About travelling…Part II – Apps

I’ve been training my Apps…

My travelling best practises continues with the topic about Apps that make your life much easier during trips. This is just a fraction of Apps that I’ve been using, but I’ve found a couple of my favourite and I’d love to hear what’s your life saver during trips.

Hit it Gandalf..

Let’s face it that our modern mobile phones make travelling really easy. I’ve had an iPhone as my companion for several years now and have found a dirty dozen of cool apps that make travelling hassle free.

  • Apple/Google maps – These are both invaluable when it comes to navigating and finding for example restaurants and places to visit. Apple maps worked really nicely during my trip to California, as I used a lot of public transport, and from the app I got the best timetables and direct routes to my destinations. These apps don’t work offline so you need to be either roaming or hooked up to a wireless. Both apps seem to take a snapshot of the area you have been browsing and hence you can browse “offline” a particular area and pinpoint yourself with the GPS. GPS tracking is especially good when you are riding a bus to a new place as you can see yourself moving in realtime and don’t have to ask constantly from the bus driver when to hop of.
    • 16.6.2016 UPDATE: So, ok big thanks to Mika for sharing this with me in the comments:”Remember that you can also download maps to offline in Google maps. Just go to the wanted area/zoom-level and do search “ok maps”. It will download that area to offline. Very handy when you are offline.” SO EVERYBODY, YOU CAN USE IT OFFLINE 🙂 Big thanks Mika for this 🙂

2016-06-15 17.36.01

Bay area in Apple maps

 

  • Local transit apps – Try to check always from your phones app store if the place you are visiting has a dedicated app just for their local transport systems. Usually with the local apps you can get a pretty good overview of where you can go with public transport and plan your trip more efficiently. I downloaded BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) app, during my visit to San Francisco, to understand where the train stops and the app also gave you the schedule when connected to a network. I used a similar app also in Tokyo for the metro and train system and it just helps so much that you don’t have to carry all this stuff in paper + many apps use the GPS which helps you to pinpoint yourself in a strange city.
  • Facetime Audio/Video – For an Apple user this is just a money saver when you are abroad. I’m lucky that all of my closest people have Apple phones, so I can utilise this during my trips. Nothing cheers you up more then seeing the faces of your loved ones even you might be thousands of kilometres apart. Using wireless networks have been sufficient in all places where I’ve visited to ensure good video and audio Facetime calls back to Finland.
  • WhatsApp – As above this is just a must for keeping communication going with your friends and family. Killer of the SMS and I love it how you can now access WhatsApp from my mac. WhatsApp has also brought in audio calls which work pretty well already these days.
  • City Maps 2 Go – This has been one my favourite apps for many years and has helped me a lot when navigating in new cities. Concept is simple —> You download the offline map of the city you are going to visit and then you don’t have to worry about roaming or finding the next wireless access point. City Maps 2 Go uses your GPS to pinpoint you in the offline maps which is really handy. This is a life saver so download it and use it.
  • AirBnB AirBnB app jumped as one my favourite apps during my California trip. It’s great that you can communicate with your host through that, but it has also the feature of sending the messages via SMS. I did notice that the app didn’t work without a network connection so for AirBnB it seems you need find a wireless hotspot. Even though this time I had booked my AirBnB places before the trip, but I was browsing for a possible place to stay on the final evening instead of coming to the airport and spending the night there. It’s a great way to book something on a trip to keep the element of surprise alive.

THIS IS MY SECRET, NOW TELL ME YOURS!

These were my favourite Apps that I use during trips. What am I missing that could improve my trips? Leave me a comment or send me an email, I’d love to hear your ideas.

We’ll continue this series later on this week with Loyalty programs and a small chapter about balancing between cheap flights and being loyal to an alliance.

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2 thoughts on “About travelling…Part II – Apps

  1. Mika says:

    Remember that you can also download maps to offline in Google maps. Just go to the wanted area/zoom-level and do search “ok maps”. It will download that area to offline. Very handy when you are offline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Juha Petteri Niemi says:

      Hi Mika,

      Ok, I need to stop the press.. As this is something I didn’t know??? I’ll edit this into the post as this is a very handy feature. Big thanks for sharing this 🙂

      Like

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