I rely heavily on my iPhone when I’m traveling. I often wonder what I did before smartphones. I know I was able to get around but surely, it must have been far more difficult! Having each of these apps on my phone makes traveling a cinch. I simply couldn’t imagine traveling without them anymore!
Check these out:
1. GOOGLE MAPS
If it wasn’t for google maps, I’d probably never get to a casting or job on time! You simply choose your current location, type in your destination, and google maps tell you exactly how to get there. You have the ability to choose whether you prefer to walk, bike, take public transit, or drive. You can also take it one step further and narrow down whether you’d like to take mostly buses, subways, trains, and more. Google Map displays several different route options and shows you exactly how long each one will take you. Once you choose your route, it gives you all the details you could possibly need including the number of bus stops and their names, train schedules, etc. When you click on the map for the walking portion, they’ll be a blue line directing you to your destination and your current location is the blue dot and moves as you do. Google Maps has a voice option; however, I don’t find it useful unless I’m driving (and have a phone charger handy as this app drains your battery)!
2. GOOGLE TRANSLATE
When I’m out and about in a foreign country where they speak a different language, I sometimes find that I need something translated. (Being American and speaking only one language, this is pretty standard for me.) The best thing about the Google Translate app is that it’s synced with Google Translate on the web so if you translate something online and need to refer to it when you’re on-the-go, it’ll be easy to view when you open the app on your phone. Also, you can click on the speaker icon, and google will pronounce the word for you. And get this, if you hear a word you don’t understand, you can say it out loud and google will translate it for you just like that. Now that’s just cool.
3. HAPPY COW
Wow! I just discovered this a few months ago when I was in the UK. This app makes eating healthy on-the-go EASY! I usually try to pack food with me when I know I’m going to be running around but sometimes it’s just not possible or I’ll get a surprise casting that’ll take up the time I’d planned to go home for lunch. When that happens, Happy Cow is always to the rescue! While Happy Cow specifies that it’s a vegetarian guide, it’s far more. You don’t need to be a vegetarian for this app to be extremely useful. Happy Cow looks at your current location and will show you all the healthy eating places nearby including reviews, pictures, and whether it’s organic, vegetarian, and/or vegan friendly. You can also choose to look for stores nearby which is ideal if you’ve just arrived in a new country and want to stock up on groceries and I tend to grab most of my on-the-go foods at health food stores.
When you’re traveling from country to country, Skype is the easiest way to call whomever wherever at a low fee without any issues. The thing I love about Skype too is it works with your internet data plan; you don’t have to be connected to wifi. For instance, my mom called me from Brazil via Skype while I was in Target a while back and I was able to chat with her as I shopped (with our without video). Note that in some places the data won’t have a strong enough signal for a clear call in which case, wifi is necessary. Computer to computer is always free.
Snapchat makes it easy for me to keep my friends and family in the loop as to what’s going on in my day to day life. It’s better known for teenagers and “sexting” but that’s obviously not its purpose. You can take short ten-second videos or set a timer with a picture, send it to your contacts, and then it disappears. The reason why I love this app so much is that it’s real-time so it’s far more personal than sending a video whenever you get around to it and it only takes a few seconds. Not to mention, the videos don’t take up space on your phone whereas otherwise, you’d have to remember to upload a video later and you’d end up using your phone memory pretty quickly.
I couldn’t blog about useful travel apps and not include Whatsapp. Whatsapp is a mobile messenger that is widely used throughout the world and allows for free messaging with your internet data plan. Every time I move to a new country, I get a new phone number which would be long-distance to most of my contacts. Within Whatsapp; however, my number stays the same (unless I choose to update it) so I don’t need to tell my friends to update their contact info with my new number. It allows me to easily stay in touch with people I meet all over the world for free.
Do you have any other favorite travel apps to share?