Helpful Travel Apps
As I’m traveling, here are a few helpful travel apps I’ve found.
Google Maps. Just an amazing app all around. I especially like being able to create lists by country or area and add and save places to it.
MAPS.ME. Helpful offline apps if you can’t get internet access.
Google Trips. Helpful to group reservations, tickets, and quick lists of sites and things to do.
Gmail. I often star and label emails I need for quick reference when I’m traveling like confirmation numbers, PDFs or boarding passes.
XE Currency App. Helpful to have a way to easily convert between currencies — if you don’t use this app you’ll want another currency converter
PolarSteps. Nice app to track places you went and photos tagged with a location to track your trip that you can share with a small group. From their site: “Personal travel log in your pocket.”
Uber. Helpful way to get a ride and has worked for me in many countries. Also I know taxi drivers at airports give particularly bad rates to tourists since you don’t know what the price should be. Uber has also been helpful when it is hard to describe or give directions to the location you are going to a taxi driver. Additionally, I don’t have to worry as much about getting scammed and can talk more with the driver.
Google Translate. Helpful for translations in different languages. There is also a cool feature that works sometimes where you can use your camera and it live translates the text in an image (to try it out point it at a menu in a foreign language). Also helpful to download offline some language packs. (Theme: Google has some good travel apps).
Google Photos. The best photo app I’ve used, also nice and easy to make and share albums.
Hostelworld. Easy to search and book hostels, read reviews and photos.
SimpleNote. Have been using this as an easy notes app.
This is really it’s own thing and depends a lot on what you do, who you meet and where you go, but I’ve found everyone uses different messaging apps.
Messenger. My favorite so far for traveling. Does text, audio calls and video calls without cell signal. Also nice quick way to add people from a QR code (that no one knows).
WhatsApp. Seems to be more popular with everyone I meet outside the US. I also see many businesses giving out their WhatsApp number as a way to contact them.
Instagram. Also very common as a messaging app.
Google Hangouts Dialer. I’ve been looking for a way to make wifi/data calls not through the cell network (since it seems everywhere the rates for international calls are not good, and can be extremely bad depending on your carrier). I am using a Google Pixel phone, but it seems even that has a bad rate at $0.20 per minute. Say for example a call uses 0.5MB of data per minute(, ). So say a 5 minute call uses 2.5MB of data (could be even 1MB on the lower end). For a calling rate that is $0.20 * 5 = $1.00. Google Fi data is at $10/GB — so that is $0.01/MB or 1 cent per megabyte. So a call over data costs you 1–3 cents, so much better — around 50x-100x better. So basically always do calls over data. Anyways, it seems to me that the Hangouts dialer lets you accomplish this and do data calls differently than the phone app. But mainly I try to do calls over Messenger if I can.
What travel apps have you found helpful?