Useful travel websites and apps
In light of one of my favorite friends possibly coming to visit us in November, AND because I am in Myanmar and I am unable to access Flickr to post pictures, here are some helpful websites and phone apps I’ve found to assist in the copious amount of planning that goes into traveling long term.
This lets you find cheap flights on airlines you’ve never heard of and also allows you to find the cheapest flight to “everywhere” which is pretty awesome.
This site is pretty useful for major airlines and multi-leg trips. Sorts possible itineraries by price and “agony” so plans with lots of layovers or bad times are pushed to the bottom.
Discount airlines may have a terrible website and airport experience (coughJetStarcough) but they sure are cheap. And they get get you there.
My recent favorite is this website. It is sort of a condensed version of a travel guide book but with additions from many travelers. Cheap hotels that aren’t in Lonely Planet with contact information are one of the most useful features.
This website is a classic, but a priority for me as I ctrl+F the “b” word (bed bugs). For us, bad service isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for cheap hotels but lots of complaints of dirtiness, mosquitos, or the “b” word is.
The forums are sometimes helpful for more specific questions.
Instead of a hotel, stay in someone’s spare room in hundreds of cities across the world. Often (but not always) cheaper than hotels, it can be a good homey option and you’ll likely get a local that comes with lots of knowledge about the surrounding area as a bonus.
OANDA currency converter seems to work well. For Iphone and android.
Works well but requires internet connection. Also, you can download other languages keyboards so you can translate from foreign > english.
Codegent language apps (Android)
Free app that covers many languages. It has several categories of common phrases in many different languages and as a bonus can say each out loud in an appropriate accent so you don’t have to embarrass pronouncing those cryptic tonal syllables.
My flashlight app has come in handy to light up a dark room in Angkor Wat to find bats and also when the power went out in our hotel at night. It could have been used a lot of times before that but I didn’t have it. Or you could just bring an actual flashlight. I use Utilitas which includes a lot of other random things like stopwatch, compass, random number generator, level, ruler, protractor, and discount percentage calculater but I’m sure there are lots.
Website AND phone app
Easily summarize travel plans, especially those with emailed receipts online and on your phone. Just forward your flight, hotel, activity, etc reservation to email@example.com and it will organize it for you. You can also share itineraries with other Tripit members and see if any of your Tripit connections are close to you. You can message me for my name and connect with me!
Other useful things:
Plugs anywhere outside the US don’t look like the plugs in the US. You can get a universal converter or just research the countries you’re going to and get an appropriate one. I’m using our universal one right now in an internet cafe in Myanmar.
Podcasts, audiobooks, books
Bring things to entertain yourself on long transportation rides. If you’re on a budget, taking a flight may often be too expensive so long bus and train rides may be on the itinerary. Audio formats are wonderful because they don’t require light to consume.