Useful mobile applications
Useful travel mobile applications
I can’t even imagine travelling without a smartphone and useful mobile applications. In this article you will find my favorite apps that are useful when traveling and planning a vacation. Maybe you don’t know some of them yet and they will help you when planning a vacation and during your travels. If you use any other useful applications that I didn’t mention, I’ll be happy if you write your tips in the comments.
Some of them also have websites for the application. You can find links to various useful websites in this article – https://lenkacestounecestou.cz/en/useful-links/
Do you know Trello? It’s not a typical travel app, but it’s great for vacation planning. But otherwise it can be used for a lot of other things, I use it for an many things. It’s a great tool for making notes, projects, making lists, etc., its use is really wide, so when I have time I will write a separate article on it.
For traveling, I created a board „travel“, where I add cards of individual locations where I plan to go. I add information to the individual cards for the respective trip, whether itinerary, various useful links, blogs, links to maps, buses, etc. It is also great that each board has an unique email, so I send everything to the board and the relevant card what I have for the respective trip in my inbox – eg. booking from a Booking.com, flight tickets, insurance, car reservations, online tickets, etc. It is not that easy to find it later in the email when you arrange everything at different times before the holiday. Although I can create a folder in the inbox for the respective holiday, I will not have there other things for the holiday. So it’s always good to forward everything to the board in Trello right away and I have everything in one place. You can also add attachments to individual notes, create lists (eg., ideal for a holiday list, and then simply uncheck what you have already packed), etc. It is also possible to enter deadlines to individual notes if needed. At the same time, Trello is great for teamwork, so if you’re planning a trip with friends, you can invite a friend to the team and plan and add notes together. So this is just a brief summary, I will introduce it in more detail later in a separate article, where I will add also print screens, so that you can better imagine how Trello works in practice.
It’s great that you can use Trello either on the web or in a mobile application, so you always have your notes always with you.
From all maps I know, I like Mapy.cz the most. For example, you can find hiking routes here, so these maps are great for planning hikes. So in this respect they are much better than Google maps, where you can´t find tourist routes. In the mobile application, maps of individual countries can be downloaded so that you can use them offline. At the same time, you can create various favorite maps here, where you can then save planned routes and individual places you want to visit in the respective country, so you can always find them easily.
Google maps are better than mapy.cz for finding restaurants, reviews, bus departures, etc. With the mobile application, the cut-out of the selected map can be downloaded to be offline.
Other maps I like are maps.me, which can also be downloaded offline. In fact, for any map you want to view, you need to download this map to your phone.
If you are looking for some good GPS navigation for travel by car, Waze is definitely a good choice whether you are traveling in the Czech Republic or abroad.
What3words is a global localization system that is based on dividing the whole world into 3×3 squares meters and naming each square with a combination of 3 words. The system makes it easy to find any place on Earth on the map. In several countries around the world it is used for mail delivery, in Mongolia it is said to have even replaced street names.
Are you wondering in what occasion you can use such an app? It can be useful, for example, if you want to meet someone and with the help of this app you can tell them the exact place of the meeting point. Well, you might argue that it’s easier to say an address in a city, maybe yes, but there are plenty of examples where it’s easier to say a 3-word address from this app than to explain where you’re exactly.
- E.g. if you have a picnic somewhere in the middle of a large park, it is easier to say this 3-word address than to explain in a complicated way from which corner you should enter the park and which path to take and under which tree they will find you.
- Or, for example, at a large parking, you can take a look where you are standing before leaving, save your address to the app and then simply return to this place using this app, instead of thinking where exactly you parked your car.
- Have you invited your friends to your cottage, and they have not been there yet? Cottages often do not have addresses, so it is not easy to explain exactly where it is located, so you can just easily tell a 3 word address from this application.
- Or how about the forests? Do you also have a bad orientation like me and you are afraid that you will get lost in the forest and you will not find your way back to the car? Again, there is nothing easier than saving a place where you park to the app and getting to the car will be no problem with this app.
- Another example when it can be used is when somewhere in nature you need to call for help and you can simply say the address to rescuers using this application. Hopefully none of us will need to use this app for this purpose, but even this is one of the ways to use this app…
So you can use this app practically anywhere in nature when you need to meet someone and it would be difficult to explain how to find it when there is no street. You can just say a 3 word address and the person will enter this address into the app and will navigate to the place where you are. The big advantage is that this app does not force you to use another map application, you just choose in the application whether you want to navigate, for example, through your favorite mapy.cz or another map application or navigation you have already in your phone.
Flight ticket search engines is a large topic that it could be a separate article. I’ve tried a lot of them, but I like the most Skyscanner.
If you want to find flight tickets discounts, I recommend installing the Zaletsi app (Czech app). Thanks to this app, you will have a perfect overview of all flight tickets discounts. You can also set up an alert for locations of your choice. It is also possible to set up ticket tracking for a specific date to the desired destination.
Another nice app for special flight ticket discounts are Nejrychlejší letenky (Czech app). The basic version is free, discounts are displayed with a 2-hour delay. If someone would like to display discounts without delay and from even more sources than with the free version, it is possible to pay a paid version for a few crowns a month.
Perhaps every airline has its own application. If you are traveling with hand luggage only and you are doing a check-in via the airline’s application, you do not need to do check-in at the airport. When traveling by plane, I always download the application of the respective airline I use for that trip. Thanks to it, I have tickets directly on my mobile phone and there is no need to print anything.
After you check in online, you have a boarding pass that you don’t have to print, which is an advantage especially on the way back, when you don’t have a computer and printer to print your boarding pass. In addition, you receive information about departures or delays via the airline’s application.
Some airlines, such as Ryanair, accept only a boarding pass from your mobile only if you have downloaded it through their application. For some airlines, it was enough for me to save the boarding pass to the Pass2U Wallet app.
Rome2rio has both a website and a mobile application. If you travel by public transport, it will be useful for planning your trips. After entering the place from where you want to go, you will see all transport options – bus, train, taxi, including the approximate price and link to the taxi service, etc. For buses, it shows which number goes to the respective place, including map and departure times and link to the official timetable of the bus company. Really useful page, but I use it mainly to find out what bus number goes to the given location and I check the specific timetable on the official website of the bus company.
Similar websites like Rome2rio, where you can find bus departure times, map, etc. Also here you can use both the website and the mobile application. After entering where we are going to, individual options will be displayed, including timetables for specific connections.
Great app if you want to travel by public transport. Of course, not all cities are there, but in Barcelona, for example, it worked perfectly and was very easy for orientation on how to get to the individual places by metro and buses.
When traveling in the Czech Republic, I like the Můj vlak app from Czech Railways, which clearly draws attention to traffic interruptions, various extraordinary situations and continuously shows how many minutes we are late. Of course, you can also buy tickets through it, etc.
When traveling in the Czech Republic, the NaVlak application is also useful. You can find there departure / arrival boards for individual cities. For example, when change a train and you have a short time to change, for example in a big city, where you don´t have time to go to look at the departure board, this application is really useful and can find the platform before getting off the train.
Uber is known to almost everyone, it is a cheaper option than a taxi. Uber operates at more than 600 airports and in more than 700 cities around the world. The advantage is that you know the price in advance before ordering and you do not have to worry about being overcharged. It’s also nice that you pay directly via a payment card that you save in the application. It can be ordered for the trip you are about to take or can be ordered for later.
Although there are many applications for finding accommodation, I liked Booking the most. Searching and booking is simple, then you just show the reservation directly from the application. I have never had a problem with accommodation via Booking. I like in the app that you can search by various filters such as price or distance from the center, etc. Booking also offers a lot of private accommodation, whether holiday homes or apartments. I like this option the most, because sometimes it is not very comfortable with my family even in a 4-star hotel, when we have has only 1 room and sometimes there is no extra bed but a standard bed for a child, so then there is not much space in the room .
Of course, Booking also has a website, so if you are planning a trip from home, you can also search from your computer.
Another of my favorite applications is an ordinary translator from Google, which everyone knows for sure. You can either use it for classic text translation, so you just type the text you want to translate into another language into the application and the translation into the selected language is displayed.
Another great feature of this application is the translation of written text from an image. Just select the camera option, point the phone at the text and you will see the translated text directly on the phone. Ideal, for example, for translating menus in a restaurant, etc. Of course, translation is not often perfect, but it is definitely enough for a basic understanding.
Google Translate can also translate a conversation – just press the conversation button, say what you want to translate and you’ll hear the translation right away.
Individual languages can also be saved offline. However, voice translations can only be used online.
Another application I liked is Pass2U Wallet, where I store online tickets or tickets via a QR code. E.g. it was a decent number for Barcelona, so you didn’t have to pull out a paper version of the ticket. But even so, I like everything insured and to be sure, I will print tickets at home before departure, if they don’t want to accept this variant. You can also save the boarding pass here, but I always prefer to download the application from the relevant airline at the same time.
When I travel with a friend, sometimes I pay for both me and other times for a friend. Without the application, it would be quite complicated to calculate after the holiday, who paid what for whom and who has how much to pay. All you have to do in this application is simply enter who paid what and the application then clearly shows who owes how much to whom. Expenditures can be recorded in euros and other currencies.
It is a great application for communication, for example, when we were in Jordan, we used it for communication with hotels, camps and private drivers. You can also call for free, so for example I use it at home whenever I deal with something about our apartment in Madeira, for example with a Portuguese real estate agent or our tax advisor, etc. The call is completely for free, you only need an internet connection.
Especially when we are planning a hike in nature, we choose the order of trips according to the weather in the respective location. For the weather, I like the Windy app.
Activities with locals
If you want to find a local guide, you might like the app Showaround. In this application you will find locals who will be happy to guide you around the places you choose. In the application you can choose a guide according to languages and kind of the activity, such as food and restaurants, nightlife and bars, sports, art and museums, etc. Some of them have really symbolic prices and some even offer their services for free, because consider the time spent this way as fun.
I haven’t tried it personally yet, but I was very interested in this application and I have saved it for case I travel alone and want to get to know local and interesting places that I might not come across. If you have experience with this or another similar application, write your experience in the comments.
XE Currency is an application that converts virtually any currency to crowns or vice versa. When you downloads the currency you need, it can then be used offline. Information on exchange rates of individual currencies is regularly updated.
The application also allows you to send foreign payments with more advantageous rates, but I have no personal experience with this function.
Plugs n’ Sockets
Are you going to a country and don’t know if they have the same socket as in your country? In the Plugs n ‘Sockets application, all you have to do is enter the country you are going to and the photos and labels of the individual sockets they use in that country will be displayed. So, thanks to this application, you can easily find out if, for example, you will need an adapter to charge your mobile phone.
Within the EU, you can easily use data from your tariff, but not everyone has a large data package, so wifi can be sometimes useful and I’m not even talking about the locations outside Europe. Many applications can be used offline, but not all of them. For this purpose, the WiFi Map application may be useful, the app offers an overview of wireless networks around the world (including passwords). In the free version, you can search only in your area, while in the paid version you can download in advance the places you are going to.
Another application for searching WiFi networks and their passwords is Instabridge. This application even shows which WiFi network works and automatically sorts out those that don’t work. You can view individual Wifi on the map in the application and enter navigation directly to the relevant WiFi.
I haven’t actually used these apps in practice yet, but I keep them on my mobile phone in case I might need the one day. These two apps search public toilets nearby.