Having expressed to Google that I wish to have my Google-Maps at hand while travelling , I still yearn for cool travel apps. So I took the quest to find out what kind of travel apps are around and pick the coolest and most practical ones.
- network necessary – hey, you don’t want to spend your money on roaming cost but on shopping, right? But most need them. My tip: get a hotel with free wi-fi access, prepare your ‘trips’ when being there by copying the content (screenshots). Press the home button and the switch-off button (top right) at the same time. If you hear a camera clicking noise – you were successful. Also check your album to be sure. So I will not mention it separately. Unless it is NOT needed.
- easy to use – you don’t want to waste time finding out how that GUI really works, right?
- Price $£€
New York: NY Times The Scoop NYC
- Description: tips on where to eat, what to see and what to do. Structured as a tick-off list for the things you have done. Very nice for your ego if you have ‘completed’ some of the locations – in particular when not being a New Yorker 😉
- ease of use: very simple, very nicely designed. Check out the section ‘Only in New York’
- $£€: FREE
Paris: a guide to flea markets and brocantes (Keys to the fleas)
- ease of use: not yet tested, only discovered today! I’ll keep you posted
- $£€: USD 1.99 or CHF 2.20
TripWolf: Guides to several cities vs TripAdvisor
- ease of use: register first, confirm agb’s, complement your profile online and download a guide. Do this best when having a wireless connection available. Although you have the choice on how big your downloaded guide shall be – it takes quiet some time. I went straight away to the maxi version of Barcelona and it indicated a downloading time of 40min
- Summary: If you know nothing about the city you are going to visit AND you want to stay on the beaten track, then this is the right app for you. It’s not really a guide, it provides you lists of the usual suspects. Similar style like tripadvisor, but has more categories and seems to me more organised
- Conclusion I: I rather go and buy a small booklet. I will not depend on online capacity and I can read the content before I buy it.
- Conclusion II: If you want to find a real treasure you won’t find it with the two of them. Too much information to dig through, too small the chances to find something good in a reasonable time
- $£€: FREE in the beginning. Upgrade it with Marco Polo’s guide fo CHF 5.50
Google Earth: finding your way
- ease of use: download and register (with your google account). The zooming from outer space to my current location is cumbersome. No possibility to switch of the satellite view
- network: without it, it’s useless!
- Conclusion: if you want your Google maps at hand at all times AND you don’t need to worry about roaming fees – go for it
- See below how my GoogleMaps look like
World Customs & Cultures: a manual on how to approach people, talk and be polite in foreign countries
- ease of use: very simple. Countries are sorted alphabetical. Once selected a country you can choose between different categories. Personal space & Touching, eye contact, gender issues, taboos, etc.
- $£€: FREE
Smart Travelling, the publisher of the ‘smart’ travel guides ‘Ein perfektes Wochenende in…’ (a perfect weekend in …)
used to publish a key in their travel guides which gave you the possibility to look-up more information than the top highlight given in the book. I absolutely love these guides. Short, to the point and always quality tips! Just the right amount for a weekend, no frills no fuss. Guides are available for Amsterdam, Antwerpen, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruxelles, Budapest, Dublin, Firenze, Hamburg, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Lisboa, London, Madrid, Marseille, Miami, Milano, München, Napoli, New York, Nice, Palma, Paris, Praha, Roma, Salzburg, San Francisco, Stockholm, Valencia, Venezia, Wien, Zürich. They have announced recently that they changed their business model with the effect that you can access now all travel information online, but the most important THING I am looking for is their App! Please, please Dear Nicola Bramigk and Nancy Bachmann, let me be your App-Testing-Slave. I hope very much I can tell you all soon a bit more (super excited). And don’t miss their blog full of food tips ‘best of‘, aswell, short and precise. Meaning, only a picture of something yummy and where to get it. Ou ou, I get all experimental
Come back later for more information on travel preparation and other handy apps.