I simply cannot imagine doing this trip without technology. It’s so much easier now! Along with wifi, we have been lucky enough to have data in almost every country (except Morocco, Cambodia, and Vietnam) thanks to a great international unlimited data plan from T-Mobile. This has allowed us to be connected at all times and use our preferred apps to the max. These are the Apps that have made our lives easier and we highly recommend that you download them before planning your next trip!
1- Sygic – Allows you to create a detailed itinerary for each country/city. Provides a list of places, hotels and tours to choose from so you don’t have to use different sources. You can update the itinerary according to what you actually did every day and keep a detailed library of all your trips. We just love it!
2- Skyscanner – We were fans of Kayak but Skyscanner is better. It also searches for hotels and car rentals but we mainly use it to get our flights. We think it provides the best pricing and better coverage of Europe and Southeast Asia flights. It searches in a wide base of airlines and websites and always tells you which flight options are the cheapest and shortest.
One feature that we love is that it allows you to search “Everywhere” from your preferred airport, giving you the pricing for an extensive list of destinations. This is fantastic when you just want to leave to any destination that would have great pricing at the moment. The “Whole Month” and “Cheapest Month” features show daily pricing for the entire month and the month of the year when the prices are the lowest. These features are great when you have some flexibility in your travel plans. Take note that these last 3 options are only available when you search their website but not in the App.
3- Rome2Rio – This app is super useful! It tells you how to get from Point A to B and the type of transportation options available. Furthermore, it tells you the time each one of the transportation options take and the estimated cost.
4- Airbnb – Offers a wide range of accommodations everywhere in the world at lower prices than a hotel. Local hosts go out of their way to help you and make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The option of having an entire apartment/house is especially nice when you are traveling long term because it gives you that “homey” feeling. You can have a home cooked meal and do laundry. If you are traveling with a group it’s even more convenient and affordable than a hotel.
5-Booking – This is our preferred search engine for hotels. We like that it shows the map with the distribution of hotels so you can have a better idea of the areas where you can stay. Sometimes, it’s better to stay at a hotel because of language issues, you want to be right in the city center and there are no Airbnbs available or simply because you want the room service!
6- Momondo – As well as Skyscanner, you can search for hotels and flights here and it’s especially good for Europe and Asia.
7- Viator or Get your Guide – These two apps offer a great variety of tours available in every city. Although we try to go to places on our own, sometimes it’s necessary to book a tour and these two companies have reliable vendors in almost every country in the world. Even if you don’t book a tour, it’s worth checking them out to get an idea of which are the most popular places you should visit and compare tour prices.
8- Uber – For local transportation we simply LOVE Uber and use it wherever available. You don’t even have to speak to the driver (and sometimes you simply can’t because you don’t know the language), you don’t need to have cash in local currency and it’s always less expensive than the local taxi service. We found ourselves at night in a place where there were no taxis around and Uber was our savior. In Asia we found Uber in South Korea, Hong Kong, Chiang Mai, Thailand and Singapore.
9- Units or GlobeConvert – You will definitively need a Converter, mostly for currency, but also for measurements, weight, etc. I prefer to use Units and my daughter prefers GlobeConvert. There are many alternatives and almost any will get the job done.
10- Apple Maps / Google Maps – In long term travel, it is critical to be aware of the geography around you, so we are always looking at our maps to define our next step. We also use these apps to move around in every city and to always validate that taxis are taking us in the right direction. Google Maps is also very good at providing public transportation routes wherever they are available.
So start downloading the ones you don’t already have and remember…
DON’T WAIT, MAKE A PLAN, POSTPONE NOTHING.