The dual inventions of smartphones and Wi-Fi have revolutionised the backpacking experience. Even a decade ago, backpackers were completely disconnected except for when they managed to stumble across a cutting-edge hostel or internet cafe. This meant that keeping in contact with friends and family, checking finances, navigating cities and translating signposts were severely restricted or completely impossible. Whilst this added a certain unknown quality which some deemed exciting and exhilarating, for the most part it was a stressful and isolating element to an otherwise amazing experience.
However, the app age has changed all that, along with numerous Wi-Fi hotspots littered across the world, and now backpackers have much more digital tools at their disposal to make their adventures more enjoyable, effective and effortless. But, this being said, these apps must be picked wisely as sometimes, with shaky internet still abound, it may not be possible to download new apps once the travels have begun. So, to help with this selection process, here are our ‘Must Have Apps for Compulsive Travellers.’
Facebook may seem the most universal, all-encompassing and easiest way to keep in touch with friends and family whilst also chronicling your adventures. But be warned, it is not always easy to access. China and Cuba, amongst numerous others, have put a block on Facebook within their borders. Therefore, downloading a quality messaging app, such as Whatsapp, will allow you to message your friends and family for free without the fear of it suddenly being hit by an aggressive domestic firewall. Skype is also a good option, but it is likely to crumble if the internet connection available is not exceptional.
Online Casino App
In the past, travellers would have to pack mountains of heavy books and travel games, or discard them along the way, to keep themselves entertained on long train journeys between countries. Today, app gaming means this does not have to be the case. The most popular type of gaming apps are the online casino. These quick-fire, money-making gambling experiences offer a fun distraction on a journey of any length and, potentially, gives you some extra money to spend at the bar upon your arrival. Winning!
Everything from menus to street signs can lead to potential disaster for backpackers if it is written in a language they cannot speak. Save yourself the trauma of questionable local delicacies and labyrinth-like back alleys with a trusty translator app. Google Translate is a solid offering and is completely free. Although unlikely to give you a perfect translation, it will steer you in the right direction without fail.
Keeping on top of your accounts is paramount if you are a traveller, especially one who is planning an extended trip. Regardless of how cheap the countries you are visiting may be, it is amazing just how quickly your funds can deplete if you take your eye off them long enough. Moreover, constantly having to take extra money out will lead to you racking up extortionate transition fees. By having a banking app, you can plan your withdrawals and make sure that you minimise additional costs whilst planning your spending more effectively.