With today’s ever advancing technology there is a plethora of really helpful, handy and amazing apps out there that really do make travelling life easier, better organised and fun! Here’s a short list of some of our favourites that we use almost daily.
1. Trail Wallet
Perfect for those on a budget or just interested in what their trip is costing them, this app, put simply, tracks every dollar you spend and what you spend it on. You create your own categories (food, transport, accommodation etc) and input all of your expenses as you go. The app itemizes and tallies each days expenses and generates graphs and percentages based on your spends in each category. We use Trail Wallet to set ourselves a daily budget then we can see how we go keeping to it and which items/categories are using what percentage of our budget.
Download here: TrailWallet
2. Speak and Translate
Ever find yourself having trouble communicating in an foreign country? Only learnt some basic phrases on the plane ride over and finding yourself stuck trying to get a message across? This handy App allows you to quickly speak in your own language into your phone and the app will then translate and repeat your speech in your choice of 54 languages! Simply amazing use of technology and so helpful for travellers. You can use it as a self-teaching tool and quickly learn phrases to speak to people or if the message isn’t getting across or is too complex, simply use it with the person you are communicating with by speaking English and allowing them to hear the translated response! There is also a similar app available called Istone which is a talking phrase-book with over 300 common phrases available in 12 languages.
Wikicamps is a database of caravan parks, campsites, hostels, public facilities, dump points and more. The listings have been posted on the app by members of the public and include reviews, comments, photos, pricing and other relevant information shared by fellow travellers. We found this app absolutely invaluable as we travelled around Australia in our caravan and still use it regularly when travelling to find cheap or free caravan/campsites. Wikicamps is extremely user friendly with a “map view” that enables users to scroll around a map of the area they are travelling in and see all listings represented by colour coded symbols. So easy to just look along the route you are travelling and select a listing to read all the details, pricing and comments on the site. We have recently discovered that the app is now also available in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
4. Flight Radar 24
Just for fun, Flight Radar turns your device into an air traffic radar, tracking the flight path and movement of all the planes in the sky in real time! You can even point your device at a plane in the sky and get detailed information about the type of craft, airline, destination and even speed and altitude. The kids (and grown-ups!) love running outside to see if they can see the planes when the radar tells us they are approaching. It’s fascinating to see just how many planes are in the sky at any given moment using the map view of any region across the globe and being able to select a plane and see all the details is just mind-blowing!
Download here: FlightRadar24
5. 7 Minute Workout
Travelling the world with 5 kids can make it a little difficult to find the time to look after one’s self and stay in shape. Sure, we do a lot of walking and try to eat a healthy diet, but gone are the days of being able to pop down to the gym for an hour. 7 Minute Workout has been an amazing discovery for me to be able to work out and maintain a decent level of fitness without taking up too much time from my busy schedule of organising 5 rowdy children. I like to start most mornings with a 9 minute yoga routine (found on Youtube) followed by a 7-minute workout with the app. You might not think 7 minutes would do much or be much of a workout at all but let me tell you it is! It’s a high intensity workout with 12 x 30 second exercises with 10 second rest breaks in between each. This is apparently the equivalent of working out for an hour and it really works!
Download here: 7MinuteWorkout
6. Calm (meditation)
Another side effect of being on the road with 5 children is stress! Although we are blessed to have this amazing, adventurous, travelling life, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and like everyone, we need to de-stress. Calm is a mindfulness meditation app which helps us to bring peace to our lives and de-stress anywhere we are, using short, guided meditations. The app has a plethora of other features including “7 day calm” various programs, soothing sounds for sleep and progress tracking.
Download here: Calm
If you’re in to guitar and you’re lucky enough to have one with you when you travel, Ultimate Guitar is the must have amateur guitarist app. With the world’s largest database of guitar chords, tabs and lyrics you’ll be playing ’til your fingers bleed! Our eldest daughter is very much in to her music and singing and has been playing guitar a lot lately. She loves to use the app to play and practice (and so does Dad). We usually have the guitar with us when travelling in Australia but can’t quite justify the extra baggage when flying internationally. Probably the best feature about the app is the “auto-scroll” which allows the player to play through a whole song without having to stop to scroll. It also allows the user to “favourite” any song from the database and create a personalised list of songs to play.
Download here: UltimateGuitar
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