First of all, how did anyone ever travel without technology? I seriously cannot imagine how difficult, yet ironically simple, it must have been. I’m always fighting my phone for storage space, therefore I work with only very necessary apps, but these are the travel-related apps that will never quiver with a little grey “x” in the left corner when I’m scouring for something to delete in exchange for more space.
In Europe, everyone uses Whatsapp for communicating. Rather than paying for monthly text messages and phone calls, people send voice messages and texts via this app. It’s very easy to use and it allows me to text and talk with my family for free from abroad! Download this to avoid paying for international texting fees.
CITY MAPS 2 GO
Gone are the days of fighting paper maps as they refuse to fold back into the right place. This app will take you exactly where you want to go. What I love about City Maps 2 Go is that I don’t need wifi or data to use it–which is perfect for when I’m in a foreign country without service. After I download the map of the city I want, I research and add pins for my hotel, the airport, bus stops, restaurants, attractions, and any other places of interest to me. Once I arrive to the city, I take my phone off airplane mode, turn off my data–which doesn’t cause roaming charges but does allow the GPS to show my location on the map–and walla! I can easily navigate my way around a new place. When hunger strikes, all I have to do is pull out my map to see if I have any restaurants pinned in the area around me. It’s especially helpful if you do your research beforehand, as with each pin you can add notes, an exact address, and a photo. Although I have to warn you! This app is a battery drainer.
Cost: $4.99 (worth every penny!)
If you’re headed to a country where the native language isn’t your own, this is a great app to download to learn some basic phrases and words before you leave. The app, which was named Apple’s App of the Year in 2013, offers about a dozen languages to chose from. It starts off with the basics and progressively gets more difficult as you pass each level. It utilizes several techniques for every type of learner and it really works.
Obviously, one of my favorite parts of travel is the endless opportunities for photos. One of my favorite editing apps for my iPhone travel photos is Snapseed. Although I’m a little hesitant about the new update it received yesterday, it’s an app I’ve obsessively used for quite some time now. It gives a variety of edit options and really helps to make my photos crisp, colorful and Instagram ready.
I’ve had some rotten luck sending postcards back home. There’s nothing more disappointing than being in a foreign country and going through the effort of buying a card, writing a thoughtful note, finding stamps, and locating a public mailbox to send it off, only to have my words and efforts lost in the mail forever. This has happened more than once, so I decided to give up on that route. Although it’s not quite the same as receiving a handwritten note with cool, foreign stamps, Ink Cards allows you to use your own travel photos to create postcards with a personalized message that are then printed and shipped directly to your recipient. It’s ridiculously easy and only costs $2.99 per card.
What apps do you use for travel purposes? Share your favorites in the comments!