Apps for travel – Safe & Handy

When you are on the road it is great to arrange certain things at the last minute. When I just started to travel I didn’t care that much where I ended up at the end of the day. But nowadays I do like to book a hotel or hostel just a day ahead. Just to know that I can dump my bag and can start exploring immediatly.

My smartphone is more and more a small computer. I can even keep my website up to date, we do everything with it!! We also trust it more and so rely on it to be able to arrange last minute bookings.

We feel more safe as people at home know where we are, what we do. Contact is made within seconds. We feel safe because some things are known to our love ones by Facebook, a route through GPS or even a live connection through Skype.

I also have some apps on my smartphone which make my traveling so much easier! I do love to be offline while I am on the go. So most of the time I do not buy a local sim card. I am more dependent on getting into a nice coffeeplace or lunch/dinner spot to check online what my options are.

Apps for Travel – Safe & Handy

Veilig op Reis met je Smartphone
A delicious Cafe Latte in Bishkek at Social Coffee… not such a bad idea right?

  • VPN

Safe internet / Using WiFi while traveling

I should have done this so much earlier already. You  need to protect yourself in all kinds of ways and so you need to do that on your smartphone too. I do have a pc and laptop and ofcourse I’ve got a virusscanner on those devices.. Why didn’t I thought of protecting myself while serving the net on my smartphone?

Next time I go traveling I will do that! I can do that by using a VPN. You can activate that on lots of smartphones already or use an app for that matter.

Because if you want to use WiFi on your smartphone while traveling the National Cyber Securtiy Centre advices to always use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make a connection to the world wide web.

A VPN is a secured connection between your smartphone and a server elsewhere. This is a coded connection and because of that you are secured. It is not easy to hack into that and to see what you are up to on the web.

Apps voor op reis - Handig en Veilig
As you can see on this pic (it’s Dutch) I was using the internet as I was situated in the USA.

The backside of using a VPN can be that your internet will not be as quick.. But if it is about security and doing some business such as using your bankaccount you probably don’t mind 🙂

Tunnelbear for instance is a app you can use for free. For Apple users there is Cloak. A paid version is Private Internet Acces. There are more and more smartphones that has a VPN option build in already.

Best way to use the internet is by using the VPN through your own home network!!

Apps voor op reis - Handig en Veilig
Using the WiFi on a hotel boat in the heart of Stockholm!

  • Maps.me

My favorite!!

I love being offline while traveling and so this app is just the best! This app can show me exactly where I am, how I get back or go to a specific restaurant without using the internet. If you download this app on your smartphone you search for the country you will visit or am at the moment and it will ask you to download the map. It is not big and so easy to do! The map will give a lot of details as hotels and restaurants and even gasstations.

The secure your safety this is a good app to have. You don’t feel insecure about where you are, how far it is until you get where you need to be and because of that you are in control. Knowing such info in a taxi makes that you can tell a driver that he is making a detour so you need to pay more…

I once had that on a scootertaxi in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The driver asked me after a fare that he actually wanted some extra money because it had been a long drive. That same night I went out walking and within minutes I was at the place I had gotten on the taxi that same afternoon!!

That moment I realised that the driver had just taking me on a tour around the area and tried to convince me that it had been very far…

That won’t happen again with this app!!

And well… pictures like this are great too, right??

Safe travel with your Smartphone

  • Google Maps

Using the train in India I had to check where I was myself. They don’t call out the name of the destination once arrived at a station. So every time I woke up at night I checked my smartphone to see where I was on the map. If it was not that close I could get back to sleep again 🙂

  • GPS on or off?

I think you need to turn on GPS all the time. Especially when you are abroad. It is a good thing that people can see where you are in this world. It will not be registered if not necessary but if it is it is easier when the GPS is turned on. If we need to find you, what ever situation you got into that makes that necessary, it is easier if the GPS is turned on ofcourse.

There are also apps for family and frends to see where you, and your smartphone, are. Such as Life360, Real-Time GPD Tracker, and lots of others ofcourse. I didn’t tested it but I do know that there are many of you out there that loves the feeling of people at home knowing where you are. And that works for both sides, from the travelers view but also for the family at home.

  • Uber – Grab – Rapido – etc

I really hate it when I pay too much for a taxi so I started to book the taxi or scooter taxi through an app. Super easy!! You do sponsor the local community more then the big companes and I love the conversations in these taxis. I feel that they are so much more interested.

You know what is also good about this way of booking your taxi? The ride you get is registered in the app. The chauffeur is mentioned, the car with most of the time the registration number and from where you are picked up to where you are going. Just in case…we can see where and at what time you were picked up and got at your destination.

One day I booked a taxi by Grab in Thailand. The ride got accepted by a chauffeur near and I waited at my hotel. Shortly after the chauffeur changed his mind and decided that he was too tired…

Read the following conversation!!

Apps voor op reis

Really!! This is only possible in Asia?!?!

  • Trivago, Agoda, Booking & Hostelworld

I start using apps more and more to book my hotels upfront. I do stay in a lot of hostels but also love to spend some days in a hotel or resort too every now and then. In the end for me as a solo traveler it is better to go to hostels to get tips and tricks on how to get the best out of my time in a specific location. If you want to book a trip for the day or multiple days your chance of booking the better option is at a hostel, they know what the traveler wants and you’ll get a better price!!

In most hotels the staff does not even know what we, the traveler, wants to see in the area. Not even what there is to see for us.. Just because they are only there to spoil the guest inside and not to give advice for the day. At a hostel that is totally different!!

Apps for travel – Safe & Handy

  • Currency app

I make sure to know what the currency is for the local money. If you are negotiating a price it’s not good if you constantly need to check and count how much it is. I always try to remember what 10 euro is or another round number from where I can start counting. Easy to remember and also easy to start counting.

Nest to that this app is really easy in use. It shows immediatly what the currency is at the moment, when online ofcourse. And then it shows the calculation. Both sides are ready to use so you don’t have to switch which often is the case for translating apps.

  • Viber, Skype, Facetime / Whatsapp, Line, We Chat

Staying in contact with home has never been as easy as it is now. You can, online, at all times get in contact with eachother through speach or message. Next to it there is alo video!! And it is free when using WiFI!!

How great is that?

When I just starting to travel we really loved talking about what I did and I loved to hear how things were in The Netherlands. It changed when I went away more often and the new thing wears off. But a short message about my whereabouts and my  plans are really appreciated.. Especially if that will mean I’m offline for some days 🙂

  • Polarsteps

I don’t keep this one as good as I should.. The purpose of this app is that the family or followers at home can see what you do to a day to day basis. Then people see how many K’s you have traveled, which place in which country you are. You can easily place a short story and some pictures on it, you can even tag a place or hotel on it too. It is a small blog on your telefphone. Everybody can follow you and get a message when you put some new story on it.

If you don’t have a website but do like to share a bit more and see the whole trip in the end this is so much better then Facebook. It is an nice app and easy to use. You can follow other people too for inspiration ofcourse!!

Apps voor op reis - Handig en Veilig
Example of how your trip will  look like after 12 days traveling in Kyrgyzstan

Safe Travelling with Apps on your Smartphone

There are lots of app that are handy, safe and easy that makes your journey easier and the contact with love ones easier while traveling!

Our smartphones are filled with those 🙂

  • And how about this!

Maybe even more important!

–  You do have a PIN code on your smartphone to unlock?

– Do you have your emergency information and phone number set?

Do this in the screen just before you unlock your smartphone!

Lots of people do not know about this but it can save lifes!!

Before unlocking there is the screen that says: Emergency calls only At that moment you can click on that and fill in the information. If someone finds your phone and wants to return it? They will call that number.. But what if someone finds you…and you are not able to say or do anything at the moment.. They can call that number and give information about you and your whereabouts. You can also fill in information about your health like an allergy or bloodtype.

– Make sure that you operating system is up-to-date!

– Do you have the ‘Find my Device’ or ‘Find my Iphone’ app on your phone?

– And… you do take the right plug with you to recharge your smartphone?

– And what is as inportant as all of the above….

Make sure that you have enough storage room on your smartphone to make lots of beautiful pictures and clips?

Did you find these apps good and safe too?

Share it for others too!!

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Or can I inspire you to go hiking?

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I hope you love this world as much as I do!!

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