The perfect travelling companion

The perfect travelling companion is not necessarily your wife or husband, partner or best friend. It could in fact be your iPhone. Here are some handy tips to turn your iPhone into the perfect travelling companion.

Firstly, check that you have enough space to store holiday snaps or videos on your iPhone if you are planning to use your phone as a camera. By going to Settings > General > Usage on your phone you can check how much free space you have. Make a point of reviewing your photos and videos at the end of each day of your holiday and deleting everything you don’t want to keep, such as blurred shots, or 10 shots of the same subject – just chose the best one or two and delete the rest so you will always have plenty of room in the memory.

Rather than carry around a Lonely Planet or Frommers guidebook on your travels, install them on your iPhone. Go to the App Store and search for your destination.

Download maps of your destination. Unfortunately your iPhone’s Maps app doesn’t store maps on your phone, so it will be no use to you if you are lost in a strange city without internet access, but you are able to download full maps to your iPhone that you are able to access whether you have data connection or not. Two such apps are PocketEarth and City Maps 2Go.

Find free, or at least cheap, wifi at your destination by downloading the Free Wifi Finder app and before you depart on your holiday. Make sure you open the app and tap More > Offline database available and switch to On.

If you think you might have difficulty in translating the local lingo, there are a number of translator apps available to assist. One of my favourites is Word Lens, which doesn’t require an internet connection to work and will translate printed words captured with your smartphone’s camera. The app is free, but you’ll need to purchase language packs separately.

Alternatively, you can purchase a Lonely Planet Offline Translator. The translators don’t need internet connection and each app, starting in price from $8.49, is specific to one language.

If you will be renting a car and driving while overseas, you can install a sat-nav on your iPhone. Navfree is a free app which uses crowd-sourced maps from OpenStreetMap, whereas well-known suppliers such as TomTom will cost a lot more. Just be aware you should launch your apps before you leave as they may need internet connection for initial activation.

Have you used your iPhone while travelling? What apps have you discovered which make life on the road easier?

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