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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  #1  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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The top 10 Apps for travelling overland and abroad

Here are my favorite top 10 list of apps for travelling overland abroad.

Some of these apps are very useful because they offer access also while offline, others are helpful because they give you more out of a bad internet connection, or to stay in contact with your family and friends.

Like a Wifi-Scanner who shows you where you can get internet access, or an app who compress any internet traffic.

I`m pretty shure that there are apps on this list you didnt know or functions of known apps who are new to you.



Since I currently mostly use iOS devices (iPad, iPhone), this top list is done for these iOS based devides. But you should be able to find similar functionality too on Android or Windows based phones or tablets.

Here is the article:

4x4tripping: The 10 most important apps for Overlanders

Since it is expensive to try out many apps arround travelling, i think these lists are helpful for other travellers. So if you think that you know an App who should be named there too- please write a comment or post here your suggestions.

Surfy
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  #2  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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This is very usefull, thanks!
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  #3  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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And if u are riding a motorcycle in Australia you definitely need the free apps to find Motorcycle Parking and Motorcycle Dealers and Workshops
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  #4  
Old 3 Mar 2014
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Since our navigation netbook broke down two weeks ago we are using Mapfactor on our Android phone as replacement. It works out pretty much the same as a normal navigation system, navigates offline with downloaded OSM maps and saves favorites as well as tracks in gpx format. Best of all it's for free. Also cleared up the dashboard a bit.

Cheers
Fabian
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  #5  
Old 17 Mar 2014
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my favorites

World Explorer - Travel Guide (free)
Give you the skinny on all the places to check out for almost any town of size. Results can be viewed by popularity and pushpins on a map. Requires an internet connection. Drill down on any item for read the Wikipedia article...

Currency (free)
Easy to use currency converter. Load up on all the countries before you arrive at the border and need to change money.

Blogger (free)
Update your blog posts offline, then upload at the end of the day...

Hostelworld.com (free)
Book a room for the next stop. I don't usually make reservations in advance unless it a holiday weekend coming up...

Vonage Mobile (free)
Free calls to landlines and cell phones in the U.S. from international locations. The offer may be over by the time you read this post.

MagicJack (free)
Was offering the same as Vonage, but the connection wasn't as good.
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2008/09 - NJ to Costa Rica and back to NJ
2012/13 - NJ to Northern Argentina, Jamaica, Cuba and back to NJ
2023 - Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia...back to Peru.

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  #6  
Old 11 Apr 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wootan View Post
Since our navigation netbook broke down two weeks ago we are using Mapfactor on our Android phone as replacement. It works out pretty much the same as a normal navigation system, navigates offline with downloaded OSM maps and saves favorites as well as tracks in gpx format. Best of all it's for free. Also cleared up the dashboard a bit.
Good that you had a spare device!

As you see in Nigeria (i did read your blog), you dont will be very happy with OSM. It will dont get better till Angola.

No show stopper - there are not too many roads. But specially when you dont want to travel on the well known paths a device with some more informations would be handy (just downloaded satellite view of bing helps there really)

I suggests to buy/download the Android App for Tracks4Africa:

Tracks4Africa Smartphone Apps

Also T4A has not that many informations about Cameroon and the Congos, but it is better than nothing. For the satellite stuff it is too late now, i guess.

Starting from Angola you will love that Information you can get out of T4A. But also Hippocamp in Congo Brazzaville, the Tracks to Dr Congo, POIs generally, are helpful.

@ Peter: good Point, the Blogger-App is handy!

Surfy

Last edited by Surfy; 12 Apr 2014 at 10:54.
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  #7  
Old 13 Jun 2014
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Thanks for the advice, Surfy. We are looking into the Tracks4Africa app for the second leg of our trip. OSM worked well in Angola apart from our trip along the Cunene River through the Namibe desert. It's obviously very accurate here in Namibia.

We did not have a spare device btw. Bought a Samsung smartphone with large screen (Note 3) in Ghana for a smiliar price to Europe. We are using OSMAnd by now as it turned out to be a better choice for transfering POIs to a laptop. They are saved as .gpx and not some text file using a gps format that I have never seen in use anywhere else as Mapfactor does.

Cheers
Fabian
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  #8  
Old 17 Feb 2015
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And I always download translators. Locals tend to warm to those who've made the effort to communicate with them in their own tongue. =)
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  #9  
Old 17 Feb 2015
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For me:

Blitzer.de (free) speed camera warning for Europa
MapFactor (free) GPS Navigation OSM Maps
Email (free) stay in contact with your family
BlaBlaCar (free) give people a ride and makes travel cheaper
Couchsurfing (free) visit other people
Blog/FTP programm (free) keep your blog updated
Browser (free) read news and plan your trip
Editor (free) update your webpage
MP3 plaer (free) relax
Wifi teathering (free) connect your laptop to your Android
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  #10  
Old 17 Mar 2015
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XE for currency exhange
Booking.com for hotels
Google translate/World lens for real time language translation
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  #11  
Old 20 Mar 2015
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Very interested post and thanks every one here
The high tech is so so fast that I can't follow it any more. ...hahaha
Good to know all of those useful apps..
Cheers
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  #12  
Old 21 Mar 2015
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Here are my favourite iPhone apps for motorcycle touring:

TripAdvisor - for finding hotels to sleep in. Best feature of this application is that it contains reviews from other TripAdvisor users, those reviews help you find the gems and avoid the disasters. It also shows you what prices the hotels are offering over the internet, those prices are almost always less than what the hotel will charge if you just walk up to the desk. Free.

MeteoEarth - a really excellent little application for viewing a graphical depiction of weather (temperature, precipitation, wind, whatever) up to 7 days in the future. Costs about $5, then about another $7 to extend the outlook from 4 days to 7 days, but well worth the price.

WeatherPro - by the same developers as MeteoEarth. WeatherPro provides textual forecast information, rather than the purely graphic forecast information that MeteoEarth provides. The two applications compliment each other very nicely. Same pricing as MeteoEarth, but again, well worth the price.

Oanda Currency Converter - a really good foreign exchange converter. Free.

Skype for iPhone - lets you make Skype calls from your iPhone. Free, but you need to have a Skype account to use it, and (pre)pay the 2 cents a minute or whatever it is that Skype charges. Only works when you have a Wi-Fi connection to your iPhone active, but that's good enough for 99% of the time.

Leading Hotels of the World - great for finding really excellent hotels when you are fed up with staying in run of the mill hotels and want to take a break from it all. The app is free, the hotels it finds are expensive (but really nice).

MasterCard Nearby - locates ATMs worldwide that are affiliated with MasterCard, which implies that the same ATM will also accept a Cirrus or Interac affiliated bank card when you want to withdraw local cash. Free.

Athen Pro - an app that displays Muslim prayer times. Very useful to have if you are touring in predominantly Muslim countries, helps you avoid time wasted trying to get something done at the same time that one of the 5 daily prayer periods is taking place. Costs about $2. There are lots of free versions of this kind of app available, but almost all the free ones carry advertising, which drives up your data consumption... hence it is much cheaper in the long run to pay the $2 for an app without any advertising in it.

My Data Manager - keeps track of how much talk time and data units you are using, both on your home network and while roaming. You can configure it with details of your data and/or roaming plan (number of MB a month you are allowed, etc.) and it will warn you if your daily usage suggests you will exceed your monthly allotment. Free.

Declination - lets you know the magnetic declination where you are, very useful if you are using a compass to navigate with reference to paper maps. Not really needed in Europe, where there is very little difference in declination, but very useful in the Americas and at the southern end of Africa. Costs a few bucks (not much), I can't remember the exact price.

All of the above apps can be found on the Apple app store (via iTunes) by searching for the name that is in bold face type.

Michael
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  #13  
Old 21 Mar 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
Declination - lets you know the magnetic declination where you are, very useful if you are using a compass to navigate with reference to paper maps. Not really needed in Europe, where there is very little difference in declination, but very useful in the Americas and at the southern end of Africa. Costs a few bucks (not much), I can't remember the exact price.

All of the above apps can be found on the Apple app store (via iTunes) by searching for the name that is in bold face type.

Michael
It's of interest that, as a North American, you use the term "declination".
For the UK, the much more commonly used terminology is that of magnetic variation.
Grid North, Magnetic North and True North | Resources | Ordnance Survey

The reason is explained in this website:-
Mountain & Hill Walking Safety Magnetic Variation and Declination Explained

Another case of two nations separated by a common language (other than Quebec).

The old mnemonic used to be "grid to mag, add; mag to grid, get rid" but the magnetic variation experienced in the UK has been shifting and that rhyme may no longer apply.
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  #14  
Old 21 Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by c-m View Post
Booking.com for hotels
It is remarkable how many of these hotel booking sites exist on the web.
I have used booking.com and hotels.com and probably a few others that I don't even remember the names for them over the years.

When in a rush, or I am simply being indolent, they are very convenient but I have found that better value pricing can be achieved by speaking with a human at the reception desk of the preferred hotel or switching to the direct online booking system of the hotel itself.
Someone, i.e. the customer, has to pay the commission charges that the websites charge to those who advertise on their sites.
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  #15  
Old 16 Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
When in a rush, or I am simply being indolent, they are very convenient but I have found that better value pricing can be achieved by speaking with a human at the reception desk of the preferred hotel or switching to the direct online booking system of the hotel itself.
Someone, i.e. the customer, has to pay the commission charges that the websites charge to those who advertise on their sites.
True for many areas in europa, false for at sample Bolivia or Peru.

They suggests to book via booking.com, if you show them the much lower online price. Sometimes they give you even wifi access to book

My generally advice for Hotel bookings is to check the booking.com price and the price on the website of the hotel. Then go inside and ask at the reception for the rate. Ask for Discount or free Room Upgrade. Now you have any informations to get the best rate.

Surfy
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