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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Baker's Dozen of Preparation

Any time I am preparing for travel, one of the things I do is get my phone ready.

Just as I have to fully prepare for travel, so does my phone.

That may sound like an absurd thing to do, but trust me... it's not.

It's a matter of getting your ducks in a row... and by ducks, I mean apps!

Smart phones have become our lifeline and the apps collected can be crucially beneficial along the way. There is nothing more aggravating that being stuck in a pinch and not being able to load an app without WIFI, or those incessant pop up or in-app purchases you keep getting pushed towards.

If you need something translated, then you need something translated!


You need it NOW.

You do not need a 30 second ad pop up on the fun of playing Candy Crush online.

I also enjoy doing are checking out other traveller's app lists, because you're nearly always destined to find one you hadn't otherwise know about, or one that does the job better than the one you had.

I was going to do my top 10, but then I came up with 11... and then 12... and I eventually decided to go with 13. The lucky Traveller's Dozen!

Here they are!

1. Travel Financial Tracker

Everyone needs one. Well, I do, anyway.

I really do make an effort to keep track of my purchases, but sometimes I have to guesstimate as to where my money has disappeared to. There are a few I like, and they both come with in-app purchases - but the advertisements aren't too annoying. Both of these let you track your expenses. It's a good idea, unless you're like me and you spend too much money on food & wine!

*Recommendations: TravelExpense, PocketMoney

I hate budgeting... and the thing I hate most about it is the looking back part and realizing how much I spent on wine or fattening carbs. I always think, "Imagine how skinny I'd been had I just walked out of all those bakeries?"

Absurd to think that way.

2. Translator

Who doesn't need this?

Unless you're C3P0 and speak every single language, this app will certainly be a life saver.

***VERY IMPORTANT! ~ Make sure the one you download has the language you need.

I had a tough time finding Swahili in

iTranslate - iTranslate allows you to translate text, websites and start voice conversations. You can also lookup words, their meanings and conjugate verbs. ... It's all that ...

I remember when I was in Vietnam, I translated "No cilantro and no mushrooms, please" - then I took a screenshot and showed it to every single server that came within 10 feet of me. Dedication to my culinary necessities... or crazy?

Probably crazy...

3. Waze

Absolutely fabulous for directions.

I had absolutely no idea that this app even existed. Why would I? As far as I was concerned, I was perfectly fine with Google Maps.

Well, suddenly I found myself in Costa Rica, off-roading with a Jeep... in places where Google Maps would have been left in the mud... Waze got you here, there and everywhere. And if Waze couldn't do it, you knew you were really screwed.

Always know what’s happening on the road with Waze. Even if you know the way, Waze is sure to let you know about traffic, construction, police, crashes and more about what might be happening on the road. If traffic is bad on your route, Waze will change your route to save you time. Trust it. Love it.

The best thing in the entire world about WhatsApp is that it lets you keep your own number, even when the SIM card changes.

WhatsApp from Meta is a FREE messaging and video calling app. It’s used by over 2B people in more than 180 countries. It’s simple, reliable, and private, so you can easily keep in touch with your friends and family. WhatsApp works across mobile and desktop even on slow connections, and NO hidden fees!!!

Seriously... if you don't have this app, download it immediately.

  • Easy to use.

  • Simple.

  • Useful.

It's got everything you need in one little app and it converts Imperial, Metric, Weight, Length, Area, Fuel, Mileage, Power, Time, Pressure, Speed, Temperature, Volume, Data.

*Another Recommendation?: XE app

Sending money to another country? With the new Xe app, you can do it in one quick process. Check live mid-market rates in the Currency Converter, receive our send rate when transferring money overseas and track your money transfer. No need to waste time anywhere else.

I love Guru Walk.

For anyone that is new to pretty much anywhere… I highly recommend this app. It’s free, which is always a bonus. It’s a fabulous way to meet other travellers, get to know some locals and learn a bit about the history and culture of the area. The gurus are usually history majors, tourism enthusiasts or just people wanting to improve their English. These incredible individuals work on gratuity, so tips are much appreciated. They boast more than 2300 walking tours in English, Spanish, German, Italian and many more... and are in over 800 cities worldwide. Pretty impressive.

7. Flush

Where is the toilet?

As we age, the whereabouts of the public toilet become more and more precedent in our travel life. There is nothing worse than running in a blind panic.

Flush is there to solve all your lavatory needs! It will let you know the closest toilet in the vicinity, whether or not you require a key or payment and/or if there is disabled access. It has a database of thousands of international public loos and even has the ability to function offline. Flush works alongside Google Maps to ensure that you're never in a pinch.

I remember my mom used to say that she loved countries with McDonald's, because there was always a free toilet. Well... there isn't always a McDonald's, but someone, there is a porcelain throne waiting for you!


Thought I must admit, I get confused by the little blue dot.

One of the main rules in traveling is appearing confident- and by appearing confident, you have to hold your head high, shoulders straight... and walk like you know where you're going. This is not always easy for me, as I scurry back and forth, desperately trying to sink with the stupid blue dot.

Navigate your world faster and easier with Google Maps. Over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map. Get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit info, and explore local neighbourhoods by knowing where to eat, drink and go - no matter what part of the world you’re in.

Get there faster with real-time updates

• Beat traffic with real-time ETAs and traffic conditions

Love this app that it gives you all the options.

Seriously - all of them.

Flying, Train. Hiking. Walking. Car. Bus.

Enter any address, landmark or city as your destination and we will instantly display all your travel options and booking information, along with accommodation providers and things to do, in one convenient spot.

Beware: I've often thought I might be slightly smarter than Rome2Rio... and I'm not. It's never worked out in my favour when I've tried to take a route not recommended!

10. Uber

You can pay online and tip accordingly, so there is no exchange of money!

We’re committed to your safety at Uber. We’ve established a Door-to-Door Safety Standard to help you feel safe every time you ride.

And with Uber, your destination is at your fingertips. Just open the app and enter where you want to go, and a nearby driver will help you get there reliably.

Almost every country I have visited has Uber… or some form of it.

Even if you're not a fan of booking through third party apps, it's a good reference to start with. I like to see all my options, decide and then book directly through the hotel, hostel or Guest house.

I have definitely had my downfalls with third party apps - especially in flight, but I like them for the everything fact that you get to see almost everything that is out there presented in one place.

Save on your next trip with the app! Find great hotel or apartment deals and book in just a few minutes. You can also book flights, rental cars, and more through the app.

- Book your whole trip in one app (accommodations, flights, car rentals, taxis and more)

- Stay flexible with free cancellation (available at most properties)

- 24/7 customer service in more than 40 languages

12. Viator

As the leading marketplace for travel experiences, we believe that making memories is what travel is all about. And with over 300,000 experiences at your fingertips—everything from simple tours to extreme adventures (and all the niche, interesting stuff in between)—you're guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Viator will give you the opportunities available within the area.

Just in case!

Splitwise is the easiest way to share expenses with friends and family and stop stressing about “who owes who.” Millions of people around the world use Splitwise to organize group bills for households, trips, and more. Our mission is to reduce the stress and awkwardness that money places on our most important relationships.

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