Smartphone Tips & Apps for Travelers

Jan 2, 2017

When you’re traveling, your smartphone can either be the most useful tool you could possibly own, or it could be an amazing stress and drain on your funds. Overseas data and texting charges could cripple you if you’re not smart about them, and trying to look up records in random moments when your connection is uncooperative can be amazingly frustrating.

Here are some handy tips and resources that could keep your smartphone on the side of usefulness and protect you from unnecessary charges.

General Tips

  • Use wifi when possible. This will help you conserve on data. Just walk into any Starbucks or McDonald’s throughout the world. You can also get wifi in a lot of travel hubs, like airports or train stations.

  • Use chat apps to talk with people or when coordinating with travel buddies in order to avoid fees for calls out of country. You can video chat or use voice on Facebook Messenger, Google Chats, and Skype.

  • You can use the television in your hotel room to charge your smartphone. If you forgot an adapter for a different country, or just one that will allow you to plug your cord into the wall outlet, you can use the USB port on your television in order to charge your phone instead.

  • Use your camera to keep track of certain papers. Take a photo of your itinerary, a list of important numbers, your boarding pass, etc. so that you have a backup in case you lose something important. You can also take screenshots of important emails so that you can reference them quickly without needing to connect to the internet.

  • Easily mount your smartphone to watch a show on a bus or plane by 1: using an old cassette case as a mount, or 2: putting your phone in a clear plastic baggie and attaching it to the clip used to hold up your tray table in the seat in front of you.

5 Apps for Easier Travel

  1. Stay informed with the Smart Traveler app from the government. This helps you keep aware of travel updates and alerts in your area so that you can stay safe and avoid unnecessary delays.

  2. Citymapper is the favorite app for getting around. It lets you choose your method of transport, and gives specific directions so even if you’re feeling completely clueless in a new city, you can look like a local as you get from place to place.

  3. Enrich your experience wherever you go by downloading some walking tour apps. These will narrate certain paths, adding interesting tidbits as you go.

  4. To track the memories better, use something like SpeakingPhoto to do a voiceover on your photos. Many travelers have a problem with knowing which photo was where, once they’ve been traveling for a few days. They all start to run together. Now you remember better, and you have more impactful photos

  5. TripIt helps you keep track of your travel itinerary automatically by sifting through your emails and keeping them in a centralized location that’s easier to keep track of.