02 Aug 8 of the best travel apps
Technology has certainly made life easier in every way and travel is no exception. Gone are the days when you had to cart along maps, guidebooks and dictionaries. All you need now is your cell phone and a few apps.
British award-winning travel writer Mike Gerrard recommended these in a recent article on MSN.
With over 7,000 (and rising) maps of cities, towns and regions, all of which you can download in advance, this is one of the best map apps around, though CityMapper is also excellent but covers fewer destinations.
For travelling in Europe this is hard to beat as it allows you to compare prices on flights, trains and buses, using data provided by all the major transport companies such as Eurostar, National Express, SNCF, SNCB, EasyJet and others. You can then book tickets too.
What did we do in the old days? Buy English-French/German/Spanish/Dutch etc dictionaries, lug them with us and then spend ages looking up the words you wanted – which half the time weren’t there anyway. Now Google Translate does an infinitely better job with over 90 languages and using image and audio options as well as the written words.
This fairly new app hopes to combine the brevity of Twitter with the breadth of TripAdvisor, allowing you to not only save your own Pearls (like a great cafe, bar or museum) but tap into other users’ Pearls from places around the world. You can build Pearls into Guides (e.g. Great New Orleans Eats), then share your Guides and use other people’s Guides both to plan a trip and report back on great discoveries.
As a travel writer I’m always organising itineraries which combine flights with driving directions, maps of hotel locations, restaurants, museums, notes from local people and notes to myself. With an app like Tripit you just email the information to the app and it collects it all together in one place so you no longer have to juggle sheets of paper or rely on your memory. TripCase is another app that does a similar job.
If you like your food, then VizEat is the app for you. It goes beyond recommending off-the-beaten-path eating places and allows you to make contact with local foodies in over 100 countries and arrange to eat with them in their homes, or tour local markets, learn to cook local dishes and other foodie experiences.
Find free WiFi in most countries of the world, with over 2 million WiFi hotspots listed, including passwords where needed. Help save on those roaming charges for accessing all these apps you’re now carrying around with you.
We’ve been using the XE Currency website for years on our desktops, so it’s a no-brainer to carry the app and be able to keep an eye on currency fluctuations and also quickly convert local prices into your own currency accurately rather than with a rough guess.
Well, there you have it, right from the expert’s mouth. Make sure you add the apps that suit you before your next trip. And remember to call Rhino Shuttles for your airport transfer or personalised tour.