Favourite Mobile Apps for the Independent Traveler

In Conversations, Lists, Travel by The Wandering Canucks0 Comments

TripIt

Jaimie: I learned of this app through Jenna when we were planning our backpacking trip in 2013. It is pretty phenomenal actually. It’s a place where you can import every detail of your trip and it will generate your itinerary. You can forward your travel confirmation emails to its designated email and it will populate it into your itinerary for you. Soooo easy. From transportation, to accommodations you can keep every aspect of your holiday in one place.

Google Translate – formerly known as Word Lens

Jaimie: This is the coolest app of all time. I debated writing an entire post on it. I love to travel. I love getting to explore a new place. The one thing that gives me major anxiety however is not understanding what is going on around me. I have a hard time visiting a foreign place with no english if I am not with someone who can help me translate. This app has made my need for a translator obsolete. As of now you can translate english to and from french, german, italian, portuguese, russian and spanish. It has many different features that makes it so versatile. You can type anything in any of those languages and it will translate it for you. You can use the conversation mode where you can speak into your microphone and it will speak your translation for you. The coolest feature in my opinion is the camera, you can hold your phone up to a sign or menu and without having to even take a photo it will automatically change the words to your preferred language. Go and download it right now. It’s the best. Total props to MVK for introducing me to this gem.

Foursquare

Jenna: This is my favourite little app going. I love to find places that are off the beaten path, and foursquare is full of those. It is best for coffee shops and brewpubs, and even has some amazing recommendations for where to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can search for specific cuisines or filter your results by cost or location. It has reviews and recommendations by other foursquare users, and it is very user-friendly. I found some amazing places through foursquare. I had the greatest coffee in Bergen and became obsessed with a deli in Sweden that this app introduced me too. You will not regret this app when you get it. Use it well.

Booking.com

Jenna: Yes, this is also a website. But Booking.com’s slick mobile app leaves little to be desired. Most hotels on booking.com offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before check in, which is amazing when you have a shifting itinerary. It prompts you for checkins and checkouts, and lets you modify and check your bookings straight from the app. It offers travel guides for some select destinations as well, just in case you want to read up on your next destination! One of the best in my books.

City Maps 2G0

Kait: I’m not one to ordinarily rely on an app when travelling. Give me a map and a compact guidebook and I’m usually good to go! However, during my first few tScreenshot_2015-05-16-10-06-09rips abroad I went overboard on the app downloading and found this little gem of an app. Maps 2Go has to be one of the more useful on-the-go travel apps that I’ve ever encountered. The biggest draw for me is the ability to download the map of an entire city for use offline. What? Data plans are expensive! And this was before I had an unlocked phone.

What truly sets this app aside from the rest, beyond the offline map use, is all of the little extras that are tucked away in it. You can zoom in to street level on the map and see all of the restaurants, pubs, shops, bus stops, tube stations etc. There is also a search function built into the app, from which you can search for things like hotels, pubs, and tourist hotspots. There is a built in review function for people to share tips and advice on attractions, restaurants and hotels, but it is a bit lacking. Finally, for the major tourist attractions, there is a built in guide which provides some historical context to the attraction. I seriously LOVE this app. There is so much packed into it, it is truly worthwhile to use it as one of your more predominant travel apps.