I started traveling before internet was really a thing, back when travel agents and Lonely Planet guidebooks were the only real tools at a wanderer's disposal. Obviously, things are very different now (case in point: this blog). Personally I'm grateful for the technological advances that now help me at every stage of my travels. I like to travel light, so I rarely travel with my laptop, but never leave home without my iPhone. I've rounded up a list of apps that have become game-changers in my quest to turn my life into one big worldwide adventure.
Before: planning apps
(You can read about my full travel planning process here)
I always use Skyscanner to search for flights! It searches a huge range of airlines and is easy to customize, if you're particular about flying direct, with baggage, etc.. There's also a "whole month" search option that allows you to see what dates are cheapest across the month, and you can also use "anywhere" as a destination if you know you wanna go, but don't know where. One thing to mention is that I rarely book via Skyscanner - I'm much more likely to see what flight I want then book at the airline's website directly, rather than through a third-party agent, as it's much easier to contact them if I need to make a change, and generally just find my bookings easier to manage that way, although that may just be personal preference.
One of the most challenging things about planning multi-destination trips is figuring out the best way to get from one place to the next. Rome2Rio is amazing - it gives you different options for getting between places, including estimated prices and transit time, and once you make your selection it can send you to the booking websites of your chosen mode of transportation. It even builds you a cool map of all your destinations, which I like to screenshot as a little souvenir. I use this app extensively earlier this year when I wanted to take the train through Europe, and wanted to figure out the most logical way to see as many places as possible. It's available as a free app, but also as a desktop site if you prefer to use your laptop to do your planning ahead of time.
during: on-the-go apps
after: For once you've come home
1 second everyday
This is such a cool way to compile and share your travel memories! You don't want to be one of those people that shares every.single.photo that they took during their trip, including 18 angles of their breakfast and another 27 shots of a lake. 1 Second Everyday lets you make a short video that merges together 1 second clips. You can either stick to a 1 second highlight of each day, or if that's too restrictive (cause your trip is too epic), launch Freestyle mode and you can upload unlimited snippets to make yourself a movie. It's so easy to do, and while I obviously prefer photography and proper videography for my best travel shots, this is a great way to share the more candid sides of your trip as well. Pro tip: after I make a video, I use iMovie to replace the choppy soundtrack with a song that suits the trip. Check out this video I made using the app while on a month-long trip across Australia and Fiji with my girlfriend. I used my iPhone to spontaneously record a Fijian band jamming on my birthday, and used that as the theme song for the movie.
If you've got a travel-friendly app you love, let me know in the comments below!
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