One of my absolute favorite parts of travel is anticipating the impending adventure- planning…thinking about the local cuisine…deciding on the best use of your time, studying the local history…yep, I love it all!
Technology is just amazing. I travelled abroad for the first time in 2009. Then, I didn’t bring my cell phone, use internet, or even consider downloading an application to assist with travel. Nowadays, I’ve become reliant upon tech tools to enhance my traveling experience.
Traveling abroad is exciting but it also takes a bit of preparation prior to taking flight. There is certainly a balance between over planning and being able to “go with the flow.” The days of paper maps and the opinion of a single travel agent have gone by the wayside. Now, there are phone apps that can simplify every aspect of your life, which includes travel!
There are three apps that will make your life easier before and during your next trip abroad. Not only are they awesome, they are free!
1. Tripadvisor– prior to booking a hotel, deciding on a restaurant, a tour company, or ANY activity, you should consult Tripadvisor. The reviews are organized with the most recent first. I tend to use TripAdvisor as a baseline to make decisions. Yes, I am relying on others’ experiences. Personally, if I take the time to write a review, I obviously feel strongly about my experience one way or another.
2. WhatsAPP– pick the top three (or so) people you text constantly and get have them download the free app (if they don’t have an account already). The app will allow you to send SMS messages without charging you a fee. WhatsApp uses either your 3G service or wifi. On my last trip abroad, my husband and I visited a close family friend who lived in Amsterdam. It was the perfect way to keep in touch free of charge.
3. Google Translate– this is imperative if you are visiting a country where the primary language is not your native tongue. Here’s the deal, most people speak English but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to communicate using the national language. It’s rather presumptuous to assume others should speak your language. The APP is awesome because you can write (with your finger/stylus), use the microphone, or take a picture to translate. If you have an Android device, you do not even need to be online for it to work…super score!
Do you have a favorite APP you use for travel? If so, let me know!