Technology is slowly making its way into our daily lives, and while at times this can be a little unsettling, for the most part, it makes things a lot easier and faster for everyone. Busy travelers who want to get the most out of their experience and make their wandering adventure even more fun can definitely benefit from having a good phone and a few handy apps before they take their trip. Similarly to a good suitcase, the right app makes a huge difference when it comes to practical parts of our journey, but there are also ones that will provide you with better entertainment. Regardless of where you’re going, here are a few programs that you should download before setting off.
Unless you’re traveling locally, you could probably use a translating app that will help you figure out what the street signs might be saying, or how to ask foreigners for directions. An easy solution is the Google Translate app, which is free, easy to use, and won’t take up too much space on your phone. Of course, the translations it offers won’t always be stellar, but it can definitely help you understand the meaning of basic sentences. It’s particularly good with Spanish, so if you’re heading to Barcelona you’ll love having this. There are 103 languages to choose from, and you can even use your camera to capture photographs of text and have the app interpret them for you.
XE Currency is your best bet if you need something quick and reliable. We strongly urge you to have some sort of a converter on your phone if you’re the kind of traveler that sometimes forgets that foreign currency isn’t really Monopoly money, and ends up spending way more than they intended. Valuta+ is another option with a slightly simpler user interface that you can also check out. As long as you download the conversion rate of the currency you need, you can use both of these apps offline.
Spa and massage booking
What to do after a long, tiresome flight? Go to a spa, of course! Travelers who wish to enjoy simple hedonistic pleasures and spend most of their trip in leisure should find an app that will allow them to book treatments at nearby spas and salons. It’s usually a good idea to pick an app based on where you’re going, so if you, for example, want to find a great massage parlor in Hong Kong, you can download the MindBeauty program on your phone and book appointments without fuss. Being in another country doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top of your beauty regimen, so use this time to get your body and soul rejuvenated.
Culture and events
Triposo app is pretty handy because it’s basically a tour guide on your phone. You can pick a guide depending on where you’re going, download it, and have it ready to use in offline mode before you even reach your destination. It’s an easy way to pick up history and culture tidbits, and know which sightseeing spots you shouldn’t miss. If you want something to introduce you to bars, restaurants, and hotels, try TripAdvisor. Full of useful reviews, it can be a good way to help you find decent, budget-friendly accommodations.
Finding WiFi spots
Every traveler who relies on their phone needs an internet connection, and to find it, you can use an app like WiFi Map that has a huge database that’s updated on a daily basis. You can use the app to scan your surroundings and find the nearest hotspots, and if you get the paid version you can also download a whole map of hotspots in the entire city.
You’ll need to be able to get around quickly, and for that to happen you should know everything about your transportation options. This is another app that you should choose based on your location—for example, if you’re in the UK, you can get Zipcar and easily find a rental vehicle to get around. If you want something a little more all-encompassing, go for Citymapper, which will let you see public transport routes, city maps, and departure times in several major cities around the world.
Navigation and maps
Speaking of maps, don’t forget an oldie but a goodie—Google Maps. It’s still the absolute best navigation service around, it’s free, and you probably already have it on your phone. Simply make sure it’s updated and feel free to rely on its GPS.
Get ready for your trip by downloading some of these apps! They’re all useful, so make your life easier by making sure they’re on your phone and you can relax and feel safe.