Let's face it who travels these days without their mobile phone? This post is about the apps I can't live without whilst I'm on the road. Some you'll find yourself using more frequently than others but I've found these apps and websites have helped me out in situations I'd otherwise have no clue about!
1. Here (We go) Maps
This free map and navigation app works on android and iOS. The beauty of this app is that it can be used offline. Saving yourself the fear of having costly data bills when you return home. The premise is getting from A to B and Here (We go) includes the cost of other transport methods such as taxi costs, car sharing or subway and bus costs and times.
However, if you want to walk the journey the app will provide classic step by step directions for you.
XE is a currency converter app and website. The app costs £1.99, but the desktop version is free to use.
The app is quick to use and has up to date currency conversion rates so you know the exact exchange rates. The app can store the currencies you are using the most and these can be made available when you are offline so you can check the cost of the potential Persian rug you have your eye on!
This handy app stores web pages, articles and videos you want to look at but you want to save for later.
It can save pages directly from your web browser so when you are ready to read these pages you can check your Pocket app and the content will be there and easily accessed offline. There is unlimited storage on this app and you can organise your saved paged into categories for easier reading.
When you're scrolling through your phone and you come across a web page that has useful information in it but you don't have the time to read it there and then this is the app for you.
I've saved restaurant recommendations in Kiev or museum opening times in Amsterdam on it which have come in handy whilst you are on the road.
Kayak is a search engine that looks for flights, hotels, car hire and travel deals. The app and website searches hundreds of travel sites at once and does the leg work for you. The website is flexible on the dates you want to travel and you can book direct on their website via a secured booking system.
I use this website at least once a week to look at flights, what I like the most is you can set your maximum spend and click the destination to "anywhere" - this produces flights to places all over the world set within you budget (some destinations you'd never even thought about).
Also whilst searching for flights, if you are flexible you can select the option of "cheapest month" which shows you the specific dates and when flights will be the cheapest.
I once found a flight from Jaipur in India to Jakarta for £60. CRAZY.
Staying on the flight deals, this app will tell you exactly when you should buy flights. The idea is that this app will track flight prices on your selected routes and will either tell you to book now or wait a bit before booking. If the app tells you to wait then Hopper will keep an eye on that trip for you and alert you when the lowest price is available. Currently we're tracking flights for Madrid in July and the app is telling us to hang fire... hopefully Hopper can save us some pennies!
6. Lonely Planet
As you may be aware, I'm a travel guide book enthusiast. I love Lonely Planet for my style of travel and I frequently buy the hard back versions of the guidebook. However, if you are planning on visiting a few countries or regions on your trip then carting around hefty guidebooks isn't practical. This is when the Lonely Planet comes in.
First of all, some their publications are free on Google Play. You can download them on your tablet or phone and you're all set - Look out for "USA's Best road trip".
Other guides you have to pay for, and I find the best part is you can download certain chapters of the book. For example:if you are travelling to China and are only visiting Beijing then you don't need to read the rest of the book.
The Lonely Planet app on Google Play offers city guides, audio phrasebooks and the high quality tips and advice you'd expect from LP. *Download costs start from 0.59p
7. Price of travel
I've mentioned this website before and it's featured on my blog under "useful websites". Price of Travel is a useful research tool for working out how much things will cost on your trip. The website is regularly updated and features over 200 cities with accommodation, transport, attractions and food and drink prices. P.O.T covers budget to luxury travel styles and includes accommodation such as hostels to five star hotels (lucky for some).
I always judge the price of a destination by the price of a standard coffee or beer. I feel this is a good indicator of how much things will cost on your trip and the website also includes price fluctuations that occur at certain times of the year. For example in Madrid a taxi from the airport will cost around £30. Therefore prior to your journey you know how much you are expected to pay and won't get ripped off. I can't recommend this site enough I only wish they would have all of the countries of the world on it...
8. Google Translate
I'm sure this is an obvious choice when travelling. We've all had communication breakdowns because we can't understand the local lingo. I like google translate because it's quick and you can translate large pieces of texts. You can also take a picture of a sign or piece of text and this handy tool will instantly tell you what it says.
During my travels on the Trans-Siberian I got chatting to an elderly Russian couple. My Russian was non existent and their English was very broken. I used this app (which can be used offline) and we managed to converse on some level. The app also has an audio option where you can speak into it and it translates the speech. = VERY USEFUL.
Furthermore, this app is 100% free.
Now you either love it or hate but I am not afraid to say that I have used Uber on my travels and I can't really complain. It's a taxi cab app that is usually considerably cheaper than local taxis (of course, depending on where you are) and can be accessed 24 hours a day. The app uses your location so the driver knows exactly where to pick you up and you know what kind of car and number plate to look out for. The best part for me is that payment is made via your already saved credit card so you don't need to fumble around with cash. The best time to use an Uber is on your journey from the airport so you don't need to worry about where you are going and you get dropped off outside your location.
Bear in mind though that depending on where you are it's always good to use local forms of transport such as a Tuk Tuk or the subways from time to time.
This final app is a language based learning one. I'm currently using it to help with learning Mandarin Chinese. However there are over 15 different languages you can choose to learn. I feel that if you are serious about being immersed in local culture then it helps to learn a few words of the native language.
Memrise makes the learning process fun with a a variety of interactive games, listening skills, difficult words section and a pronunciation guide. The app has accumulated over 10 million downloads and recently won the "Best App of 2017" award.
The app is free and you study and work your way up the platform until you've mastered a good selection of sentences. If you want to go further than that there are additional add-ons which start from around £37.00 per year.
Well there you have it, some useful apps that I can't live without. If you have any suggestions of ones you think I should download then feel free to leave a comment down below.