A world without a smartphone has become unthinkable for most people. We are seriously addicted to our smartphones, and though I also enjoy a bit of offline time, having a smartphone with you when traveling can be a real plus. We have rounded up the most usefull travel apps for you.
I’ve always kept a travel journal, for as long as I can remember. If I don’t do it, I forget the name of the cosy restaurant we’ve had dinner in, I forgot what the local speciality is called or even which temple or historical ruïn we’ve visited. Sure, when you get back home it’s still quite fresh, but for instance when making a picturebook a couple of months later it somehow always ends up a blur in my mind.
Since having a smartphone, I’ve searched for good travel journal apps, and in Journey I’ve found my perfect companion.Making an entry is really simple: just tap the “+” symbol when you open the app and start writing. You can add photo’s if you like, and the app automatically adds your location, what you were doing (driving, sitting down, walking,…) and if connected to the internet also the weather at that moment. I’m making a habit of taking screenshots of my journey entries, and adding them to our photobooks – which is a real timesaver when making those as well!The biggest plus for me are the options for viewing your journal later on. You have the calendar mode, where you search through a calendar, but also the atlas mode; with an interactive world map showing you your journal entries. I love that! The app also allows you to search for keywords, which can be handy if you want to quickly look at a certain destination.
The app is free, but you can register for a small amount to make sure all your data is backed up.
- Google maps
Installed already on all Android phones, this free app is a real money saver when it comes to finding your way in a foreign country. Forget expensive GPS updates, or big roadbooks: just download the map of the area you’re visiting on your phone and off you go. You don’t even need a working internet connection if you do that: it works perfectly without one.
If you like, you can also make maps at home and access those when traveling, like a detailed map of the city your staying in with tips of good eateries and your hotel added to it.
- Google translate
Another free app, that comes in really handy. Just like on Google maps, you can download the language you need before you leave home. That way it works offline as well.
- XE currency converter
Another free, practical app. Now most of us can make a general assumption of how much 10$ is in €, or how much one pound is… but when you are traveling to more exotic countries like South Africa or Bali, it get’s slightly more complicated. Just like the previous apps, this free app works offline as well. Just download the currency you need before you set off, and you can calculate even without an internet connection.
I always love to send out a postcard when we travel. However, postcards are getting harder and harder to come by these days, because well, not so many people do send them out. We find that in most cities / Western European destinations it’s OK, but as soon as you go a bit further, you really have to spend a lot of time looking for them, and often the ones you find are old, crappy and expensive. Not to mention the hassles at the local postoffice, trying to explain you need stamps for Belgium, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Israel, Brazil, Germany and Italy (I have a lot of penpals!). We also find that often postcards just get lost and never arrive at your destination. A pitty!
This is all bygones witht the MyPostcard app. Now there are a lot of postcard apps out there, and I’ve tested quite a few. This one is by far the easiest to work with, has great print quality and the one with the best pricing as well. It’s a German based company, ensuring a swift delivery in Europe, and a rather quick one in the rest of the world. Instead of our postcards arriving weeks after we get back, they actually arrive while we are still traveling, which is a big plus for us!
The best thing about the whole process is that you select your own travel pics that you took along the way…
You buy credit before you leave, and that way your payment is secure. The only thing you need is a wifi connection when traveling, which in most cases is not that hard to get by these days. When the wifi is not that strong, it does take some time though, so it’s best not to try to load up 7 different designs the same evening 😉
This (free!) app also comes with an address book. Simply put in the addresses of the people you want to send cards to, and you’re ready to enjoy your trip!
Which app will you use on your next trip? Or do you have a great one that should be tested out on our next journey? Let us know in the comments below!