Top 9 Apps to Download if You’re Travelling Abroad This Summer
If you’re one of the lucky few who get to escape the country’s blistering summer, we’ve got some handy tips for you. We’re here to tell you how to utilise what technology has to offer to ensure you have a safe, fun, and stress-free vacation.
First things first, figure out the best way to get an affordable data connection on your phone, in the countries you’re visiting. There are several companies (Lyca, Matrix) that provide you with international calling cards, even before you leave the country.
So, let’s get started.
The excitement of the journey begins when you start deciding the stuff you’re going to be carrying with you. If you’re willing to spend a minimal amount on an app, we’d recommend Packing Pro (iOS). Just like its name suggests, it helps you pack like a pro. You can make customised to-do lists, but the best part about this app would be the ‘Expert List’ assistant. This has already got packing lists ready depending on if you’re a male/female, if you’re going camping or if you’re stepping out for a short business trip. The app is intuitive and customisable, and in our opinion, worth every rupee spent.
How to Fill the Language Gap
A recent update to the Google Translate app, integrated a World Lens tool. Word Lens uses the smartphone’s camera to scan scenes, identify writing and then display it as if it were written in English. You can hover your device in front of menus, road signs, and more, and see the translated text overlaid on the screen immediately without any internet connection. Pretty neat, right? A super useful feature when you’re jet-setting across the world and trying to make your way through foreign cities, where English isn’t the first or second language.
TripLingo, on the other hand, gives you some of the commonly used phrases in a particular language. Believe us when we say this, you’d want to memorise how to say “Where is the Bathroom?” in Mandarin, before you land in China. This app also gives you a crash course in local customs and etiquette.
Both Google Translate and TripLingo, are available for free on the Play Store.
Make Some Lists
To prepare for a trip abroad, the first thing any travel magazine will recommend is that you make a list. A list of things to pack, a list of places you’d want to visit and even a list of things you want to buy. If you’re flying solo, the Notes app provided on your smartphone would suffice. However, in case you’re travelling in a group, ask everyone to download a single note-taking app. Go for Slack or Evernote. You can make a checklist and multiple people can contribute and edit the list while on the go. While these apps may be designed for businesses, they serve the purpose just as well.
Both Slack and Evernote are available for free on the Google Play Store.
How to Make Sure You Never Get Lost
Other than Google Maps, there are a slew of apps available to help you navigate your way through an unknown city. From the bunch, we would recommend City Mapper and Moovit. The two help you make your way around a city’s public transport system. Just add your destination and it will tell you how to get there. Other than route-navigation, it gives you step-by-step instructions which include local modes of travel (ferry timings, cycle pick-up, etc.) The highlight about the apps is the fact that they provide real-time updates. For example, if the bus you’re waiting for is held up in traffic, it will tell you exactly how much longer you would have to wait for.
Google Maps, City Mapper and Moovit, are available for free on the Play Store.
So, What do Locals Do Around Here?
The traditional way to find out the hidden gems of a city, would be to try and strike a conversation with a local resident of the town you’re visiting. We now have an app which will help you with this, and much more. Available in more than 40 cities worldwide, Like a Local gives you genuine reviews about the local restaurants and markets to check out. The app promises that their recommendations have been curated solely by local editors. If you hate being a tourist in a foreign city, this one’s for you.
Like a Local Offline CityGuide is available for free on the Google Play Store. If you’re still contemplating where to head to this summer, you can click here for inspiration.