Top Travel Apps and Websites
When travelling some brilliant apps and websites can help make life much easier. Here are my Top 6 Travel Apps and Websites.
hostelworld.com (and App)
A bible for travellers, this ensures your can find accommodation that meets your needs whether it be budget or posh, party or tranquil, messy or spotless. I have lived largely by Hostelworld whose reviews have only failed me once. I usually only book a day or two in advance ensuring I haven’t needed to camp on the beach or park just yet.
This app allows you to download country maps that work offline and provide Satnav directions. It is particularly handy when you are arriving at a new town to find your accommodation or ensure the taxi driver isn’t taking you the long way.
There are also walking trails on the maps although not all of them, and sometimes it shows a walking trail where there is not one.
One of the most frustrating and expensive problems backpackers can face is providing proof that they plan to leave a country within the permitted visa period. Proof of leaving is usually required when boarding a flight to a country and some countries such as Panama and Costa Rica require such proof when arriving via land borders.
I flew into Mexico on a one way ticket and planned to travel Latin America for a year and didn’t quite know exactly where or when I would fly home. Like most people on a long backpacking trip I planned to travel via bus across borders leaving each country well within the permitted visa time. Booking a bus ticket online is not always possible and when it is, it can be expensive and locks you into an inflexible exit date.
While flying out front Mexico I was fortunately not asked about onward travel, I was caught out (and should have known better) when trying to return to South America from London after a short break in travels. I was forced to buy a £530 fully refundable ticket in order to board my flight. I wish I had know about this website.
Formerly WordLens now as Google Translate App
Struggling to read the menu or the directions? With WordLens (now Google Translate) just hold up your tablet or smartphone camera to the text and it will translate (well, more or less) into your native language.
Duolingo Language App
Wanting to learn the basics before or during your travels? Duolingo is probably the best language app out there and has certainly helped me learn Spanish. The big downer is that you have to be on wifi for it to work. But a few hours a day can really help you get by in many languages.
This brilliant website has finally produced an app so it is now possible to have one of the best offline dictionaries with you at all times. It also offers words of the day, games and full text translation.