journey go smoother. At the same time for me personally it’s also a time to disconnect, to not log in and check your emails. Often when travelling I will swipe my phone onto airplane mode for the day and just use the camera. Even if I have got a local SIM card. Here are some of my most used apps when travelling. I’m sure many of them already feature on your phone!
Keeping connected! Firstly Facebook, after I went travelling for 6 weeks in Asia my phone suddenly died. I hadn’t backed it up at all, luckily I had uploaded my travel photos to Facebook. Now I upload a selection of my best photos after I leave a destination just for peace of mind. Instagram, is my social media addiction. I find great inspiration on there and it’s also great for finding dining options.WhatsApp, used pretty much world wide and how I keep in touch with people at home. You might find you end up using it to connect with tour companies or even transfers. A fairly new app zoom, became increasingly popular with countries being on lockdown during the recent covid-19 crisis. It’s a great way to connect with a group of people of your family face to face especially if your travelling for a long period of time.
Maps, I use Google maps in particular. It’s great to use to find out how long it takes to walk to somewhere, find public transport options or even book a taxi. It’s also handy too to know a route if your in a taxi so you can be sure you’re heading the right direction. The app grab I use in Thailand, Philippines and Singapore to name a few. It’s a great app with really good taxi prices. You also pay via the app so it’s secure and you don’t have to haggle the fare. Skyscanner I use often to compare flight prices and options. Also to get inspiration of a next destination as you can select your departure airport then for the destination set as all. You will then see the cheapest flights avaliable. Flight radar is really handy to check if your flight is coming on time.
Groupon is avaliable in a wide range of locations. Maybe you fancy dining up market but your budget doesn’t stretch. Often there are great deals to be had on attractions too! Translator, can come in very handy if you can’t speak the local language and there’s a barrier. It’s great to learn how to say words like thank you and hello too in the language of your destination. Trip advisor, often I use this to find out what dining options are around the area but also sometimes to check out the hotel or hostel I’m staying in. Especially if it was really on a budget, mainly to check it’s clean.
My go to apps for entertainment. Whether it’s on a long train or bus journey or you’re spending a bit of time chilling around the hostel. I love the fact both have the ability to be run offline. Spotify is also great to make playlists to suit your surroundings.
Accomodation! There are so many options and different platforms for booking your room. Personally I always seem to book via booking.com I love the app, the way you can filter and the fact most accommodation has free cancellation up to the day before which gives you flexibility. Sometimes I have found the same room on Agoda for cheaper. Hotels.com also give good discount from time to time especially in big cities. Airbnb I haven’t used alot but if you are searching for a private villa or appartment it’s one to check out. Just be aware of the extra fees for cleaning.
The camera! I love taking photos for me it’s the only souvenir I’m taking away from a destination. To capture your memories is priceless. I have a Huawei p20 pro and I’m so happy with the quality of the camera. Fotocollage is a great free app if you want to group photos together, add text or edit.
I cannot recommend this app enough. It’s great to find out what tours and attractions are on offer in the area. Often I have found too that they offer the best price. Also if an excursion is cancelled then the refund hits your account quickly. Sometimes I don’t book via the app but it’s good to know a real price for a tour in the resort to use as a haggling tool.
Finally, I use airline/ ferry / train company apps as much as possible to download boarding passes. There’s too many to add to this post.
The last app I make sure I have is wordpress. The very app that I write this blog on. I find it really easy to navigate and reasonably priced. There’s also a huge range of themes for your page.
There are an endless range of apps out there that you can use along your journey this is just a selection of ones that I need for every trip. The one time I arrived in India and didn’t have a working phone it led to problems. You can read about that in the “when travel goes wrong” section.