I have to tell you, as much as I think smartphones may have hurt us, because people don't talk anymore and have issues communicating and sit around the dinner table just staring at their screens, I'm also eternally grateful in how they have improved my travel experiences, especially with amazing travel apps. I try to limit my screen time on my phone, because I like to see places and taste my food and enjoy the company I keep, but travel apps can really save your sanity.
If you missed the last post, go check it out, because you're going to want to see the whole list. Some will want a few of these, some will want all. Your travel style may call for specific things. I don't use all of these apps every single time I travel, but there are several I do: Voxer, Evernote, TripIt. Here are 6 more must-have travel apps for you to consider to make your trips easier, funner (<< it's a word!) and less stressful.
As a travel blogger, I need to keep track of all the money I spend when I travel, because taxes. I also like to know where my money goes when I'm on a trip. Being on a budget can be hard, but if you've planned and keep up on your spending, you can make it easier and also be prepared for the next time you plan a trip. Smart Receipts lets you break down every dollar by putting your purchases in categories and allowing you to keep track of what goes where and you can even snap a photo of your receipt, so you have a record of it for tax purposes. I love it, because you can group purchases by trip and then by day within each trip. Download Smart Receipts for free.
Yes, you've heard me sing the praises of Voxer before. I opted for this over WhatsApp, which I know people love, but I didn't think it compared. Looking for a way to avoid paying crazy texting fees while out of the country, I found Voxer. It works on WiFi, it's free and it does more than a text. It's touted as a walkie-talkie app, but it's much more than that. Yes, you can use the push-to-talk option, which is helpful when you're somewhere you don't have hands free for typing (like the car), but you also have the option of sending a text message with no character max and photos.
Doesn't sound that exciting to you? How about the safety aspect of it? Each time you send a message/photo, it is stamped with the actual date and time it was send, along with where it was sent from. It doesn't matter when they get it, only when you sent it. You can watch your message go as well, because it will show you it's sending, that it was delivered and if it's been read or not. There's no worry that your text has just gotten lost somewhere. If you click on the message, you can see exactly where it was sent from, with a little map. I love this, especially when I'm traveling alone, because if I get attacked, everyone I sent a message to can immediately pull that up and know where I was last.
If you aren't in a place where there's WiFi, you can still send messages. It'll just wait until you have WiFi to push those messages through but it will still show when it was originally sent, not when it finally sent. I love that. This was awesome when we were in Europe and I could stay in touch with everyone I needed to and share photos while on the go, all for free. And now I use Voxer at home instead of texting when I can.
Evernote is an invaluable app for my everyday life, as well as travel. I use it to make notes, work on blog posts while not near my computer, plan parties and keep important info close at hand. You can use this online and on your phone, so you can use it across devices to save articles you enjoy or want to read later, take pics of things you like and even share notes with others, which you can allow to make changes/additions.
As you can see above, I've shown you my note that has pics of my editorial calendar, because when I'm on vacation, I like to take fewer things (like I'm not going to take that whole organizer), but also know if something is coming up that I could be working on while on the plane or waiting in line for something. Having a pic of my actual calendar is helpful for me personally.
I have a premium account ($5/month) so I have 10GB of additions I can make each month and am also able to look at past versions of notes, in case I make the mistake of saving something accidentally. When traveling, it can be helpful to keep a copy of your credit cards, ID, passport and anything else that might be annoying if lost. You can keep your account from prying eyes by logging out and using a password. That way people can't get into your account for stuff like that, but you can get to it easily if you actually need it. You can also download penultimate and make handwritten notes as well. I love that feature. I enjoy being able to use Evernote offline and allowing it to sync when I have internet access again. This lets me do work or make notes while traveling, no matter where I am.
Okay, so I try really hard to learn foreign languages, but it's not realistic that you are going to learn all the words for a two week trip, only to learn a whole new language for another trip. There will be (a lot) of things you don't know, even if you can get by. Sometimes you need to ask for something specific, or someone is trying to give you directions anad maybe you don't understand a crucial word (believe me, this happens more than you would think). Google Translate will save your butt. Get your point accross, figure out what that weird thing on a menu is, find out what that joke the waiter just told was. For real. It'll help. And you can use it offline.
So, you wanna meet some people while you travel? Or get a local's opinion on where you should go or eat or what to do? Jetzy allows you to share your own moments, while sharing in others' trips. I haven't tried it yet, but I have been messing around in it for a future trip and it's pretty cool. Connect with others to make your trips even more awesome. Chat with users and even meet up for a truly local experience. Jetzy is free!
Can't find a tour that's free or affordable? You could spend $15-20 on a book that's half full of things you don't care about or you could spend that money on an awesome tour that your phone can lead you on. You don't need service or WiFi to use them and you don't have to keep up with anyone. Plus, if you miss something, you can always play it again. Much easier than having to explain that you weren't listening, because of that cute dog you just stopped to pet. Also, you can't stand the thought of wandering around with a pack of strangers, this is a great alternative. Download for free and pay for just the tours you want/need.
Do you use any of these travel apps currently? If so, what do you think? Or do you have favorites you don't leave home without?