Apps I can’t do without. 

Nowadays with your smartphone you’re able to replace a lot of tools that were once brought singularly in your backpack while visiting towns and places: Maps, Guide Books, Dictionaries, Camera and furthermore there’s a lot of new things you can do to simplify your life travelling and to make more effective your visit.

In this post I want to talk about travel apps I have installed on my smartphone and why they’re so important for me. This post is based on Android System. I assume most of the apps are available for iOS as well but personally I didn’t check.

Storing the trip main infos

So, now you’ve closed your house’s door and it’s time to put the nose in the direction of your next destination. Then, where to go and when? Along your trip you need a companion that reminds you what to do and when, if needed and that keeps some important document. My companion apps are listed below.

  • TripIt: There are several apps doing this job, but this is my favourite one. In a yearly experience it was always helpful. Connected to the web site, it syncs on mobile all information about flights, train, hotel and it works offline.
  • Passwallet: This app does one thing and it does perfectly for me. It stores your boarding passes (when the Airline provides it in ‘pkpass’ format. Most of them are doing it so, a lot of trees can be saved 🙂

Getting around

There is a town, a country, a site to visit! To not waste time and exploit my day in the best way possible I need some support and here are the most useful apps for this.

  • CityMaps2Go: This is a beautiful App based on Open Maps. It provides a map of a town or a region that can be used offline with GPS geolocalization. For a few Euros you can get unlimited map download. It works perfectly for me.
  • MAPS.ME: I’m using this app, based on OpenMaps as the one above, only if I drive and I need a GPS navigator. Usage of battery is quite high but it works very well, so, plug the phone into the charger and go safely to your destination.
  • XE Currency: Out of the Euro Area, it can be a bit difficult to remind exchange rate of the local currency, especially if you’re frequently moving from one Country to another one. This apps has updated info on all currencies you may need and it works also offline.
  • Word Lens: Not available anymore on Google Play since it was acquired by Google itself. Link I provide here has not been tested by me. I still have it installed on my phone! It magically translates the text framed by your camera and it does it offline. Many languages available including Russian and Germans.
  • Google Translate: You’re not going to be able to have conversations in exotic languages but at least you can get some support in search of that something you really have no idea how to call in local idiom. Better with offline language installed.

Planning on the way

Preliminary planning I always do with my mac and websites but when you’re already travelling is not infrequent the need of checking and booking on the way and in this case being able to do it from mobile can be vital. For such purpose I’m using following apps.

  • World known web site for booking hotels. App has same features than the website plus notification about incoming booking and storage of relevant documentation.
  • Airbnb: If you’re the kind of person that prefers the more intimate feeling of houses or B&B, Airbnb is the solution. The relevant app is great also for giving you the chance to stay in touch with your host.
  • DB Navigator: The German Railways website, and the app, gives actually information about entire Europe. If you’re a train lover you need this. It can also stores offline specific trip timetable.
  • Rome2Rio: Rome to Rio: Wouldn’t be a great trip? Well this app let you plan it but it is good also for shorter trips. It lists several combinations of mean of transport for each requested connection. Very useful and practical.
  • Tripadvisor: And there is a time when you get hungry. If that street food place ’round the corner doesn’t tempt you that much, you can look what is around with this app. I use mainly for food but it actually shows also hotels and attractions.

Did I forgot something ?

Well, if I didn’t mention some Android App that you think can be very useful while travelling, please send me an email. I will try to use it and maybe I will include it in further review of this post.

Picture in the cover was taken in the island of Bozcaada (Turkey) in 2013.

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