How on earth did we travel before smartphones existed? I rely on mine for finding my way around, coordinating meet-ups with friends, travel planning on the fly, and of course sharing photos with family and friends while on the road. Here are a few of my favorite apps that make travel more efficient and fun.
Well, what kind of travel blogger would I be without an Instagram account? For me, photography is one of the main purposes of travel (I almost wouldn’t go somewhere if I knew I couldn’t take photos), and I post simultaneously on Instagram and Facebook to reach all my friends and followers. Whenever I travel to a new place, I end up connecting with so many new Instagrammers who are posting and hash tagging photos from the same places, and we end up following each other and becoming InstaBFFs! I’ve even made a couple really good friends through Instagram who became real life friends (y’all know who you are). Also, I use Instagram as a travel resource to look up photos in an area I want to visit to get an idea of what I might want to do and see there. I’ve actually discovered some great restaurants that way. #thankyouhashtags
This one may seem obvious, but did you know Google Maps shows public transportation information for many major cities? Just put in where you want to go, and it will give you details down to the train departure time and platform number. Practically foolproof, but if for some reason you aren’t finding any public transportation information on Google, check for a local transportation app for that city.
WhatsApp / LINE
I don’t have an international plan on my phone, so I rely on a rented mobile wifi device (which I mentioned in a previous post about the best travel gear here) and texting apps to communicate with people. LINE is the most popular in Asia, and WhatsApp everywhere else. LINE has the best stickers, which is probably not a surprise since it’s so popular in Japan, where everything is just sooo cute. Facebook messenger works, too, but with so many people using the apps, I end up using them frequently, too.
I have a few ways of transferring data between my phone and computer, depending on the purpose. For the quickest transfers, I use the Pasteasy app, which lets you send text or photos between your phone and computer with just the “copy” and “paste” functions. If I have a photo on my phone that I want to use in my blog, I just hit “copy” on the photo and it automatically appears in my computer’s clipboard so I can drop it easily into a blog post. Or, if I want to text a novel to my friend about my adventures without getting a repetitive stress injury, I can type it up quickly on my computer (I type 102 words per minute, thanks to decades of piano lessons!), hit “copy” on my computer, then “paste” into a WhatsApp chat on my phone, and then my friend can enjoy wordy descriptions of my encounters with interesting people and hugging lots of animals (obviously)!
What are your favorite apps for travel?