After a slow start, we’ve come to realise how helpful smartphone apps can be when travelling.
It wasn’t that long ago that we got by without our iPad, iPhone and their range of apps – but travelling is a lot easier with them.
Our hallelujah moment came at Berlin in 2013 when we were forced to jettison our paper itinerary and stack of accompanying notes and photocopies to make the carry-on baggage weight limit at Tegel airport.
Before tearing up the pile of documents, we simply took photos of the most important ones with our iPhone – and then wondered aloud why we hadn’t done that in the first place.
Soon after, we also hesitantly discovered the ease of having our plane tickets and boarding passes sent directly to our electronic devices, rather than carrying and handling yet more paper.
From then, we became devotees of some of the travel apps designed to make life on the road easier. We have our favourites, most of which we keep on our iPhone and iPad when travelling only.
You might have your own favoured apps, but these are some of ours:
Free to download, this is good if you are going somewhere where you can’t speak the language.
Just start speaking and iTranslate recognizes your voice, converts your words to text and translates them into another language. The app works on 90 languages. There is also an up-market version that apparently repeats your words aloud in the selected language.
We like new-age weather forecaster, Yr.no. This app issues something like 10 million weather forecasts – or simply uses GPS to find your location anywhere on the globe and provide comprehensive weather forecasts. And we’ve found them remarkably accurate.
If you are happy using Airbnb to list, find, and rent accommodation, then this app makes access straightforward.
As with Airbnb, Uber may not be your cup of tea for transportation. But, if it is, this app will help.
We have found this app useful when we were thinking about changing money. You don’t need to be on the Internet at the time to use the app.
This app is wonderful if, like us, you are reluctant to pay for Internet while travelling. It has a scanner that locates the nearest free wifi hotspots – in 50 countries.
This free app is comprehensive, covers a stack of countries and is fairly easy to use.
Because our devices are Apple Mac, we also make use of the FaceTime video calling system. You can, of course, use Skype if you prefer.
And the Find my iPhone device security app.