Smarter trips: These five apps will make your travels even easier


  • TECH
  • Sunday, 14 Apr 2019

Launched as a travel guide for backpackers in 1972, the Lonely Planet has long been an essential item in many backpacks. The digital version for Android and iOS smartphones is now available for at least 243 cities and countries. — Lonely Planet/dpa

Today every holidaymaker has a small, magical device in their pocket that makes travelling far easier: their smartphone. Accommodation can be booked conveniently while on the move – and thanks to Google Maps you rarely get lost.

But there are still plenty of useful and unusual apps that most travellers don't know about. Here are a few to help make travelling that bit easier.

Polarsteps: The travel tracker

This app is particularly enjoyable for people who regularly take longer trips. Polarsteps automatically records the route and the places visited on a map, links that information with the photos taken with the phone, thus creating a travel diary. This can even be printed out later.

Even more exciting are the other digital features: friends or family members can follow exactly where the user is travelling, content can be shared. And once you are back home you can look at the statistics to see details about about the duration of the trip, the distance covered and the countries visited. The app for iOS and Android is free of charge.

Views on Top: Where is the best view?

If you want to know where the best vantage points are when you're out on a hike or walking through an unfamiliar city, you should download the Views on Top app.

You'll find a list of accessible roof terraces, bridges, towers, viewing platforms, hotel pools and giant Ferris wheels – basically all the kinds of places that offer a magnificent view. If you want to plan in advance, you can use the "Location" or "Category" functions.

Otherwise, just tap "Near me" to find the best places – including information and directions. The free travel app is currently only available for Apple devices.

MyPostcard: The digital, analogue postcard

Writing postcards may have become somewhat passé. But that makes it all the more wonderful to actually receive one. The MyPostcard app relieves holidaymakers of the hassle of buying stamps and searching for a post office.

It creates personal photo greeting cards using templates and the travellers’ photos. Simply choose the design, enter addressees, and you’re done. For just €1.99 (RM9.27) a postcard is then posted within 24 hours to a loved one. Free for Apple and Android devices.

SAS Survival Guide: Surviving in the wilderness

How do you set a fire without a lighter? Which plants can be eaten in which areas? How do I protect myself from animals and survive a cold winter night outdoors? For travellers looking for adventure in the great outdoors, this app can be a lifesaver – if your smartphone is still running in the case of an emergency.

Developed by soldiers of the British Army's special unit, the SAS, the English-language app (Android/iOS) gives access to hundreds of survival tips in the wilderness. The full version costs a few euros, the light version is available free of charge on iTunes and in the Google Play Store.

Guides by Lonely Planet For Backpackers

Launched as a travel guide for backpackers in 1972, the Lonely Planet has long been an essential item in many backpacks. The digital version for Android and iOS smartphones is now available for at least 243 cities and countries.

The basic version is free of charge and is a great help in finding restaurants, bars and accommodation. The price level for each is always indicated. Tours and activities can be booked directly via the app, and maps help you to find your way around. – dpa

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