There was a time when we relied on maps and guidebooks on our travels, but thankfully these days there’s an app for pretty much everything travel-related. To be honest, though, there are so many travel apps out there that it’s hard to know which ones you really need. So, without further ado, here are my recommendations for travel apps you’ll actually use on your next adventure.
First up (and while it might seem like an obvious one, you’d be surprised how many people don’t even have it on their phone) is Google Maps. At one time not so long ago, the app was notorious for sending people to their destination in the most roundabout way. Thankfully, the app is way better now, and thanks to those funny cars we see driving around everywhere, we’re almost guaranteed a good map of any area. If you don’t want to get lost, get Google Maps.
Now, if you’re a frequent traveler like I am, then you’ll understand the struggle with foreign currency. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what country you’re in, never mind the currency exchange rate. Well, I’ve found that the best app for that is XE Currency. You can add a variety of currencies as your defaults, so all you need to do is tap in the figure and it displays the equivalent in all your favorite currencies. This app is gold when out on a shopping trip.
As far as translation apps go, Google Translate is hands down the best. There have been many that have tried to knock it off its perch, and all have failed. Now, you’re not going to want to translate anything too complex, but for letting the waiter know that you have a nut allergy or asking where the bus station is, this app has you covered.
Heading for the beach tomorrow, but you’ve no idea what the weather’s going to be like? You need a weather app. Now, the stock weather apps on smartphones are usually ok, but they can be temperamental. I prefer to use The Weather Channel App. It’s got way more features than I need, but that’s good because you never know when you might use them. One feature I like is the ability to create personalized weather alerts that let me know when rain is on the way.
No matter how long we plan to travel (even if it’s just for the weekend), there’s always someone at home that wants you to be contactable. And the best way to stay in touch these days is on WhatsApp. It’s better than Skype, and with a billion users, the new friends you meet on holiday will probably use it to let you know when to meet them at the restaurant. It’s hands down the best app for staying in touch.
There are times when you’re stuck in an airport lounge or sitting in your hotel room as a monsoon rages outside, and you just need something fun to pass the time. But instead of the endless levels of Angry Birds, why not try a more challenging game such as poker? Playing a few hands of poker keeps your mind active, gets you thinking strategically, and who knows, you might even win some cash to pay for your trip. Can you think of anything better than sitting on a bus to the back end of nowhere and winning a hand of cards that actually pays for your entire trip? Sign me up now!
So, the next time you’re heading to foreign shores (or even just taking a weekend break in the country) make sure you’re prepared. Download the apps above to take some of the stress out of your next adventure. And don’t worry, although I’ve linked to the Google Play Store, Apple fan boys (and girls) will find the same apps in the App Store.