Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone and most of us are also a bit addicted to it. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.. Those apps are great to spend a lot of time on, without doing anything useful. Now I’m not saying a smartphone is useless and a waste of time, no definitely not! The smartphone is a computer in your pocket, which has a lot of amazing functions. Not only for at home, but also for traveling. So I’ll tell you what you need to do to get your phone ready for travel.
Download maps of your destination
Most of the times I use Here Maps, because that’s the navigation app of Windows Phone. There are a lot of navigation apps and you have figure out for yourself which one you prefer. Sometimes I also use Google Maps and I also heard Maps.Me is a great app for navigation. Something important to consider is the fact you won’t have internet all the time while you’re traveling. So it’s nice to have a map application on your phone which doesn’t require the internet to function. One thing you need to do before you leave for your trip, is downloading the maps of your destination. Sometimes you have to download the maps of a whole country, sometimes just from the area. This depends on the size of the country you’re going to. When the download is finished, I usually open the map and scroll around the destination area. To be honest I don’t know if this helps, but I think the map will load faster when you’re on the location without the internet.
How are your going from place A to place B? By bus or by subway? By train or by plane? This is something you have to consider before you leave. Do you stay in a city like London? Download the London Tube App. Do you need to buy another plane ticket? Download Skyscanner for the cheapest flights. There are a lot of travel apps, local but also international. Just search in the app store which apps are the best for your travel.
Organize your travels
When you’re traveling there’s a lot of important information which you have to store safely. Plane tickets, car rentals, addresses from the accommodations and so on. TripIt is the app to organize all this information. So no panic attacks anymore when you can’t find the address of your accommodation. You now have access to your itineraries anytime, even offline.
How to find free Wi-Fi?
So most of the travelers don’t have internet all the time on their phone, so they rely on Wi-Fi. Most of the times a hostel or hostel does have free internet, but otherwise there are also a lot of other places you can find free Wi-Fi. The Mc Donalds is in a lot of countries my best friend and not for its food, but for its free internet. If you don’t want to be a regular guest of the Mc Donalds, there is also an app called Wifi Finder. It finds free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots all over the world in just seconds. So you don’t need to worry about the Wi-Fi anymore!
Skype and Whatsapp
The best thing about a smartphone is that it’s still possible to have contact with your friends and family, even though you’re on the other side of the world. Skype and Whatsapp are the perfect apps to stay in touch with your loved ones. I think Whatsapp is perfect for sending pictures, small sound recordings and small messages. I use Skype for calling with my relatives, because I find Whatsapp has a bigger delay in sending and receiving your sayings. It’s also possible on Skype to call with your camera on, which isn’t possible with Whatsapp. So I definitely think you need both apps on your phone.
Translation apps are a must
We all want to speak 10 different languages, but most of us are not that lucky to speak so many different ones. Luckily this isn’t a problem anymore, because we all have our smartphone. Most of the times I use Translator or Google Translate for my translations. Both can translate words and sentences, using your keyboard to enter the text you want to translate. Or you can use your voice or camera for translation. In the Translator app is also the option to use the app on-the-go, without any internet connection.
Convert your money
Not only languages can be different, but also the currency. We all want to know what we’re spending while traveling, so for that there are currency converters. Search in your app store currency converter and you’ll find different ones. Most of those apps just need internet to update the information and after the update the app is available offline.
What’s the time Mr. Wolf?
When you’re crossing lots of time zones, it’s really useful to have a time zone app. I use the app World Clock, which gives you the opportunity to show multiple times zones on one screen. Really useful when you’re in Dublin, but your boyfriend in San Francisco and your parents at home in the Netherlands. For Android and iOS are similar apps in the store.
What’s the weather going to be like?
For some people the weather is the main subject of every conversation, but personally I prefer to talk about other things. So if I want to know what kind of weather it’s going to be like, I will look on my phone. Most of the times I use AccuWeather, because this app is quite accurate.
Use a battery saver
Something I always use while traveling is a battery saver on my phone. I have a Windows Phone (Lumia 1020) which has this function already on the phone, so I turn this on when I’m starting to travel. It really save some battery throughout the day, the only ‘downside’ is that you won’t receive any push notifications anymore. So no Whatsapp messages or Facebook notifications. Something I don’t mind that much, because when you click on the app you still see those messages, so it’s not that you don’t get them. There are also apps to extend the battery life of your phone, like BatteryLife and BatteryDoctor. It gives you also a good view on which apps are wasting energy.
What do you do to get your phone ready for travel?