World Travel – Must Have Apps
While we are logging our Road Trip details, thought it would be a good idea to share our favourite mobile apps which helped us at many places during out London 2 Jammu Road Trip.
Lets start with our top favourite app, indeed this has been a life saver and we mean it. We seriously don’t know how we would have survived in Russia/Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan or Iran without this app. Thank you so much Google translator, we love you 🙂
There will be many occasions where yes and no won’t work especially when you are on Silk route. Google translator is an offline app which allows you to translate written text from one language to other, and it supports 90 languages. “English to Russian” translator option was extremely handy to use in Russia/Kazakistan/Uzbekistan and few parts of Turkmenistan. When you enter Iran, only Persian language works there and guess what! Luckily Google translator has Persian too…. Wohooo!! So it means you are quiet sorted for Central Asia holiday.
Another good example is let’s say you need to have a conversation with person A. You will be able to pass your message to Person A using Google translator but what happens when person B wants to reply back to you! He He.
Yeah we had one way conversations first few days but later we downloaded Russian keyboard so that person B can type and you can have two way communication … Wohooo … 🙂
SYGIC & GOOGLE MAPS
SYGIC is a blessing, we have been using this from past 3 years and happy to say that we are extremely satisfied drivers. This offline GPS software is available to download for almost all mobile platforms i.e. iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and in more than 30 different languages.
After Google translator this is another extremely useful offline app. We absolutely love this app, you have options to choose from both shortest path or via toll road, accurate directions and very reliable routing. You can also search for nearby Hotels, Restaurants and other POI’s. This was a life saver when we reached Kazakhstan around midnight and had no clue where we were going to sleep.
However Sygic did not work everywhere and that’s where Google maps came to the rescue. We would populate the routewe This is where POI’s and Hotel search was very useful but as you enter Uzbekistan, Sygic does not work. That’s where Google maps helped us. Using Hotel’s wifi we used to populate the route and Google maps would download and save the route in the cache which would then work without wifi and mobile data.
Driving through silk route is not as difficult as driving in NYC/Rome unless you are driving through the city-center but people are very willing to help just in case you are lost. Be prepared to have Google translator in case you need to stop and ask for directions.
After doing lot of research on almost every type of world SIM card available in the market, reading tons of reviews from fellow travelers we chose ONE SIM CARD. This is a pay as you go international cell phone service provider offering a single GSM international SIM card providing service in almost every country in the world. This allows you to make call anywhere in the world without incurring roaming charges and offers free incoming calls nearly everywhere, outgoing calls costs from 29 cents per minute and data service from 20cents/MB.
As we both had UK phone connection (EE) we had our international roaming active and chose various data packages on daily basis. While we were in Europe, we added unlimited incoming calls package for £2.00 a day and “Euro Roaming” data for 200MB for 7 days which costs £12.00. As we left Europe and entered Turkey/Russia, prices were still reasonable approx. £25.00 for 24 hours but as we left Russia and entered Kazakhstan, no EE bundle was available. We were dependent on ONE SIM card only and thanks to free incoming, we were always connected 🙂
XE – Currency Convertor
Perfect Little gadget for every day currency exchange rate. Really handy when you on the road and crossing country almost every second day 🙂
Another great app for travelers. Word Lens visually translates printed text into your language in real time. When you snap a photo of a road sign or document, it shows the image to you in preferred language. It’s crazy but really good. The translations are not always 100%, but it’s good enough to get by on. You will love it when you are in Russia trying to understand the food menu!
Hope you enjoy this post and the mentioned apps help you in your future travels. Do share with us if you have any personal favourites and we would love to give it a go on our next road trip 🙂