When we left northern China on our great journey it took quite a bit of time to decide what technology I wanted to bring with me. I had just bought a new, very lightweight laptop just for the trip but once it came to the crunch I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring it and risk it getting damaged or stolen.
So I made a decision to bring an iPod touch instead.
Let me just say that I am not just recommending an Apple product or the standard apps therein (such as the mail and Safari apps which will also be useful for travel). I am recommending the third party apps created by companies who make their profits through other means such as in-app advertising.
Now, this might sound a bit strange as an iPod surely can’t be worth more than a computer while travelling, can it? Well, funnily enough, it can actually be better! Let me explain why….
-all apps listed here are completely free from the App Store at time of writing and some of them work offline without 3G, 4G or wifi networks-
The second whammy is that I can also email pdf files to my iPod and read those on the device. Why is this so great you ask? Well I recently uploaded the Lonely Planet books I need, including maps, ratings, suggestions, etc. from all over the world onto my little iPod and it all works offline! A real prize winner.
It is so up to date that recently while exchanging $100 into Cambodian riel I had more up to date rates than the bank teller and in the exchange I actually gained $3 thanks to this app!
ALL. FOR. FREE.
Add a little Skype credit (similar to phone credit but all done online) and you can call cell phones for less than the cell phone rates actually cost. That means I can call my mom for less on Skype from the other side of the world than if I called her from a cell phone while sitting next to her! –Requires internet connection-
1.Display recent maps at varying degrees of detail
3.Recommend restaurants, hotels, bars and nightclubs (all at different price ranges)
4.Show recent reviews of everything it has listed
5.Display other users’ walking tours, as well as TA recommended tours
6.Allows you to make your own walking tours
And way more.
When in China Talia and I took a walking tour of the forbidden city in Beijing and at the entrance we were approached by some tour guides, looking for 30euros or so to give a tour. Well with this app we got a self guided tour, with history and pictures of the sights, a map and descriptions of everything around us all offline, in clear English and for free. It really saved us a lot of money and time and it really doesn’t get any better than that!
Well there you have it! We use all of these apps in some shape or form during our travels and I would recommend all of them especially the last few, which I would consider essential. Hope this post was helpful and informative!