The age of smartphones has changed the way we travel, both for the better and the worse. Sometimes it really bothers me that some of my fellow travelers only seem to experience a new place through the camera lens of their phone and I am always advocating getting rid of Google Maps and actually getting lost once in a while. But even I have to admit that this modern era has also made exploring new places a lot easier and sometimes even a bit more fun. Let me introduce you to four travel-related apps that I simply can’t live without!
Guides by Lonely Planet
Of all the travel guides you can find in your local bookstore, I definitely prefer those published by Lonely Planet. They are not necessarily better than the others but they reflect my style of traveling best. Well, unfortunately there is not always enough space in my hand luggage to carry around a massive travel guide which is why I couldn’t live without this particular app. Guides offers a mini travel guide to cities on all continents that you can download for free. After that you are provided with a couple of facts about your travel destination, the most attractive sights as well as recommendations for restaurants, bars, clubs and accommodation. If you are on a budget make sure to check out their suggested daily costs; this will prevent unpleasant surprises and make it easier for you to plan ahead.
Well, I have to admit this app is not the most useful one in the world but it’s a hell lot of fun! It provides every travelholic with an overview of the places he or she has already explored and is a great way to start a conversation with others about their travels. One click will immediately take you to the Wikipedia entry of any country in the world where you can get an overview of your destination’s history, politics and other information. Furthermore, this app has helped me through a couple of depressed evenings that I spent at home while suffering from severe wanderlust; there is nothing better than activating that 3D view of the globe and indulging in all those memories that you have made in the past while traveling.
Don’t skip this recommendation if you are more of a hostel and dorm traveler than a Airbnb kind of person! Airbnb quite recently started to offer experiences that are provided by locals in several cities such as Paris and Seoul. These experiences vary from strolls around town and sports activities to cooking and art classes. What an amazing way to get to know a local and dive right into a city’s culture! I can’t wait for Airbnb to extend this offering and would most definitely recommend you t0 try one of these experiences yourself.
When it comes to traveling with friends financing can quickly become complicated. Personally, I can’t stand precisely splitting up costs when checking into a hotel, having coffee or buying tickets for transportation. Unfortunately I used to quickly regret that by the time my travel buddy and I had to sit down and go through all the receipts, figuring out who owns whom what. Splid is a true lifesaver when it comes to that issue: this app allows you to document any expenses and who took care of them. By the end of your trip it will have calculated exactly whether you owe money to your travel companion or the other way round. Extra bonus: you can even cross borders without having to worry; Splid covers every single currency out there!