The top 5 travel apps every traveller should have…
After a few months of travel, a few things have become obvious. Firstly, it’s easy to get lost and difficult to ask directions in foreign countries. Secondly, everywhere in Southeast Asia has a different currency and most people will try to extort as much money as possible from tourists. This means every time you move countries, even cities sometimes, you not only need to find a new place to stay but also are disorientated and more susceptible to scams. Lastly, keeping in contact with people at home is really important to us. These are the five apps we have found most useful and would now struggle without.
The Maps.me app has been a lifesaver for us. These maps are really detailed, work offline, track your location and even give directions. There are icons that show hotels, restaurants, landmarks and main attractions. We have found them much more detailed and easier to use than google maps too.
We were a bit slower getting this one but the Currency app has been hugely beneficial for us. Changing countries every month means learning a new currency, which is easier said than done. This app can hold several different currencies, particularly helpful in Cambodia and Vietnam where they use both local currencies and the US dollar. So, if you put in a price in US dollars it will tell us what that conversion in both Vietnamese dong and Australian dollars.
3. Hostel world
There are plenty of accommodation apps you can use, I prefer hostel world because of the layout. Even though we have moved away from booking things online (check out my post on picking accommodation for reasons why), I still find it helpful to gauge the price of accommodation in the area and to find the location of the budget accommodation options.
While we have travelled overland for majority of our trip to date, we have used skyscanner frequently in the hope domestic flights would be a similar cost to catching a bus. Unfortunately, most of these searches have been unsuccessful and the buses are usually cheaper. But skyscanner is definitely the best app for comparing flights.
5. Facebook Messenger
Before you laugh, the Facebook Messenger app has been one of the apps I have used most since being away. Not only is it a great way of keeping in contact with everyone back home, there is also a function that enables video calling. Of all the online calling apps, we have found Facebook Messenger gets the best connection, a definite bonus when using a dodgy internet connection.
The best part is they are all free! A lot of people recommend translator apps too, this is an area we haven’t investigated. So far, we have managed with broken English and sign language, which has worked pretty well for us. But aside from that, we have managed with most aspects our travel really well and that is partly because of these apps.