8 essential apps for when you’re travelling abroad

Saint Augustine once said that the world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page.

If you have the rare pleasure of going abroad this December, these eight apps will have you turning each page that is the book of world travel with ease.

1. Detour

If you prefer finding your own way and exploring a place without being confined to the route of a tour group, this is the app for you. Detour offers audio tours of prominent destinations that are presented by local residents, so that you don’t just get stuck in tourist traps. The app is free for Android and iOS, but the prices of the tours vary.

2. SitOrSquat

Finding out where the nearest ablution facilities are can be difficult in a new place, especially if you don’t speak the local language. SitOrSquat provides a list of the nearest public bathrooms, and they’re even rated: “Sit” if they are clean, and “Squat” if they’re not. You can add your own additions to the over 100,000 public loos on the database, rate a toilet, or refine your search to find public restrooms with changing tables or other facilities. Get it free on iOS and Android.

3. PackPoint

How many times have you arrived at your holiday destination, only to find you’ve forgotten to pack something essential? PackPoint ensures that it never happens again by giving you a packing checklist based on the location you’re heading to. Recommendations are weather-specific and also take into account the activities you plan on doing while on holiday. PackPoint is free on Android and iOS.

4. XE Currency

Never get caught by changing exchange rates again. XE currency provides live exchange rates, updated every minute. Get it for free on your iOS or Android device.

5. Citymapper

Large cities can be very intimidating if you aren’t familiar with them. With Citymapper, you can access transit maps and real-time departure information, as well as biking and walking directions. Navigating the city by rail is simplified even more, as the app suggests what car of the train to be in, as well as the station exit to take when you arrive at your stop. It’s free for Android and iOS.

6. Airbnb

Hotel rooms can be expensive and aren’t always the best way of getting an authentic experience of the destination you’re visiting. With Airbnb, you get to live in the accommodation of the locals, at a fraction of the cost. Get it for free on iOS and Android.

7. Google Translate

Equipped with 103 languages – 59 can be downloaded for when you don’t have a data connection, and 38 languages offer the functionality of pointing your phone at text and getting a translation of, for instance, a menu – Google Translate is absolutely indispensable, especially if the English proficiency of the country you’re visiting isn’t good. It’s free for Android and iOS devices.

8. WiFi Map

If you are using your phone to navigate, translate, make bookings and find a toilet, you’ll need a data connection, but data costs of this nature can balloon if you’re accessing the internet while using mobile roaming. WiFi Map gives you a breakdown of the nearest public WiFi hotspots, as well as providing their passwords. The app is free on Android and iOS.

Remember to get your KnowRoaming Global SIM sticker from Smartcom before you leave.

The KnowRoaming SIM sticker can save up to 85% on international voice and data roaming costs in more than 200 countries around the world, and is indispensable on your next trip abroad.

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