New contributor Andrea Boffo selects five of the best travel apps that will make your life easier both online and offline
Some of the best travel apps can make life easier both online and offline. Today’s apps are getting more complex and they can offer specialised or general functions useful for the travelling user. Suitable for iOS and Android devices, some of the most popular travel apps are ready to be used in any location. The following apps can be used abroad and even at home, as they can be valuable for many daily offline activities.
Best for: Local culture
Culture Trip is one of the popular apps which help tourists get immersed in local activities. From recommending local restaurants to offering lists of best museums, the app is a one-stop destination for top activities in new places.
In time, the app has developed a strong database as well. With plenty of great blogs to read more about local cultures, it combines top tourist attractions with activities preferred by locals. In terms of other multimedia, apart from texts, the app also includes informative videos. The information is available for countries all around the world. Extra features include the ability to create and save a travel itinerary. This itinerary can then be accessed even when offline. All users can ensure they stay on track with their travelling journey even in areas without data coverage.
A geo-location function is included as well. Travellers can only seek out nearby attractions. With the possibility of creating a to-do list under the wishlist menu, the app handles everything related to a travel destination apart from hotel and flight reservations.
Free WiFi Finder
Best for: Online connectivity
From posting the latest information on Facebook to sharing cool photos on Instagram, being online is a must for travellers. However, online data plans are expensive while abroad. Even purchasing a local SIM card is not as affordable as simply using public local WiFi hotspots.
Free WiFi finder has a long list of public WiFi spots in more than 50 countries, including exotic locations. They are already saved in the app by their address. Since users don’t actually have to be online to see these hotspots, they can simply access them offline on the smartphone and travel to them to get online. An interesting feature of the app is that it also encourages user contributions.
All users can add a free WiFi hotspot to the area of their neighbourhood. All countries are covered in both iOs and Android operating systems. Hotspots are added daily even in remote locations so those travel to the beach might still want to download and install the app. Skinny dip discounts are available year-round for those seeking a bit of fun in the sun.
Best for: Planning trips and Google Maps integration
Having all reservation information available in one place is what makes Google Trips valuable. The app stores details on reservations, confirmation numbers and any other types of travel information directly from Gmail accounts. This information is then organized automatically.
But most importantly, this information is also downloaded and available offline. In the case of no data coverage, it still allows users to access their reservations such as plane or train tickets or hotel booking information.
XE Currency App
Best for: Money
Dealing with money is one of the main concerns travellers have. But foreign currency doesn’t have to be complicated. The simple XE Currency app is one of the best choices to quickly calculate the cost of various purchases while abroad. All the information is updated automatically and users get the latest exchange rates.
An interesting function of the app includes a history chart so that users can see how the exchange rates evolved in time. But the best part is the app can also work online which makes it valuable for scarce data plan coverage situations.
Best for: Reading and watching videos
Allowing users to save articles, blog post, and even videos, the app is useful for travellers looking to read and relax while abroad. It even has an included offline version. Most importantly, it allows users to save various data such as travel history, itineraries, and entertainment to enjoy at a later date. Saving entire webpages, the app is suitable for hours of reading both online and offline.
These apps are free to use. They work on most modern smartphones and they can be partially used online. However, the best part is the apps don’t need to be uninstalled once back from the trip. They can be used in everyday life for their practicality and they can be the foundation for future travel plans alike.