The list below should actually be pretty obvious for most travelers. The truth is, we try to keep it simple. We’ve been able to get pretty far with the following resources.
General Planning Resources:
- Google Maps:
- You can download the maps where you will be for offline access. You can even save places to the map to find quickly in “Saved” places.
- The GPS locator will work even without internet access.
- There is a new feature that allows the app to pronounce name places and addresses if you struggle with the local language.
- Maps can also recommend top places to visit with reviews.
- This is definitely our GO TO site for how to get from one place to another. The website is so well updated with routes, it feels like magic. You can even make plane purchases through the site that tend to be less expensive than other venues.
- Atlas Obscura:
- Sometimes, it’s nice to get off the beaten path and this website includes exactly those kinds of places.
- Gaia GPS:
- This is a great resources for folks who like to hike. You can save offline maps and routes.
- Super obvious one here, but we definitely use this site for reviews and tips for traveling to both remote and popular areas.
- TripAdvisor now partners with Viator.com, another site we’ve historically used to identify tours of interest. Sometimes, we just use Viator to get an idea of a great tour and then find it cheaper somewhere else…shhh.
- Airbnb Experiences:
- One of the greatest newer offerings from Airbnb. We love finding authentic local folks to take us around their area. Note that some tour companies have been getting into the site, but you can still find hidden gems!
- Google Search:
- We actually usually start here! “Things to do in…” is a great place to begin for any adventure :). Beyond that, Google can usually resolve any question or quandary by linking you to travel blogs or forums.
General Survival Resources:
- Google Translate:
- Using the phone app, you can download the languages for the countries where you will be for offline use. You can even select specific regional dialects.
- There is also an interpreter feature that allows you to have conversations with people through the microphone, but we have found that it is hit or miss…
- This is a messaging ohone app that most folks outside of the US use. It is really simple to set up with a US number to be able to message and call for FREE.
- XE Currency App:
- This phone app makes it incredibly easy to convert between currencies when traveling in many different countries.
- Skyroam and/or SIM Cards:
- We always travel with our Skyroam for unlimited internet when available, but it does have its limitations and can be more expensive than SIM cards in most places. It’s best to weigh the options through research, but internet access is CRITICAL (in our opinion) when globetrotting!