TTL Note: This is a guest post courtesy of Faith, a freelance writer who loves to travel. Read on for her tips about 7 apps every backpacker should have.
If you’re planning a backpacking trip, chances are you’ve checked and rechecked everything going into your pack. No one wants to forget a critical travel necessity when heading out on an extended trip.
But do you have the right digital necessities downloaded and ready to go for your excursion? Having the right apps accessible can be as important as anything you have in your backpack. Depending on your destination, you might need an app to help you navigate a confusing city or a language translator to help you communicate in a local dialect.
To help you sort through the thousands of available options, we’ve narrowed it down to 7 apps every backpacker should have installed on his or her mobile device before leaving home.
You probably have a budget in mind for your trip. (If you don’t, then you should stop and make one right now. We’ll wait!) However, expenses can quickly add up on the road, and it can be difficult to keep an accurate tally in your head. Trail Wallet is a budgeting app created expressly for people who are traveling.
It boasts a simple-to-use interface and isn’t bogged down with a bunch of features you don’t need. You can easily take photos of receipts and check how your expenses are measuring up against your daily, weekly or monthly budget. The app can also suggest areas to save if you’re burning through your funds too quickly. The app is available for free for iOS devices.
Rome2Rio is “a comprehensive global trip planner that helps you get from a to b worldwide.” The app can show you how to get anywhere in the world by plane, train, bus, ferry and car. It’s especially helpful when traveling in small towns and countries where you aren’t familiar with the local language.
With real-time travel data available for more than 158 countries, you can easily find the best and most cost-effective route to your destination. Rome2Rio is available for free for both iOS and Android devices.
Bonjournal is a simple and beautiful way to record memories from your travels. You can save your journey via map waypoints, text entries, photos, videos and more. The sharing settings allow you to share the journal with friends and family so they can keep up with your travels. You can also choose to keep some parts private. The entire journal can even be exported as a PDF after your trip so you can keep it forever. The app is available for free for iOS. If you have an Android device, you can access the mobile version of the site to utilize many of the same features.
Using Skype to make video calls over WiFi while you’re traveling is a great way to stay connected to your friends and family. Skype is also useful when you need to make an inexpensive international call while abroad. You can load some credits into your Skype account, and use it to make important calls without the normal expense of international calling fees. The Skype app is free for both iOS and Android devices.
WifiMapper helps you locate free WiFi hotspots all over the world. It has a database of nearly 500 million WiFi networks so you can find a connection no matter where you travel. The app also includes information on the venue where the WiFi is located and historical data on the strength of the connection. The app is free for both iOS and Android devices.
Because it’s likely you’ll be connecting to more than one unsecured WiFi connection while traveling, it’s important to protect your devices from security threats associated with using publicly accessible WiFi. Allowing a hacker to access your financial records could prove disastrous to your travel plans. Consider using a Virtual Private Network to encrypt your data while browsing on public WiFi.
Exchanging money while traveling can be a confusing and costly process, especially if you’re changing multiple currencies. Having a currency converter such as the XE Currency Converter will make converting your currency fast and easy. Plus, the app offers real-time rates of financial markets, so you’ll be sure to get the best rates available when negotiating your exchange. Get the app for free for iOS and Android.
If you’re headed to a country where you don’t speak the local language, you might be nervous about communicating with the locals. Luckily, the Google Translate app can translate between 103 different languages online and 52 languages without a signal. You can translate text by typing, as well as instantly translate a conversation. While not infallible, the app is one you don’t want to leave home without. It’s available for free for iOS and Android devices.
Now that you’ve got your backpack packed and your smartphone filled with helpful apps, you’re ready to head off on your next adventure. Don’t forget to send us a postcard along the way!
About the Author
A freelance writer who loves to travel, Faith enjoys sharing all the secrets and travel tips she’s learned along the way. Helping others achieve their dreams of world travel is a dream come true for her.