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5 min.

The best travel apps

I am a dreamer who travels, having in mind the characters of Jules Verne and Salgari. I especially love the slow pace, the silence, the surprises, the encounters, the musing breaks, and what’s different from me about the solo journey. Still, I’m also a woman of my time, and I have a deep passion for electronic gadgets and technology, and while traveling, these passions mix well.

For many years now, I have abolished the paper from my travels, more precisely from a road trip in Thailand during which I moved around with a backpack filled with books, guides, a folder with printed reservations, and my Moleskine for notes. Once back home, I made myself a promise: “never again!” and so it was.

Le app di viaggio di cui non so più fare a meno

From the following trip on, I left with only my beloved Kindle, on which I take all my travel notes, and the iPhone, filled with various travel apps, which I have been refining with the experience.

So, here’re the best travel apps!

Travel PackList

I’m beginning from this one because it is the one I use longer in advance, on my Mac, to take notes on what to pack. You can create travel types, item categories, or specific lists to speed up later just before departures. For instance, I have a list “sailing”, an “on the road – tropical”, a “wester weekend” and “Peru style” that combines hiking, beach, warm and cold weather… in them I created the following categories: “underwear”, “shoes”, “accessories”, “clothes”, “handy luggage” and “to do before leaving” … well, I’m the queen of lists, but ticking the boxes as I fill the backpack last minute greatly facilitates the departure and I love the departures!

The app is only in English and costs € 2.99. Downloadable from the Mac App Store

XE Currency

One of the apps I use most frequently, both during the daydreaming part of the journey, while I plan it and then once on-site to be sure of what I’m spending. It updates automatically with the latest exchange rates, you can set your favorites currencies, convert them in a split second, and it also works offline. Really useful!

The app is free. To download it: XE Currency

Converter

I actually use it more often than I imagined the day I downloaded it because while traveling, it happens to require converting distances, weights, and other units … this app works offline and is very practical.

The app is free. To download it: Converter

ViaMichelin

In fact, I use it even at home… Its maps are always up to date, and both the geolocal and costume route calculation work just fine! Depending on the settings, it also lets you calculate fuel consumption, tolls, panoramic routes, etc. Only hic the stressing advertising popups …

The app is multilingual and is free. To download it: ViaMichelin

ForeverMap 2

One of my favorite apps! It works offline, too, and both the graphic (customizable) and its interactivity are fantastic. Maps are updated regularly, and even those of town centers are very accurate. The app allows you to calculate routes, search for addresses and/or local commerce, and can be connected to TripAdvisor and FourSquare.

The app is multilingual and costs € 2.99. To download it: ForeverMap 2

TripAdvisor

I would say that TripAdvisor does not need any introduction. In addition to all the features of the famous site, it allows you to call the chosen hotel/restaurant with a simple click and the social breakthrough of these weeks made it a beneficial source of inspiration.

I’m seldom satisfied with the classifications concerning “food & beverage” in Italy, and I, therefore, stopped relying on the relative reviews. However, abroad it made me discover real gems, and then the “nearby” option is still efficient.

To choose where to sleep instead, I rely almost only on this app …

The app is multilingual and is free. To download it: TripAdvisor

GPSmyCity

A year or so ago, I discovered GPSmyCity, a travel app that I have repeatedly tested and I highly recommend.

With their GPS-guided travel articles, all GPS coordinates are already embedded within the itinerary map of the blogger/journalist describes. By downloading GPSmyCity, you get thousands of self-guided walking tours, articles, and offline city maps in more than 1.000 tourist destinations worldwide.

Once you have the app on your smartphone, you can select the articles or city guides you need and read them offline for free. In case you prefer to take advantage of GPSmyCity fully, you can also literally let the app guide you from one sightseeing spot or restaurant to the other for a minimal fee upgrade ($1.99). I told you, so easy.

The app is only in English, and the basic version is free. To download it: GPSmyCity

Docs To Go

The most expensive app I’ve ever bought, but it is worth it. It allows you to have your Office documents always with you and works with Pages, Numbers, and PDF.

All my travel documents can be found on this app: passport, airline tickets, hotel reservations, travel insurance, my mythical Numbers file etc.

The app is multilingual and costs € 16.99. To download it: Docs To Go® Premium

 Le app di viaggio di cui non so più fare a meno

WeatherPro

Due to the low value of the weather app preinstalled on the iPhone, I rely on this one, especially while on the road. Forecasts are seven days in advance and divided into ranges of three hours. Actually, even this is not very accurate, but it is certainly much better than the standard one.

If you have a perfect one to suggest, let me know!

The app is multilingual and costs € 2.99. To download it: WeatherPro

These are my “just in case” best travel apps…

QR Reader

What to say? The QR Code had not been as successful as thought a few years ago, but sometimes it happens to find one on tourist brochures, in museums, or on display boards of certain monuments and having the right app at hand avoids frustrations. Scanning is instantaneous, and you can share documents on social networks too.

The app is multilingual and is free. To download it: QR Reader

Evernote Scannable

Fast, functional, and intuitive. Scans are perfect, and I happened several times to use them for identity documents or tourist info material that I did not want to carry with me. I recommend it.

The app is multilingual and is free. To download it: Evernote Scannable

Tipulator

Perfect for splitting the accounts of the galley on a sailing boat (my friends love when I start it at the end of our sailing trips!), but also useful to calculate tips when traveling overseas.

The app is only in English and is free. To download it: Tipulator 

Kindle

Actually, I do not think I ever used this application. Still, being free, following the advice of Amazon, I downloaded both the Mac and the iPhone version always to have a handy copy of my Kindle’s content.

Le app di viaggio di cui non so più fare a meno

What about you? Any other travel app to suggest to me?

P.S. To tell the truth, the Moleskine and my pen continue to follow me everywhere 😉

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.