Must-Have Offline Tools You Need to Be a Savvy Traveler
You do everything with your smartphone, from talking to your mom on the phone to looking up an answer to a question on Google. So when you’re planning a trip, it’s basically a given that your device will be a helpful (and entertaining) part of the journey. You want to capture your journey with the 16-megapixel camera on your Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, take videos of the tours you take, listen to music on your plane ride and use all your favorite apps.
There’s just one problem. What happens if you have a lack of connectivity? While you know you can do just fine without Instagram or even Yelp, what do you do about the apps that are useful in someplace unfamiliar? The following are a few apps you need and how to access them offline.
Navigating new territory is one of the most crucial elements of traveling. Sure, the idea of lazily wandering around a new country (or even city) can become romanticized in your mind. But the reality is that being without a path to follow leaves you frustrated and off course. So, as you embark on your travels, just remember your old friend “Google Maps.” While the app does not allow for offline navigation, it is possible for you to download maps and store themon your device, so you can easily access them offline. This does require some forward thinking on your part, but the rest is simple and helps you find your way when you need to the most.
One of the big frustrations of traveling abroad is hassling with money conversions. Many people exchange their U.S. dollars ahead of time, but you may prefer to wait or use your own currency wherever it’s accepted. Just don’t be that person in the Parisian coffee shop who is holding up the line because you don’t know how much American money you need to hand over for your latte and baguette. Instead, have the app “XE Currency” downloaded and ready for use. Once you install the app, you simply add on all the different currencies you think you might encounter, and voila, you have an easy (and offline) way to make sense of your money.
While this is the last item on this list, it’s oftentimes the most important. After all, think of the trouble you could get in if you couldn’t communicate with your fellow human beings. Even if you don’t think you’ll end up in a compromising situation, the basics of functioning in a different place are severely limited if you can’t speak the language. Yes, printed translation books are available. But who wants to lug around a paper book when you could use your phone instead?
For all your translation needs, turn to the “Google Translate” app. You can download a variety of language packs whenever you’re connected to the Internet and then use them offline. This can come in handy anytime you need to ask for directions, mention a food allergy to a chef or ask where the bathroom is. Don’t leave home without it.
So as you gear up to hit the road, remember to do a little bit of planning in advance. With some handy apps and downloads, you’ll be well prepared for any bumps in the road (or hitches in your Wi-Fi connectivity).