When you’re travelling round the world, the last thing you want to have to do is take out your laptop and boot it up when you’re looking for important travel information. The mobile phone has revolutionised travel, and before you say it, yes, I know roaming charges continue to be a rip-off, but thankfully, businesses are getting in the 21st century, and are offering free WiFi, even coach companies and hotels.
Here are my suggestions for essential around the world travel apps.
Prior to the start of your round the world trip, scan all of your important documents including passport, travel insurance policy, travel itinerary and upload them to your Dropbox account. Then give access to the folder to those people who require it in case of an emergency. Another use for Dropbox is to backup all of those important travel photos so you can share them with family and friends when you return home. On the free account you receive 2GB free, which is plenty of space. The app allows you to gain access to these documents and photos when on the road.
Keep in touch with loved ones and friends by making (very) low cost calls whenever you have a good Internet connection. The sound quality is fantastic and you’re also able to send text messages. Viber is handy when you don’t have any local currency and you need to make a call to the hostel because you are lost and need directions. Having used Skype in the past, the quality of the calls is much better and cheaper on Viber.
While travelling round the world you will have to get your head around the many different currencies that you will be using, and the XE app is great to convert currency while you’re out shopping or in a restaurant. The app needs an Internet connection to update the rates each day, but it works offline and uses the rate when you last updated.
Searching for hotels within your budget in a particular location can be cumbersome with so many hotel booking sites online – what Trivago does though is compares the prices of more than 200 booking websites, so, you have a better idea if you’ve found the best rate online. Other noteworthy mentions for accommodation apps are Airbnb and Booking.com, which are great for searching for places to stay, while on the road.
By far the best map app out there. Arrive at your hostel at 10pm and in need of some food? No problem, let the app find your location, and type in ‘restaurant nearby’ and up will come a number of suggestions. Need to find out how far it is from the train station to your hotel? Just enter the addresses and let the app tell you the best directions to arrive there without getting lost. This app has got me out of a few sticky situations, and is essential for travellers.
When you’re travelling round the world, one the most important tasks is to make sure that you’re keeping to a budget, and the Monefy app allows you to keep a close check of what you’re spending money on, and, how much you have left in your bank account. The app helped me discover that more of my budget was being spent on internet access than on food while in Australia!
Last but not least is this incredibly useful app called Tripit. Send all of your flight tickets, hotel bookings and other travel bookings using your registered email address to Tripit and it’ll log all of the important information you need. While travelling login to the app and find out when your next flight is, the address of your hotel, and lots of other important information to keep you informed while travelling.