In this age of modern technology, mobile applications are becoming the perfect travel companions. As a result, I put together a current list of the top five travel apps I utilize when traveling. Of note, all of the mentioned apps are supported by both IOS and Android platforms.
- Galileo Offline Maps Pro
This app is useful for when you are driving internationally or in a place where you do not have cell service. Prior to a trip, you would access the app and download a map of the country or area you are visiting, so that you can have the map available when you arrive to the destination without an internet connection or Wi-Fi. The app will also allow you to search an offline index of points of interests on the map to help you better reach your endpoint when driving. Please note, this is not an app that gives you turn-by-turn directions. It is just the same as working with an old school map, except the app will track your movement with a little blue dot so you can see exactly where you are geographically. Another plus is that it allows you to trace your path enabling you to 1) find your way back the same way you traveled or 2) view your route to see how far you have driven. In summary, the overall idea here is to have access to an offline map if you do not have a GPS or an internet connection to utilize Google Maps (or another source) while traveling.
- Rick Steve’s Audio Europe
While this app is specific for travel to Europe, it’s a great one to keep in mind for any European travels. The app consists of interviews, walking itineraries, and museum audio guides among other things. Essentially before traveling to your designated country, you would download any relative information specific to that region, which can be accessed under the “Find Tours and Interviews” tab on the main menu. Once downloaded, this will appear in “My Playlist,” and you can access the audio recordings without using Wi-Fi or a network connection. The facts and details provided have been beneficial on all of my European travels, and sometimes even saves me money so that I do not have to purchase an audio guide at a museum.
For those who abhor the idea of packing, this next app is for you. PackPoint is a mobile application that has you input your destination, date of travel, length of stay, select your type of trip whether it is for business or leisure, and choose activities that you will partake in on your visit. From here, the app takes into account your selected information and the local weather at your travel destination to create a packing list to ensure you do not forget any essential items. The best part is that you can customize the list to add any specific items that you want included on the checklist.
I lumped these two apps together as they essentially go hand in hand. Yelp is an app in which users can add their reviews of various restaurants and establishments. That being said, Yelp is not as widely used in other parts of the world as it is in the United States. For example, a good majority of Europeans resort to TripAdvisor when it comes to reviewing these types of venues. Nonetheless, it is not the worst idea to have access to both while traveling as you can review locations prior to dining at a restaurant or participating in a tour. The crowd-sourced reviews are a great way to narrow down options and learn more prior to paying for anything out of pocket.
Cost: Both are free
This app is particularly helpful if you are traveling in a group. Or if you’re feeling homesick while away, you can use the app to keep in touch with friends and family at home. The mobile application allows you to text or even make phone calls using Wi-Fi instead of over a mobile network. This is notably a huge plus when traveling abroad when roaming fees are high and call prices are insane as they are charged by the minute at some exorbitant rate.