5 app tips for travellers – travel smart with your phone

You have it probably in your hand right now. Maybe you’re addicted. Maybe not. Nevertheless, mobiles are travelling with us to every corner of Earth. Why not to use them to make our life easier? Here are some great app and smart tips for travellers like you.

Find your way offline – Google Maps

Surely you know this one. No surprise here. But did you know one can use Google Maps also offline? When travelling to interesting places where roaming is still an issue or your short on mobile internet data – offline maps can save your life. Or loads of your valuable time. If you prefer paper maps – that’s fine. I can understand this. But I often lose them (seriously!) or break them (especially on a rainy day) – so a mobile solution is safer. My phone is a bit more waterproof than my map.
First – you have to be online to download the map. I usually do it at home planning my trip. But hotel wifi is also fine.
Secondly – choose what part of the map you’re interested in. Remember to get a bit bigger map than you plan to travel – there is no greater failure than the end of the map.
Then just click the menu on your right and choose maps offline. You can also find there your earlier offline maps. Easy, right? (if no, see tutorial below).
Having an offline map helps you use “get direction” feature – just turn your GPS on (map marker icon) and click „target” button on the map. You don’t need any internet connection since your phone uses just telephone antennas. Find the spot you’re going to and just ask Google for directions.

How to use Google Maps Offline?
1. Open menu in Google Maps
2. Choose Maps offline
3. Choose the map you want to download. Click download
4. Wait for it!
5. You got the map. Just locate yourself and the point you want to go to.
6. Get directions


All boarding cards in one place – Pass Wallet

Traveling by plane is really fast, isn’t it? Wandering with one airline company makes it easy – you just download a branded app and you have all boarding passes in one place. But what if you travel with many different airlines? Having 7 apps can be phone storage killing.
Meet Pass Wallet. Simple app to store your boarding pass for any company. Surely – one can use pdf and storage it on the phone. But having .pkpass makes it hard to open the card in a different app.
There is also archive and map, to see your travels. The basic app has ads in it.

Just download the boarding pass and it should appear in the app automatically. If not – scan your phone.

I’ve tested it several times – always working. No matter if on first “gate” (before personal control), during bag check-in, at the gate or airport shop.

Oh! and great thing – the passes are stored in your Dropbox or Google Drive. Backup makes it hard to lose important stuff 😉

Need something not only for a plane but any barcode ticket or loyalty program? Check WalletPasses | Passbook Wallet.


Manage your stay – Google Trips

Not keen on having 15 sheets of paper of travel plans, activities, reservations and timetables? Google Trips might help. This simple app can store all the information for your different trips. Of course, it uses Google Maps to help you navigate the city.

Have all reservations/tickets in one place (and easily share them with family, friends or co-travellers). But it stores only information – not the passes/tickets itself. You won’t be able to pass the boarding gate with this app.

Having no clue what to see? Google Trips can help – top spots, indoors, outdoors, places kids friendly. All places can be saved to a list.

With one click you can generate a day plan – with points to see, basic info (like opening hours and addresses), plans for a whole day or half (including what day are you in the city; remember that often Mondays is Museums and Galleries day off).

Keen on trying something to eat? Google Trips will not only show you some interesting venues but will try to tell you what to eat: traditional cuisine, vegetarian, international, cafe, beer or even what to drink during a night out.

One will find also some basic transportation info (taxi, public transportation etc.) – with numbers! or driving rules. For bike lovers – some tips where to get a bike.

The whole bunch of information is complete by the section “need to know”: about health (emergency numbers), shopping points, money (and currency), internet connection.

Worried you’ll be out of internet? Download everything on your phone and use it offline!


Where to eat? Ask TripAdvisor

Eating is one of quite an important feature of my travels. But being in a new place, I have no clue which places to choose. I used many different apps for that – I said it is important for me 😉 – but no Google Maps nor Yelp or any other was as truthful as TripAdvisor reviews. The filters are quite useful – from price range to cuisine type – it’s easy to find what you need. You want gluten-free? No problem. Really kin on eating from a street stand? Sure! Seeking for a place to go with children? Just check te features and you’ll get what you need. Even map helping locate the venue. The only “problem” is that TripAdvisor needs internet.
PS. don’t forget to leave some reviews on your own!


What do I eat? Always have some offline translator

I’m totally not like my brother, who speaks fluently several languages. I know English, Polish and some words in French and German (mostly food, guess why ;).

If you go to places popular with tourists and you’re like me – it’s easy. Just seek for an English translation/menu. But when you wish to travel off the bitten paths and still can’t get any language – it’s time to use some mobile apps.
Many of translation applications are really easy to navigate and can be used offline. Just find the word to translate and check it. Believe me – it is better to know what you have ordered. Or how toilets are written in Japanese. Or anything else…

With Google translator and some internet connection, one can also “read” the translation. Or sing a song 😀

App tips for travellers

Just some simple apps and tips how to use the theme, but hoping you will share yours. I’m really keen to learn your favourite apps and tips for travellers.

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