There's an App for that!
There are some really great apps in the world that can help you navigate the world whether that be restaurants, sight seeing, or navigation! Many of them offer offline capabilities which are quite helpful if you depend on wifi for connectivity. Each of these has different uses so I'm including a short description of each.
- Viber: Stay connected for free with Viber! When on wifi you can make calls back home for free or for very cheap, as well as sending text messages. If the person on the other end has the Viber app calls and text messages are free and the quality is based upon the internet you have access to. If you are calling a landline (which we've had to do to contact doctors offices and take care of some final items after leaving the U.S.) the calls are very cheap. We loaded $10 USD credit and it lasted us for at least 5 months. This is including the somewhat regular calls I made to my grandmother's landline. The only trick with this is that you must activate your account before you disconnect your phone because the app has to send and SMS message to open your account. With that said, even after we turned off our phone services the app is continuing to work.
- Here: one of the most useful tools in our back pocket, literally! Before you go to a country/destination download the map of interest. Then, when you arrive you can navigate using GPS and there is no need for internet connection! This app helps with public transport, driving directions, and walking directions. You can make "collections" and pre-load specific points of interest, like your AirBnB location, within each collection. It isn't perfect for transit in all places but once you learn how to use it it is very helpful.
- Tripit: This is a great tool to keep your travels organized. You can forward flight, hotel, car rental information, etc and this will help keep everything up-t0-date and you can look at a clean itinerary for your trip(s).
- Triposo: Great app for being your own tour guide. You can download city walks and sightseeing tips and tricks!
- Trip Advisor: Internationally very few places use Yelp. Trip Advisor is the review website for restaurants and other places so you can get ideas of where to go and what other people liked.
- XE Currency: Every time you open this app and you are on wifi it will update various currencies that you have in your queue. Very helpful when on the go for the most up-to-date exchange rate information.
- AirBnB: as mentioned above this is what we mostly used to book our accomodations
- Uber: Great way to connect with a ride within minutes. We prefer this to taxi use, when available, because it eliminates negotiating for a fair fare price. We have had good experiences with safe drivers but there have been reports of bad experiences so use your best judgement. (If an Uber drives up and you don't trust the then don't get in!) Only usable when you are connected to wifi