Let's face it our mobile dependency has evolved from what was once just a means for communication now monopolizes the entertainment and information industry. As a travel blogger, I consider my mobile phone as an indispensable companion to help ease the challenges and heighten the experience in travel. I will leave out the most common social media app such as Instagram & Twitter because they have created a niche in our daily lives which made them indispensable in their own right. Here are my top 10 *not in any order by greatness* free travel apps in both iOS and Android.
Undoubtedly, this top the list of any traveler who carries a smartphone with them and the app keeps evolving with each update by Google. Now it offers more feature than just being a regular map : it has panoramic access of every spot you want to see with Street View, gives the most efficient direction *including routes, means of transportation, time it takes to get there* of your destination, useful reviews of any spots you want to go, real time traffic updates, uncover a good trail for your mountain adventures and I can go on forever with this. This is the reason why I created this list in the first place to give to honor for the huge help this app have done for me all these years of travel. The latest update may have stripped the most useful offline feature but you can actually download the map now to give you an offline view just in case it is impossible to connect in the internet and customize the map to your heart's content. This is a wonderful technology handed over to us for free that we most likely taken for granted.
Notes and snippets are one of my pet peeves in my travel to keep a record in some experiences that I might forget afterwards or some useful information worth sharing to other people. What better way to do this than through your smartphone which you have in your pocket most of the time and requires only your fingers to write. Recently, I discovered this app which offers the coolest feature for your journal in your phone. Journey can record everything while you are writing a note such as the exact location *longitude & latitude*, weather, activity you are doing, all the useful information of a photo if you insert one and you can sort all of them with tag then seamlessly publish it in any social media sites. Isn't that cool or what? I highly recommend this for who loves to keep track of their adventures.
This location based app has evolved for some years now and have spawn a new app to make the experience more fun and immersive. The reason we have two apps is because they are both interwoven on each other and each have their own purpose. Foursquare is now exclusive for reviews for restaurants, cafes, resorts, hotels and all spots that you want to give a visit. I love Foursquare for the huge collection of reviews it has from regular people which varies depending on their taste and it has huge coverage on some newly opened establishment that can beat any location based app even Google Maps. Now Swarm is its fun spawn which I collect mayorships & stickers from the adventures I have all over the world. Foursquare is for the serious people and swarm specifically target the fun ones. These two apps will add an extra layer of wonderful experience in your travel which is only possible through your smartphone.
I really don't know how they did it but this app work wonders. It organize everything in your travel from the reservations, itineraries, plane tickets, car rentals etc into one well organized itinerary by allowing them to access your email and pull out those information. This is particularly useful for people who books everything online. It is particularly useful for me because it can read the travel itineraries that I might have misplaced in the gazilions of emails I have and make sure I won't miss that flight.
Do I really need to explain the usefulness of this app? Most especially useful when you are traveling in a foreign land where nobody speaks your language because it has useful features that can be downloaded to avoid roaming charges. I love the offline dictionary the most! The translation may not always be spot on (grammar-wise) but it will surely deliver the message you want to convey. This is the best commodity you can have next to a real life translator which can hurt your budget a little.
If you ever want to read authentic reviews that makes you laugh and think twice of an expensive resort you're planning to have a staycation with then this is the perfect app for you. The helpful content is massive and you can pretty much cover all the pros and cons in a specific establishment no matter how perfect they seem because not all people can find satisfaction the same way with others. If you are one of the picky types then it is best to read up in Tripadviser first to know what to expect. As a regular reviewer in Tripadvisor they always motivate us to deliver a quality review to the people and that helps a lot in bringing quality content to this app. I trust the authenticity of this app that sometimes I quote some one liners from the reviewers in Tripadvisor when I am making reviews in my blog. The only disadvantage is won't probably have a complete coverage of all the newly established spots as compared to Foursquare.
Inevitably, our mobile phone have limited capability when it comes to taking pictures and during travels you won't have easy access in your desktop to post process those photos so the best option you have is the diverse collections of mobile photo editing apps available depending in your preference. I have been using a lot of mobile photo editing apps and Pixlr made this list because of its diverse features. It pretty much has everything you will ever need to give a boost in your travel photo and I do mean a lot of feature. You can do basic edits here by adjusting sharpness, saturation, contrast and more. They also have a huge collection of borders, filters, fonts, stickers and overlays to choose from. And one of the new feature they added which I really love is the double exposure. They actually have an online desktop editor that I started to regularly use here : www.pixlr.com
Internet is like sexual intercourse for your smartphone. The phone will feel cranky in days and weeks without it lol... so if you are traveling in a distant land and it is so remote you are not sure if there's a WiFi in the area somewhere or if you are in an urban place seeking a for a free WiFi hotspot then WiFi Finder is your best buddy to this situation. I have proven it very handy in many situations and have saved me from the temptations of a roaming charge.
The grand daddy of them all is Google Now. It tries to be the jack-of-all-trade in all mobile apps in style by regularly dishing out cards that will be useful depending on where you are. It is a summary of almost all apps that I mentioned above though not as comprehensive. If you're looking for a basic flight tracker, currency converter, world clock and travel guide, then don't overlook it. I highly recommend you shouldn't. I was amaze in one trip when it suddenly brought out a notification regarding my flight with a super cool flight card when I least expect it. It actually rummage through my emails without my consent lol...
|Expect a cool flight card such as this when you have it installed|
Hope you find my list of travel apps helpful. Share yours too! I would love to hear them and try them out myself. Thanks for the time. Cheers to a life of adventure!