When travelling the iPhone has been beyond useful in many aspects, it has allowed me to cut down the weight of my bag doing away with Maps, Phrases books, a Sat-Nav and many other bits. Coupled with this its giving me a whole host tools at my finger tips… Weather Information, Hostel Booking, Flight Comparison and so on.
You will always get the people who like to stick the good ol’ fashion non techy ways of doing things, but I’m a firm believer of embracing technology and new trends… if you don’t keep up you will definitely fall behind!
I’ve used a whole range of apps to assist my travels many of which have been highly useful. Here is my list:
Cultures, Country Information & Common Phrases
Knowing and understanding the different cultures you come across is one of the great things you will come away with after travelling, and here are the apps that helped me with this:
World Nomads Language Guides – When you go to a different country it is always good to try the local language, the locals love it. These app’s gives you hundreds of useful & common phrases. These guides are available for lots of different countries, personally i used the Malaysian one the most and I cannot rate it enough.
Nomads Path – This is great app to give you country & Culture information for a lot of the Asian countries. Giving yourself a heads up about local traditions & history is must do.
Triposo Travel Guides – These guides are great for getting local area information (things to do, food, history etc) and are completely free and totally offline. It also includes offline maps… Another VERY handy feature…
TripWolf – I used this in Bali, but its available for many different country & cities. It gives you local information and again offline maps. You download the App, then you can choose from within the app which countries you want to download information for.
The days of finding your way around just by using a paper map are long fading with the availability of such good alternatives.
NavFree – NavFree uses openstreetmap, an opensource mapping data source. These maps are totally useable offline. Depending on your county it will use the internet to find an address out (I have this with the Oz & NZ Version) but this is no biggy, just setup you destinations when you have internet access… or you can browse to the rough area you are going too and manually choose where to drive to. But the fact of the matter is, you get alot of functionality all for a free!
Hostel World – Hostelworld is one of the biggest Hostel booking sites out there, its very simple to use and is very popular. The app has been thoroughly used on my travels so far and you can be booked into a hostel within minutes, for me this has been one of the essential apps.
SkyScanner – Sky Scanner is one of the best flight comparison websites out there in my opinion. Its very easy to use and has many different tools available to search for flights. To get a quick quote for a flight this app is superb, very user friendly and very quick, and the ability to see flight costs on different days is very useful. I’m not to sure I could of gone without this app on my travels.
XE Currency – This has been my app of choice for currency conversion, and I cannot fault it. It has a really easy user interface and the exchange rates are updated every time you connect to the net. Its always handy to have an app like this, just to make sure your not getting ripped off when changing money over. Its always best to check before you buy.
Useful Tools & Games
Light – This has been used on many an occasion, you never know when you’ll need a torch!
Auckland Bus Times & Routes –This is good tool for finding out a bus route from within the Auckland area.
Google Translate – This app is useful in many situations… i.e. when trying to break the language barrier between your fellow travellers! Try explain to a German what a squirrel is without this app!
Temple Run – A slightly addictive game to pass the quieter moments.
BBC News – Great news app, very clean and simple to use!
Flipboard – This is probably my most favourite app on the iPhone. It brings together all your social feeds and any other topics you choose via the app and makes a magazine out of it. Brilliant for looking at the latest in stories that interest you.
So that concludes my list of apps that I’ve been using whilst travelling so far. One section I’ve purposely missed out is the ‘Social Networking’ apps, I plan to do a separate article for this in the future.
Obviously the if you are planning a big road trip its still advisable to have a hardcopy map with you if possible just as full back and always try and keep your phone power topped up! If you are travelling in a car, its probably wise to get an in-car USB charger.