On vacation, we try to spend as little time as possible on gadgets. But it’s impossible to imagine a trip without them, because sooner or later we will have to organize something urgently – leisure time for the kids or an unplanned overnight stay. And also to know where to meet the sunset, find a detour road, and choose the best restaurant. What services are the most necessary and effective when traveling? We asked experienced travel bloggers about it.
How to prepare your gadgets for your trip? Find chargers, switch to the best rate and make room for fresh photos and videos. Experienced travelers in addition to this checklist advise installing useful apps on your phone or tablet – check a link.
No, we’re not going to advise downloading a navigator – instead, let’s look into the phones of travel bloggers and find out what additional services help them on their trips.
1. OsmAnd or Locus Map so you don’t get lost
The OsmAnd app is based on data from Open Street Maps, a mapping project known to many professional travelers. Maps on the OSM platform are considered to be one of the most accurate – they are used by the UN, Wikipedia, the U.S. President’s website and the Russian Federal Space Agency. You can also study the map on the website, but it’s more convenient to keep it in the app. On the top of the popular clients for such maps is the program OsmAnd. In the free version you can download up to seven files with local maps, and in the paid version you can save GPS-data of the route and keep track of altitude differences.
Pros of OsmAnd:
- clear interface;
- offline mode, which saves traffic;
- always up-to-date OSM data: points that no longer exist are excluded, and new places are specified;
- several modes of the navigator – from walking and biking to automobile.
2. TripAdvisor for entertainment planning
The website tripadvisor.com is familiar to most tourists as a hotel aggregator. But in the app of the service it is even more convenient to look for options for leisure and entertainment, because on the smartphone screen the interface looks like a social networking feed.
Cultural, educational, and gastronomic institutions and events are divided into categories and ranked according to the ratings of visitors. You enter a query, and the system selects suitable offers taking into account your preferences. If you have questions, you can ask other travelers or venues directly. Then all you have to do is add the place you like to your itinerary – a pic of devs.
- Easy trip planning with the ability to add interesting places to your itinerary;
- Booking a hotel room, a table at a restaurant, or a seat in a tour group with free cancellation;
- Filtering the places you want by keyword will give you the results with the highest rating. Evaluation and reviews are left by real users.
3. Park4night for camping
This app is a kind of social network for motorists and helps those who get lost in new places. In it you can find a place to stay overnight, find a site for camping and leave feedback for future travelers. The app does not yet support a Russian-language version, but even without knowing English, you can understand all the essentials – what amenities and entertainment there are at the campsite, by the icons.
- The camping spots are added by the auto-travelers themselves, so the information and comments are up-to-date and honest;
- there are accurate GPS coordinates of the sites;
- symbols – like Wi-Fi icons or plumbing showers – are understandable without translation.
4. AuroraAlert for aurora hunting
Those who have ever tried to see the northern lights know how difficult it is. When the location, season, cloud cover and a few other factors coincide successfully, you still need to not oversleep at the moment and set up your camera. Going on your own for northern lights in an unfamiliar area is almost pointless – it is better first to study the northern lights activity level forecast, which can be found on the Internet. Or in special applications. One of them is AuroraAlert.
- Short- and long-term predictions of the likelihood of northern lights, taking into account cloud cover;
- tracking solar wind charged particles in the Earth’s magnetic field – one of the most reliable forecasting tools;
- the ability to set up time and location alerts so you don’t miss the nearest natural light show.
What else? We have selected seven little-known but very useful travel apps:
- PackPoint – a suitcase checklist. In the app, you need to select the direction of the trip and the purpose, so that it automatically suggests a list of things to luggage. The user only has to mark what they need, and not to forget to pack it all in the suitcase.
- iziTravel is a godsend for those who don’t like touring in groups. The app offers audio guides to places of interest and mobile city guides.
- Flush is an app for finding public restrooms. Need to disinfect your hands or freshen up on a hot day? Service will ask to turn on GPS and show you the way.
- First Aid – instructions from the International Red Cross for those who get lost in an emergency. The app has tips on how to help a casualty in various injuries and injuries.
- Dminder – vitamin D tracker. The app takes the user’s physical data and location into account to make a recommendation about being in the sun. It will calculate both the time of sunbathing and the duration and the approximate amount of vitamin D produced.
- PictureThis is an unexpectedly “addictive” app for those who are so far removed from botany that they can’t tell the difference between dandelions and mother lily. In it you can scan any plant and find out its name, what useful properties it has (just in case!) and how rare it is. Take it for walks with your kids.
- MyPostcard is an app from a worldwide postcard delivery service. You choose the most beautiful photo from your trip, signature and format, and MyPostcard sends a real postcard to the recipient anywhere in the world.