There is a lot of debate surrounding technology and travel. Some lament our constant connection to the Internet, and claim that our obsession with social media stops us from truly experiencing travel the good old-fashioned way. Others claim that technology has made travel far more accessible. Our school of thought is somewhere in between. So, for those tech gurus out there about to embark on a trip, here are our top travel apps…
If you take lots of photos on your phone, get Google Photos. We were only a third of the way into our trip and I already had to delete everything expendable on my phone in order to take one photo. Google Photos allows you to delete your precious memories off your phone *gasp* and stores them in their handy app. Regardless of what device you’re on, all you have to do is log in, and they’re all there, safe and sound. Get it now and snap to your hearts content.
Ninety per cent of our accommodation was booked through Airbnb. So for us, checking Airbnb for new places to stay, messages and reviews became a daily routine. The app made this so much quicker and easier. It’s much simpler to navigate than their website, so if you plan on using Airbnb regularly, we suggest you download their app.
In Japan we had to go a week without Internet, and boy was it tricky to navigate our way round Tokyo without Google (such is the millennial way of life). In an attempt to look on the bright side I said to Jasper, ‘Christopher Columbus found America without the internet!’ to which he replied, ‘yeah but he was trying to find India’. Needless to say we soon downloaded Maps.me. It’s essentially a sat nav that uses your phone’s GPS, so you can find your way around without being connected to the Internet. It even has lots of off the beaten track trail maps, so you won’t get lost in the depths of a National Park (unless that’s your plan!). We would really recommend this app, especially if you’re road tripping for a long time. In the US for instance, car hire companies will try to charge you an extra $10 a day for a sat nav- that’s $300 for a month! Just download this (free) app and you’re sorted!
When you are travelling long term, you simply cannot carry around months and months worth of cash. The only other option seems to be to use your regular debit card, but most charge a hefty fee for using it abroad, which will add up quickly! So what next? Get a prepaid travel card. There are plenty on the market which will allow you to upload cash at an interbank rate, without fees. But Revolut has an amazing app that makes transferring cash, checking your balance and paying others really easy. Your Revolut card will be accepted most places, as it has a Mastercard logo.
Arguably the more ethical sibling to the infamous app Über, Lyft lets you book a taxi, pay for it online (so no more swindling taxi drivers), track the taxi’s location and rate your driver. You can even car pool. If you are travelling around a big city, and want a safe ride home, Lyft has you covered. Oh and they don’t support Trump, so that’s good too.
Technology generally doesn’t enhance the excitement of travel, but it does make travel easier and much less stressful. And remember you always have the option to disconnect- switch your phone off for a few days and get lost, just like the in the olden days!