What’s the best app for booking flights? How do I listen to my voicemail abroad for free? What apps will save my the most money when I’m travelling? This is the conversation I had with a friend of mine recently when she embarked on a big round-the-world trip. We debated long and hard, settling on this definitive list of the most useful travel apps for backpackers. They’re pretty much all free and should make life on the road a whole lot easier. From staying on top of your travel itinerary to listening to your voicemail for free, these are the apps I can’t travel without…
Isn’t it annoying when you get a voicemail from an unknown number abroad – you’re eager to know who it’s from so you rack up a costly bill only to discover it’s your gas provider calling or your Nan asking how she send you a whatsapp message. This saves you all that expense by recording your voicemails as a file so you can listen to them free of charge!
This is brilliant for long bus journeys or periods when you know you’ll be without wifi. When I was stuck in a remote Cambodian village I could read blog posts, newspaper articles and magazine features whilst offline. You just e-mail links of pages you like to the app and it downloads them so you can still access them without wifi. Great for reading www.backpackinginheels.com posts when you’re offline!
I love this app. Forget flapping around a busy market for generic postcards of places you’ve never even visited, this app allows you to upload photos of your travel and turn them into postcards for your Great Untie June. She’ll be thrilled when she revieves that selfie of you and a camel.
When travelling through a continent and having to switch from thinking in one currency to another, it can all get a bit taxing. No need to rely on mental arithmetic anymore, my friend. Use currency XE to keep up to date with daily exchange rates and tell you to the nearest cent how much that hammock is you’re haggling for.
When you’re travelling from country to country, this app is super useful for helping you FaceTime your Mum at a civilised hour.
ROME TO RIO
Discover how to get anywhere. Type in ‘rome to rio’ for example and you’ll be given the timings and costings of every mode of transport and combination of transport possible.
A bit like Mapsme, this is hands-down the most useful app in my phone. It’s like having city mapper or google maps abut you don’t need any wifi or data as it traces your location off satellite. I like to pre-download all the articles (taken from wikitravel) and maps for cities I’n going to in advance, then highlight and landmarks or sights I plan to visit.
A bit like Sky scanner but you can just circle a region in the world and they churn out your options. So if you want to go SOMEWHERE in South East Asia but really couldn’t care where so long as it’s within a 5 hour flight of Delhi and is less than $200, this is the app for you.
For those with a creative eye and a talent for photography, this app lets you make money out of your images. Brands and agencies are always looking for images to use in social media, marketing campaigns and other creative projects. With this photographer’s community, you can capitalise on your travel shots. Great for skint backpackers with creative flair.
Gobbles up battery life but brilliant if you’ve stuck your go pro a friend’s surf board or want to see what footage you’re capturing from the outside of a train through Darjeeling.