The following three Apps have been life savers for us:
MapsMe – this is downloadable for free. When on wi-fi, we pre-load the maps of where we will be going next. It takes you to the nearest street and is as good as having your own Ordnance Survey Map. It uses GPS, so you don’t need to be connected to the internet when using it. Great for spotting which bus stop to get off in Paraguay!
GoogleTranslate – also available for free. Best to download the “heavy” version (74Mb) as opposed to the “light” version (10Mb). Hilary’s Spanish is very basic, and Roger’s non-existent, so this has proved a life saver when trying to convey more complex conversations with locals. It also has a great camera feature so as we hover over written text there’s instant translation on the screen.
Revolut – this is a prepaid Debit Card we got in advance, which you load up with sterling and then use the card to pay for hotel rooms, restaurants etc in any currency without incurring foreign exchange charges. Its downloadable App gives us real time updated bank balances when we are connected via wi-fi. Much more user friendly and cost effective than a traditional bank card because it cuts out the middle agent.
This is one of our occasional tips for middle aged gap year travellers. To see the others, click below on the link – Travel Tips