Monday, September 15, 2014

"These are a few of my favorite things" (App Edition)

So, I've hardly been on the road for long, but already I have found my Android phone to be essential for travel (iPhone users: sorry Apple, not really a fan. Though some of these apps are for sure available there, too). Here are the apps that I think are absolutely killer for travel anywhere in the world, even if you're only going as far as the next city over!

Triposo
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free

I seriously, hands-down, unapologetically ooze support for this app. I can't recommend this one enough. It is the ultimate travel guide (I used it back home for Tacoma and Seattle and it worked like a charm). It basically boils down every single travel book you've ever read into easy to use and easy to digest sections. But, unlike the books, it can do GPS, it can convert currency, tell you the weather, and countless other features. Best of all, it's crowd sourced by fellow travelers, so you can directly add your own thoughts about places and see what others think about a place (think Yelp)! It's amazing and I suggest this to everyone, even those not traveling, since you can download your home town/state and get an absolute wealth of information you never knew was out there. The free version has ads and the paid has no ads and additional privileges to be announced.

Converter Pro
Play Store: Link here
Price: .99 cents
Such a simple program that makes me feel ways less dumb and wipes away the memory of sucking so hard in science class doing conversion math courses. It converts everything and anything for you (the interface is a little messy at first, but I swear it'll make sense after using it for a bit). When traveling outside the US, it can get confusing fast trying to convert kilometers to miles, gallons to liters, Fahrenheit to Celsius, and so on and so forth. Essential if you need to buy a street drug at a cheap price. Kidding, kidding. Well worth it, even in the states with out strange measuring systems.

Wi-Fi Finder
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free
If you've ever got hit by a roaming charge, you know how depressing your bill can look. This finds free WiFi spots within a much larger radius then your phone's built-in "radar" thingee does, so it's an excellent plan-ahead tool. Totally free.

Skype
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free
This ones a given. Resource-hog and all, it still gets the job done.

Google Translate
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free
Should be another given. This has saved me a million times over (it even can instantly copy into Skype so you can have conversations with pretty much anyone).

City Maps 2Go
Play Store: Link here (Pro version here)
Price: Free (Pro is $2.14)
Again, if you need to lessen your data usage for any reason, this is an offline map program that has (most) major cities in the world covered and mapped out. And they're very detailed maps to boot, with any easy way to search for key points (hospitals, restaurants, etc) and their contact information. Pretty good GPS as well. Only bad side is it can take a load of memory on your device if you download a lot of maps. Pro version makes it so you don't have a cap on the number of maps you have downloaded at a time. Free is good enough if you don't need a ton of maps.

Hostelworld
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free
I tried WeHostel, because, well, I love rooting for underdogs, but the app was, unfortunately, an absolute mess of bugs and crashes. Hostelworld, is the big giant in the hostel booking field, and you know, there's a reason why that is. It gets the job done, plain and simple. Also, side note, don't knock hostels, most are a lot cheaper and nicer than hotels (okay, granted, a lot are much, much worse, too...).

Expedia
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free
Another conglomerate company of the travel world, but damn if their app hasn't worked pitch perfect for me. It's so, so, so easy to book on this app it's kind of ridiculous. Got nothing bad to say except that it seems to hide the cheap hostels whenever I look for cheap places to stay (one reason I use this along with Hostelworld).

Duolingo
Play Store: Link here
Price: Free
Doing my best to learn French and I love this program. It's simple and easy to use and it's actually been working. I bought a Rosetta Stone before I left and went to this free app because I think it's superior in every way. If you get on, my username is nrogen. Trust me, for as little as about 10 minutes a day, this is the easiest way to learn the basics of a language. It blows my mind that it's free and has no ads (it does however, require a constant internet connection).

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