Everywhere you go, it’s evident that technology has taken over our lives. Phones, tablets, e-readers, iPods have all become a part of everyday culture. With smartphones and tablets becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be all over technology and the internet while we travel to maximise our planning and make our travels easier.
Here we explore some of the best websites and apps out there for the budding traveller (which we all are). From figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B, or the price of those pair of shoes, or needing a way to translate that sign written in Cyrillic Russian, these websites and apps should be readily accessible on your phone or laptop as you set off on an adventure!
Rome 2 Rio
Rome2Rio is the bible of all travel websites. If you’re ever unsure about how to get from Point A to Point B anywhere in the world, this website will be your one stop. Whether you want to go from Cape Town to Shanghai or Lima to Reykjavik, Rome2Rio will tell you how to get there. Not only will it list the shortest way, it will provide you with other potential routes and provide rough price estimates for each leg of the route. To sweeten the deal even more, it provides a link to the website of the transport provider so that you can make your booking. How sweet is that?!
Don’t want to stay in a hostel or hotel? Then check into one of the many rooms and homes that are rented out all over the world. Stay in the home of a local and experience a different side to travel. Gain local knowledge from your host and immerse yourself in all your country of visit has to offer. There is accommodation to suit every budget and some provide some of the greatest views you will ever experience!
These two websites are your directories for all hostel bookings anywhere in the world. Simply type in the city you wish to visit, approximate dates, and sit back as options upon options of hostels are suggested to you. Check their ratings, reviews, proximity to major sights, prices and then make a booking. A great feature is that when booking only a small down payment of a few dollars is required, with the remainder generally paid for on arrival to the hostel.
Inyourpocket City Guides
Inyourpocket provides free city guides for many European cities. Not only does it provide general information on sightseeing and the history of the country/city, it also provides info on shopping, food, nightlife, events, transport and much, much more. Only a recent discovery of my own, it is definitely on the must-use list.
XE Currency Converter
Not sure how much that €8.50 item is in Aussie dollars? Plug in the value of any currency in the world and convert it to the currency you desire. Utilising real time currency data when connected to the internet no other currency converter is as accurate. Even better, if you don’t have a connection to the internet, the app will utilise the most recent currency data from when a connection was made. It’s also a great help if maths and/or budgeting isn’t your strong suit.
Unsure what that menu says, or what the local is asking you? Or can’t read that sign in front of you? Well this app solves all of those problems. You can either type in a foreign phrase and receive an English translation, or speak into the microphone in English to get a foreign translation. A handy new feature of the app allows you to use your camera to translate signs in real time, but is currently only available in select languages. Definitely a must use app!
If trains are a major part of your transport while backpacking throughout Europe, then this app will be your best friend. With access to timetables of the entire European rail system by partnering with Eurail and Interrail, it’s as easy as ever to see when your next train is with information about the trains itself and the journey ahead of you. The majority of this app works offline so no internet connection is required.
Everybody wants to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and there’s no better way to do that than with WhatsApp messenger. Not only is it fast and reliable, but it’s also free from the App Store or Play Store. Share videos, photos and text as long as you have a stable internet connection.
It’s time to get downloading. With only a few clicks, you can be super prepared and make your travels that much easier.