Whether you’re traveling abroad to a country like the United Kingdom or you’re staying closer to home and visiting one (or more) of Nepal’s beautiful cities, the experience can be exciting, relaxing, and even educational.
Unfortunately, travel can also be stressful. Making sure you get to the airport on time, checking your suitcase isn’t over the weight allowance, and trying to find your hotel when you get there can all take away from the experience.
Managing your money while abroad, finding things to do, and keeping yourself safe can all take away from the experience too.
Thankfully, there are plenty of smartphone apps that we can use to make every single one of these tasks much easier.
Whether it’s making sure you get to the airport on time, finding your hotel, or just getting around when you’re sightseeing, your smartphone is an incredibly powerful tool for helping with this.
Waze is a great option here because if you’re driving, it can give you up-to-date and crowdsourced reports on traffic conditions, helping you to avoid the traffic jam that’ll make you late for your flight. It can also give directions just as well as native apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps for walking and public transport.
However, in big cities, Citymapper is a better choice because it is designed specifically for getting around in big metropolitan areas rather than everywhere else. It can tell you the optimum train car to get on, which direction to walk while in an underground station and even rough estimates for taxi fares.
Some people love packing as it’s part of the holiday experience, others see it as a necessary chore they have to endure to do something they enjoy. Regardless, it can be a bit of a struggle to know what and how much to actually put in your suitcase. This can lead to missing important things or a suitcase that costs you extra due to it being overweight.
Apps like PackPoint and Packr Travel Packing Checklist can create personalized packing lists based on factors like your sex, age, duration of your trip, the weather forecast, and what modes of transport you’ll be taking.
While you’ll want to sample the local culture, there’ll be plenty of downtimes when you will want to relax instead. After a long day of sightseeing, there’s nothing you’ll want to do more than chill out by the pool or in your hotel room.
There are plenty of entertainment apps that can help you do the things you enjoy while traveling. For example, ebook apps like Kindle and Google Play Books let you read almost anything without weighing yourself down with big hardbacks.
Similarly, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are great for watching movies and TV shows and can even save you money on the usual movie rental fees that hotels like to add to your bill.
Alternatively, if you prefer gaming, there are literally millions of options to choose from thanks to the huge collection of gaming apps in both major app stores.
This means, provided you have an internet connection, you can enjoy everything from first-person shooters to online casino games. Many can also be enjoyed for free by taking advantage of bonuses and promotions that are unlocked by meeting certain criteria or for being a new customer.
Managing Your Money
Travelers have always lost out when converting their home currency into local money. Exchange fees and unfavorable rates have meant that the banks, merchants, and bureaux de-change come out on top.
Thankfully, smartphone apps are helping to rebalance the power in this domain. XE and similar apps can help you check the live exchange rate so you know you’re getting a fair deal while converting cash.
Alternatively, fintech companies like Revolut, Curve, and Wise offer low or no-fee forex transactions when you pay with your card abroad.
It’s also important to keep your wits about you while traveling. Pickpockets, petty thieves, and worse are often known to target tourists as they can be carrying valuables and cash.
Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself and your smartphone can help with this too. Apps like Sitata can give you up-to-date information on events in other countries that could disrupt your travel or affect your safety, giving you the chance to be proactive.
Bsafe provides reactive protection by allowing you to securely share your location with trusted contacts, with a panic button to alert your contacts that you’re in trouble and a timer that will trigger the alert if you don’t check in with the app after a certain time.