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Written by Savi, 50 Comments

We’ve been travelling for years now. At the rate of sounding ancient, I remember the time I used to carry guidebooks on our travels. Times have changed and our mobiles seem to have an answer to everything. I hate to admit it but it’s true – a good mobile phone is well and truly a traveller’s best friend. Over the past few years we’ve used dozens of apps on our phones. There are loads of mobile apps we enjoy but here are 5 of our favourite apps for travellers:

Experiences that we travel for :-)
Experiences that we travel for 🙂

 

  • iTranslate for translating a new language

We discovered iTranslate fairly recently, thanks to a tipoff by a friend who used it while travelling in Italy. But we have come to love it over the past couple of months. We used it almost on a daily basis in Central America. The premise is simple – iTranslate essentially translates words, phrases, and sentences from your first language to the language of the country you’re in. It helps travellers speak, learn, and translate languages.

 

The online version is free but we suggest purchasing the offline version (which costs less than £2/month) for the road. It works perfectly without the internet. The app is tailored to the needs to the twenty-first century traveller and boasts of several useful features, but we love the vocal feature the best. Type in a sentence in English and the app doesn’t just translate it for you – it actually speaks it aloud for you in the requested language. We used this feature so much while ordering food at restaurants, bargaining for groceries, and even making friends in Central America. We’d punch in a sentence or two in English and before we knew it, the app was talking aloud in Spanish. Utilitarian aspect apart, iTranslate is also the perfect ice-breaker and conversation starter in a foreign country.

 

iTranslate
iTranslate

 

  • Snapseed for editing photos

Truth be told, we rarely upload photos clicked from our iphone onto Bruised Passports’ social media channels. Vid is too much of a perfectionist and loves taking his DSLR wherever he can. But if we ever upload photos clicked on the phone, then we use Snapseed to edit those photos. It’s the perfect app to have on your phone if you’re a serious mobile photographer.

 

There are a million and one photo editing apps out there but Snapseed’s layout makes it easy to play with contrast, brightness, saturation, and shadows. The interface isn’t particularly intuitive and takes some getting used to. But Snapseed offers great control over every image – For instance it has some really handy features like selective adjustment where you can modify a portion of the photo without touching the rest of it. We don’t use filters on Snapseed but the app does have a variety of filters in case you’re too lazy to edit photos manually.

 

Snapseed
Snapseed

 

  • GoEuro for price comparison

It’s no secret that we love to travel. We’ve gotten so used to researching and planning for a trip that we can actually do it on our sleep now. Jokes apart, over the years we have developed a workflow, if you may, to start planning our upcoming trips. Once we have decided our destination, we look for the most convenient and economical way to get to that place. Our first stop is usually a price comparison website.

Now there’s no dearth of price comparison websites online so it becomes difficult to choose from the unending list out there. One of our favourite website/app for researching fares is GoEuro. It’s different from most of the comparison websites out there in that it also compares modes of transport other than flying – bus and train. We were surprised to see so many cases where taking a train was turning out to be faster and cheaper than flying. GoEuro collates all prices and duration for each mode of transport in a beautifully designed user interface, making the selection process easier and better informed.

Once you have made your selection, it takes you to that partner’s site for you to complete your booking. Easy! They are constantly adding more countries and partners in their database.

GoEuro
GoEuro

 

  • TraveLibro for documenting travels

We all know how powerful social media is these days. A big part of travel is about sharing your experiences with your friends and family. Now imagine a social media app dedicated solely to travel. Enter Travelibro. From planning a trip to documenting your daily activities when on vacation, Travelibro lets you search other travelers’ itineraries for ideas, get in touch with travel agents who can plan and book your trip, share your trip experiences with your friends and followers just as in Facebook, and save your trips for you to look back on in the future. 

We have been using Travelibro for almost a year now and have been enjoying it. It’s a great little app to plan, document, and share your travel with the world. It’s been going through regular updates and is missing a few things such as video uploads on the go but we’re told that the new version due at the end of this year is going to be an even better experience for the users. We can’t wait!

Travellibro
Travelibro

 

  • Maps.me for offline maps and GPS

If you’ve been reading Bruised Passports for a while, you must be familiar with our weakness for road trips. We love rocking in a new country and renting a car to explore it. However renting a GPS along with a rental car often incurs a daily charge. Such expenses add up quickly, especially if one is a frequent traveller. Enter maps.me – the app offers detailed offline maps of the world.

 

All you need to do is download maps of the country you intend to drive in while you still have access to wifi. Once those maps are on your phone, you can use the maps.me app to drive to any part of the country you want. It works just like any other GPS device – you can specify starting points and ending points, plan journeys, or search for nearby gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants.

 

There is one obvious drawback – since this is an offline app, it doesn’t provide live traffic updates. This means there is a greater chance of being stuck in a traffic jam if you’re driving around in a busy city. However that hasn’t deterred us from driving thousands of kilometres through Croatia, South Africa, Latvia, Mexico, and so many other countries using the maps.me app – we love it!

 

maps.me - we love it!
maps.me – we love it!

 

Of course we’re constantly adding to this list. So we’d love to know what your favourite apps are. Tell us in the comments below 🙂

50 thoughts on “5 of our favourite travel apps

      1. I have never heard of any of these apps before, I do always try to speak a few words in the language and have had my Daughter in fits of laughter when I have tried and failed, but I think it is important to at least try. So I will be downloading iTranslate on my next trip

        1. Giggling daughters apart, picking up bits and pieces of a new language is always a good idea 🙂 Do download iTranslate – try the free version first and see if you find it handy

  1. These apps look so useful! I have a tendency to get panicky if I don’t know where I’m going or if I don’t know how things cost, so I might have to keep some of these in mind whenever I next go somewhere!

    1. That’s so true – panic of the unknown is usually on the list when one is travelling to a new place. Useful tools always help 🙂

  2. This is so helpful! I love knowing at least the basic greetings of a place I travel to. And I really love the idea of TravelLibro ?? thanks for sharing!

  3. Itranslate and the maps one look like such great ideas, definitely need to download these. Most of my favourites are more for booking the trip than being on it (Skyscanner/ Air b and b etc) x

  4. Wow thank you for these tips – IO was in Budapest 2 weeks ago and could have done with them then. I am off to Prague in December so have already started downoloading these now x

  5. These are some handy apps, can’t believe how much things have come in over the last 10 years! I really like the translator idea, would come in handy if going somewhere none touristy

  6. Thank you for the wonderful suggestions; I wasn’t aware of a couple of them and will try them out. Can you please tell if you have tried other alternates like Google translate (free), Sygic maps and Rome2Rio; and you still recommend your choice over them? I haven’t yet field tested these apps, and your inputs would help.

    I chanced upon your blog recently and am hooked in completely! Great writing, beautiful photographs, exciting journeys, and wonderful people! Keep up the great work…

    1. Hey Chetan – iTranslate’s online version is free too. Haven’t tried the apps you mentioned yet, will download them soon 🙂 So happy to hear you enjoy reading Bruised Passports – yay

  7. Rome2rio is similar to goeuro. I used it couple of times to plan overland journeys from one country to the other as road journeys are my kind of thing too buy I couldn’t afford renting a car. It helped me reach Thailand from Siem Reap with 2 changes and from Venice to Salzburg and from Salzburg to Prague enabling us to see the beautiful fields, Czech villages along. Will try goeuro and compare the two ?

  8. Hi guys! Thanks so much for sharing! I love XE Currency Converter – very handy for quick currency conversions especially when you are not sure of the conversion rate. You can have up to 10 currencies on the go and delete and add more as you please! Great little tool!

    1. Will definitely look up XE Currency Convertor Harpreet – it sounds amazing and definitely something one needs on the go 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing these great resources. There’s so many helpful apps that are continually being created that can really assist in making your travels that much smoother. Definitely will need to give these ones a try for next time.

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it Jane – the app world is bursting at its seams right now, so it’s even more exciting when one discovers a truly useful app 🙂

  10. Pleased to come across your blog. Q. Do Indian purchased android mobile phone Samsung LG xiomi operate in Germany Czech Austria Hungary.
    Q2. What sim cards to buy for travel for 14 days to above countries in sunner July august 2017 on arrival in germany munich for voice and data. Is there a one card for all these countries.
    Q3. Packing. In July August Will I need warm clothes or even shorts and half sleeve T shirts will do.
    Thank you
    Sanjeev Delhi

    1. Hi Sanjeev,

      a) Not sure but we don’t see a reason why they won’t work?

      b) When you land in Germany, you can buy a SIM card and ask them for the EU data package.

      c) Shorts and summer clothes should be fine but always pack woollens for Europe. You’ll never know when the weather turns 🙂

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