While one of the main reasons we travel is to escape the ever-growing constructs and confines of technology, it’s impossible to deny the value in downloading a few assistive apps that can make us even better at our own game.
From trip preparation to information that can save us in an on-the-spot situation, the internet offers it all. And, if we choose carefully, we can create and experience the perfect trip with greater ease than ever before.
Two of the best technologies for finding flights are Google Flights and Skyscanner. Both of these apps bring in the cheapest results and allow you to view prices in a calendar format in order to determine the absolute best date to depart. The apps also offer a user the option to enter only their city of departure and view—in ascending order—a list of cities, states, and countries they can afford to fly to.
Once your flight is taken care of, jump over to the Hotels.com app. Folks find this accommodation app particularly well-rounded, as it offers everything from dorm beds to penthouse hotel rooms all in one place. It also creates geographical and amenity-minded filters that assist in sorting out your ideal sleeping circumstances. Perhaps the best part, however, is the reward nights. Your app account will keep track of the average cost for ten nights that you book through the app. Then, it awards you the averaged amount toward a free night’s stay at the hotel of your choice, based on the aforementioned information.
When the particulars are taken care of, and you’re finally off to enjoy your trip, the XE Currency Converter might be your next best download. This app allows users to view conversion rates of up to 10 currencies at a time and has a built in calculator to boot. It even remembers the most recently updated rates to be used in off-line, out of service situations.
The same can be said for Google Translate. With 58 languages available for downloaded use offline, this app responds to both a speaking voice (when prompted) and regular text type input. If you’re feeling particularly intent on learning languages while you’re abroad, Duolingo is a perfect place to start. With internet or cell phone signal, you can practice basic lessons in any language you choose.
A handy app you can use to find your way around once you’re at your destination is Maps.me. This location-based service is a lifesaver when you’re beginning to feel a little lost. Similar to other map apps, it offers directions, GPS positioning, and specific or categorical establishment searches. The feature that makes it unique, though, is that by downloading the country’s map while connected to WiFi or cell signal, you can access every single feature without any signal, no matter where you are.
Finally, another fantastic benefit of technology is its ability to increase our contact with loved ones back home. Besides postcards and letters, we like to hear people’s voices and share real-time laughter, and for this there are lots of great applications to choose from. WhatsApp is one of the most popular tools for global communication because it’s simple to use and allows users to keep the same phone number they had back home. Plus, when it’s used in conjunction with a local SIM card from the country you’re in, it’s often available free of charge as a popular promotion.
**Every app mentioned in this article is free and available for both apple and android devices.
Photo Credit: “iPhone apps sphere” by Blake Patterson via Flickr/CC BY 4.0