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Five Free Handy Android Apps for Backpacking Travelers

Five free Android apps for Backpackering travelers

photo from Flickr by: onigiri-kun

Whether you plan to pull off a backpacking vacation in Europe or the Americas, or anywhere for that matter, you’re probably going to be relying mostly on your wits to get around. Not that you won’t find hospitality, it’s just that the nature of the backpacking vacation model is one where you go about everything with minimal planning.

So how do you plan when part of the plan is to barely plan? Vacation guides and tourism centers tend to speak to the more traditional traveler and usually support regimented roaming, so they don’t help backpackers out much besides as acting references.

When backpacking, you need on-the-go access to information, and you won’t find a better tool than your smartphone. The GPS chip inside can be used for lots more than just seeing where you are on a map. Check out the best deals on cheap mobile phones before you leave home, making sure that you have a good data roaming package so that you can use these five awesome apps:

1. Where

Where is an all-around app meant to help users find everything from restaurants to weather forecasts relative to their geographic region. It can help travelers who have just arrived in a strange town find a place to eat in minutes and keep wanderers out of the rain who otherwise wouldn’t know a storm was coming up over the Alps. Where helps lighten the load of countless different guides by combining them all into one phone-based app.

2. Wikitude

By utilizing Wikipedia and user-contributed information, Wikitude presents an “augmented reality” through a smartphone’s camera. Users who aim their camera at a landmark will see information about it pop up in the viewfinder. Either you can access awesome information or contribute some after you come across a sight worth remembering.

3. Google Translator

This is probably the most obvious of all awesome apps that you can use when backpacking. Google added a spoken-word translator earlier this year to go along with their text-only translation, which while not perfect can be enormously useful when trying to speak with the locals.

4. SoundHound

SoundHound isn’t explicitly meant for travel, but its ability to identity music can come in handy when you’re sitting in a Mumbai bar dying to know who sings the foreign-language track being played. Honestly, it’s an app everybody should have, backpacking or not.

5. GPS Alarm

The name says it all. When traveling by bus or by rail, it’s a pain having to stay up for your stop. But with this app, you can set your alarm to go off according to your global positioning. Backpackers can comfortably catch up on snoozes when en route from Belgrade to Budapest without having to worry about waking up in Bratislava.

Don’t leave the smartphone behind when you embark on a backpacking adventure. So long as you have service or an internet connection you can utilize a vast array of apps that can assist you on your journey without taking any of the adventure out of it.

Fiona Tulloch has written 32 articles. At the age of 27, Fiona gave up a publishing career in London to travel round the world, spending a year around South America and Asia. She currently resides on the Cambodian coast after deciding that rain and unemployment back home in the UK were not for her. She enjoys eating local food (a lot), learning languages (badly) and living a simple life surrounded by sunshine, smiles and palm trees.

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