I’m not using/trying lots of apps in general, but I do have a few that make my travels easier. I started using them by referral, and since it helped me, I want to share them further. And they are all free 🙂
Navigation Apps -> Google Maps
Oh, mighty Google! Google Maps is very popular and easy to use and that’s not a secret. You can also save a city map: search for your target city -> Main menu -> Offline areas -> Select your own area -> Download. You can save all the maps you want, and don’t even bother to delete them afterwards, as they automatically delete after some time.
Bonus: Your GPS (the blue dot on the map) is working even if you are not connected to the internet. Maybe sometimes you need to walk a bit or shake your phone, but 100% positive it is working.
So now you won’t get lost when exploring your destination, even if there is no wifi around.
Budget Apps -> TrabeePocket
This is a travel budget app I (try to) use, to track my expenses. There are lots of them and I think it’s up to the individual to decide which one is most suitable. Basically, you can create a new entry with your destination, add the expenses for each day and divide them into categories. The good thing is, it makes the maths for you. Whichever you choose, it’s a good option for keeping track of how much you spend and on what, especially if you have a specific budget.
Connection Apps -> VPN Master
This one is new to me, and I’ve heard of it after travelling to the Gambia. In the Gambia, you need a VPN app to be able to use Whatsapp. And it makes other messaging apps a bit faster.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps protect your personal data when using unsecured networks (like public wifis). While I don’t see connecting to public wifis to be such a risk, these apps can also help in some occasions, like accessing region restricted websites. This article helped me understand how it works.
Utilities Apps -> Wifi Map
I cannot decide if I love or hate this app. The promise, it will show you wifi passwords near you. The reality, almost there. You need wifi to use the app, but you want to use the app especially because you need wifi. So this app can be pretty much useless.
The way I use it, if I know I’m going to be for some time in a place, I open my mobile data for a bit, load the wifi map, and then I try the wifi there. If I’m lazy or tired and just want to go for food close to where my accommodation is, I load the map while still at home and have it ready for later. There is also an option for offline maps, but I always forget about it. It gives you an idea of the wifis around and how strong they are.
Another issue is that some passwords are long expired, so even if you see a lot of options on the map, not all of them work. But this is also because I tried the app in countries like Nicaragua, where I would assume it’s more difficult to gather the data. One of my best friends used it in Melbourne and it helped her a lot.
PS: In the utilities category, there is another app called Flush, which finds you toilets nearby. I personally never used it, as I would usually look for a restaurant or bar and walk in. But it’s a funny one.
Electronic tickets Apps
I’m trying to use mobile version tickets anywhere I can. A few obvious examples, I used British Airways app for flights and Eurostar app for trains. So whenever you have the opportunity, I encourage you to use the company’s app rather than printing out the tickets. Just to make some trees happy 🙂
Also, depending on the destination you go, each country has its popular apps for transport, attractions, restaurants etc. They are handy if you plan to stay longer in one place.