So smartphones appeared from nowhere and conquered our world in no time. We are starting to wonder how on earth could people live without them. Well, love it, or hate it, this tiny piece of technology was a brilliant invention that can really make your life a hell lot easier. Especially when you travel – you are out of your comfort zone and may have to rely on you handy device more than usual.
However, a Smartphone means nothing without its apps. The amount of various kinds of apps we get these days is unbelievable: from messenger and social media apps, to all sorts of dictionaries to shopping and news and travel lifestyle health and fitness, gosh you can sit listing them for hours. It really blows my mind when I think of how quick all the smartphone technology developed and I fear to think what else is before us…
Anyway, to the point! Among countless really good ones, there are four apps that I have found extremely useful during my travels (as well as all other times) and they have saved me a lot of $$$ and hassle.
SMARTPHONE APPS THAT WILL SAVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY:
Who doesn’t know the good old Skype. This top-notch app saved my butt numerous times when traveling. Most of you probably use the video chat and voice calls features of Skype which are totally free and all you need is the internet connection.
However except for being able to talk to your loved ones who also have Skype installed on their devises (smartphone, tablet, laptop), you can also use it for texting and calling mobile phones, landlines and all sorts of 0800 numbers. For this you need to top up your Skype account which is really easy and the credit never expires.
The international call rates are very low (average 2-3 US cents per minute + 50 cents connection fee) so with $10 credit I don’t have to worry about topping up for another 6 months.
I’ve used Skype when I had to contact my bank or insurance provider while abroad which was very helpful. I never buy a local sim card when I travel as I find it pointless and far too expensive. You can find WiFi spots in shopping malls, restaurants or hotels pretty much in each country so there is no need to be spending money on sim cards in each country you travel to. Skype solves the problem.
2. Whats App
Another genius app I love using! Whats App is a messenger app that allows you to chat with anyone who also has Whats App downloaded on their phone (sounds pretty obvious) You can send instant messages, photos, videos, and a new feature has been added recently that allows you to voice call as well (I haven’t tried it yet so not sure how good it is).
I talk to friends through Whats App on a daily basis, keeping each other up to date. It’s simple to use and if you need to just send a quick message to let someone know you’re OK, Whats App is perfect for that. You can also create a group chat where more of you talk and share pictures and videos. I can’t stress enough how cool it is, you just need to try for yourself!
3. Maps With Me
Maps With Me is an app offering world offline maps for travelers. Offline! No internet needed at all. It has not only maps but also everything else you might need when you travel- hotels, shops, restaurants, gas stations, tourist attractions, car parks and even WiFi spots. Maps With Me has it all. You can search for whatever it is that you’re looking for and it will give you a list of nearest locations as well as directions and distance.
Since all the Smartphones have GPS you will always know where you are and whether you’re heading in the right direction. This app will definitely save you a lot of time, hassle and stress as well as money (if you were to call a cab because you got lost:-)
Example: I’m in London searching for somewhere to eat (Yes I always think of food first)
Maps With Me has helped me find my way so many times (apparently my sense of direction is catastrophic) and what I also like is that you can bookmark on it which is great for marking the places you’ve been to or adding notes (e.g. addresses).
4. XE Currency
XE is a currency exchange rate app that updates every time your phone is connected to WiFi, be it once a day, you know it will show you the latest exchange rates and give you a rough idea what they should be.
Those of you who travel a lot passing through many countries know that exchanging money can be tricky. If you cross borders on foot, you will most likely encounter local people offering ‘best’ deals (Asia, Latin America) to sell you the local currency. Well, try not to make the decision in the heat of the moment because you can lose a lot of money. It’s always good to be prepared a little.
Once you download XE you can add as many currencies as you want and you’re ready to go away! Enjoy ❤