For some of us modern travellers, travelling without our Internet-enabled smart phones is almost unimaginable. From arranging transport, to booking accommodation, to finding our way when we’re lost – there’s very little that apps can’t do for us when we’re travelling. While some may say that our reliance on technology has taken some of the excitement and thrill out of travelling, it’s certainly made our lives a whole lot easier. Here are some of the ways apps have revolutionised the way we travel…
No more standing at the side of the road trying to hitch a ride
Many travellers use hitchhiking to get from A to B, but long gone are the days where you have to wait at the side of the road trying to flag down the least suspicious looking vehicle. Instead, apps like BlaBlaCar, FriendsCar and DirectRidesharing connect drivers with empty seats to passengers who are heading the same way. It’s not only an environmentally friendly way to travel, as it saves on fuel, but it can also save you money. Aside from convenience, the benefit of these apps is that many allow you to check out the profile and rating of the driver before you travel, making it a safer option.
No more lost in translation
We all face language barriers when we are travelling – not knowing what to order in a restaurant, not being able to ask for directions and not being able to chat to the locals. However, there are loads of great translation apps to make life a little easier and save you lugging a dictionary everywhere. GoogleTranslate, iTranslate and UniversalTranslate are good options but it depends what you want out of your translator. Do some research and find out what languages are included and if there are any special features such as voice recognition.
No more getting lost full stop.
Okay, so you probably will get lost many times while travelling however having maps available on your phone can be a lifesaver. GoogleMaps has an offline feature which allows you to save on roaming costs and there’s also Forevermap which allows you to download maps of a particular country before you travel.
No more being unorganised
If remembering important dates and times is not your strong point then maybe you should try and app like TripIt or TripTracker. These are a great way of managing your itinerary. TripTracker, for instance, automatically enters flight and hotel details into your iPhone and also alerts you of any changes or cancellations. Great for people who travel frequently.
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to the ways we can now use our phones to aid our travel plans. Of course, there’s certainly nothing wrong with going without your phone for the majority of your trip. Sometimes we don’t want to be told which restaurant to go to or be restricted by an itinerary – exploring and discovering new things for yourself is all part of the experience. However, for those tricky situations where a little extra help can be useful, apps are a great way to make your trips run a little more smoothly.
Photo credit: Peter_Christoph_Ross