As promised, here are the apps that we have either found invaluable to planning so far or have loaded up on the phone for use while away.
- Trello – this is a really handy list making tool that has completely overseen our preparation and kept us on track.
“Trello is a free web-based project management application made by Fog Creek Software. It uses a paradigm for managing projects known as Kanban”
- Tripit – Discovered this fairly recently when we started booking up accommodation for the trip over to the UK. This is a really good tool if your itinerary is fairly complex as it brings it all together in one place with minimal effort by just forwarding your confirmation emails to the app.
“The TripIt trip planner keeps all of your travel plans in one spot. It creates a master travel itinerary, and enables access to your itinerary planner online or on your mobile”
- Toshl – this is a really simple and user friendly finance/budgeting app. When searching for this, the top of mind priority was that it should be easy and quick enough that the Husband would actually use it! This hits the mark and provides a quick entry widget so it is sooo easy to add you expenses. This is the only app that we paid for but it’s a critical component to managing the money.
“Know where your money is going. All those coffees, car fill-ups and restaurant meals really add up. Get to know how much money you spend and for what.”
- XE – this is a currency converter so you know how much stuff is in real terms.
“Get free live currency rates, tools, and analysis using the most accurate data.”
- Airbnb – this app links you up with people that are renting out accommodation in their homes, either rooms or whole apartments or basements for instance. It is so much cheaper than standard accommodation options and you get to meet some interesting people along the way.
“Discover amazing, unique accommodations in 192 countries. With more than 10 million nights booked worldwide, Airbnb is the world leader in travel rentals”
- Bank apps – we have also installed the phone apps for things like banks and credit cards that we will need to deal with while we are away. We have a couple of different accounts to build in redundancy in case of emergencies such as the Husband loosing something!
I also found out that our bank, ASB, has an electronic vault service free of charge where you can put important numbers and information such as passport numbers, credit card details and passwords etc. This seems like a great idea and very secure form what the blurb says … it’s probably safer than putting it in your sock.
- Dropbox – this is our online storage for documents and information we will need while we’re away. Things like CVs (just in case), files I need for the website, and receipts and itineraries etc.
“Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily”
- Google Drive – We also use Google Drive for file storage as well.
“Google Drive allows users to store files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and share files.
- Skype – this app provides free communication through wifi to family, friends and potential hosts. FYI – to make a call to a phone number, you need to buy some Skype credit.
“Make internet calls for free and cheap online calls to phones and mobiles with Skype.”
- Facebook – Of course we also use Facebook (and Messenger) to communicate with friends and family.
- Snapchat – We use Snapchat to quickly and privately communicate with our daughters as a picture is great shorthand for what we are doing.
“Snapchat lets you share images or video clips to your friends. They can only be viewed for a matter of seconds.”
- Instagram – I have started to use Instagram. It’s early days so we’ll see how it goes.
“Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately on the service, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms”
- WordPress – this app gives me access to the website so that I can answer comments etc.
“WordPress for Android puts the power of publishing in your hands, making it easy to create and consume content. Write, edit, and publish posts to your site.”
- Trip Advisor – this app is mainly useful for the reviews I think. It lets you know about attractions and accommodation etc. but the key thing is that people add ratings for each place based on their own experiences.
“Unbiased hotel reviews, photos and travel advice for hotels and vacations – Compare prices with just one click”
- Trivago – shows you where to get the best prices on accommodation
“trivago’s hotel search allows users to compare hotel prices in just a few clicks from more than 200 booking sites for over 700,000 hotels throughout the world.”
- Google Translate – this is a no-brainer given that we will be travelling around non-english speaking countries …
“Break through language barriers with Google Translate”
- Google Maps – again a no-brainer
- Maps.me – this app is great as it provides offline maps that are invaluable for navigation. If you turn on GPS on your phone and download the free map for where you are when you have wifi, you can navigate offline when you are walking or cycling around with out wifi.
“Fast, detailed and completely offline maps for mobile devices”
- RMaps – Offline maps – these maps are off line so useful when you don’t have wifi or a paper version.
“RMaps is an on and offline navigation tool that works with a range of maps such as Google Maps (Incl. Satellite and Terrain), MapQuest, and Open Street Maps (standard, cycle, transport etc…)”
- DB Navigator
- Direct Ferries
- London Tube and Bus
- British Airways
- My Train Companion
- National Rail Enquiries
These ones are all to do with travel in Europe but seem to be the best of the bunch from the research I’ve done.
- Seat Guru – this app tells you which are the best seats on different airplanes so when you sort your seat allocation, you’re not stuck with the one that doesn’t recline …
“Pick the best seat on the plane, find low airfares, and get real-time flight status alerts with the free SeatGuru(R) app”
We also have a ‘dark wallpaper’ app because apparently dark backgrounds on your phone use less power to run. Light backgrounds obviously require light, which consumes power. Simple … and good to know.
Let me know if you have found any other ‘must-have’ apps and I will check them out and post them here.