If you are a technology geek like me, who is attached at the hip to your device, you know that those devices will travel! There are so many apps out there. Many can make our traveling experience so much more enjoyable! Here are just a few of my favs that I have come to rely on when traveling.
Skyscanner is a great app to try and find flight deals. You can give a specific date range or search in a particular month if you know you are flexible. It will show the cheapest dates to fly and direct you right to the site with the deal to purchase your flight! The is a corresponding website that you can visit from a computer as well, www.skyscanner.com.
Booking.com‘s app is fantastic! If you don’t know booking.com (booking.yeah!) you don’t know what you are missing. I frankly use this to find all of of my hotel and lodgings. You can search in a specific neighborhood of a city that you specifically want to stay in, for any type of budget you might have. The reviews and comments are very helpful, and the prices are hard to beat!
WhatsApp is a great application that anyone who needs to communicate internationally should know about. You need a wifi connection for it to work, but it will allow you to send texts as well as voice messages over wifi to anyone who has WhatsApp on their phone as well. This is not for iPads or other tablets yet, just phones, but this is how I communicated with my family while living in Spain, and how I continue to communicate with friends back there now I am home in America.
Speaking of wifi, Wifi Finder is another necessity. There is so much wifi out there these days, but this little app can help you locate the nearest wifi locations, so you can catch up on emails, text back home while traveling. Very useful!
In most foreign countries you may find translations apps very helpful! The Google Translate app will allow you to literally hold the phone up to a sign, or whatever printed text, and it will translate it from about 60 different languages. The iTranslate is also quite useful, but you need to type in the words you want translated.
Keeping with the language theme, Duolingo is a fantastically fun app that can help you learn at least the basics of the language of the country you are traveling to through Rosetta stone type activities. The best part, its free! And you can work on more than 1 language at a time. You always want to make an attempt to learn some words of the language prior to traveling and not seem like that douche who expects everyone to speak English. I use it to continue perfecting my Spanish, and have started trying to learn a little Italian.
There are many currency exchange apps out there but I find XE Currency app the easiest to use! If you’re out shopping and pondering an expensive purchase, this will help you to know what you are really spending in your currency.
Finally, for all your culinary needs, I like both Urbanspoon and AroundMe. They are both free and will use your GPS location to help you search for food suggestions. In the case of AroundMe it can help you search for…wait for it…everything around you, lol! You want to find a museum, or a coffee shop, or a gas station? Just ask AroundMe.
Of course, your various social media apps, as well as a good e-reader app like iBooks or Kindle, or an app relating to the city you’re visiting also come in handy. These are by no means a complete list, but I have found that they can and do make my traveling experience that much more enjoyable. In the end however, try not to be so attached to technology that you forget to enjoy where you’re at!
Buen Viajes, gnomies!
Know of good travel app that the gnome didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below.