Traveling to a foreign country where you barely speak the language and are completely unaware of all the hidden gems it has to offer has become the norm. Yes, you saw some beautiful pictures on your friend’s Instagram, automatically put it on your #bucketlist and they gave you a couple tips, but hey, the rest is on you!
Well friends, I have some great news: Google has got the answer. With their suite of apps perfect for your getaway, here is my guide to Google Apps.
There are three different ways you can use this. Say goodbye to feeling paralyzed because no one speaks English and all you are trying to do is order a coffee! This app can either translate your entire menu by scanning it and changing it from the local language to yours, or if you are really lazy, it can read it out to you, just like your waitress would.
It also works for on-the-spot voice translation perfect for cab rides, having to ask the shopkeeper if they have this shirt in red or simply to satisfy your own curiosity of learning the language! You can do this by either writing a word in your desired language and letting it do the work for you, or back to the lazy option, just simply speak into the phone and it will answer you immediately.
Yes, it sounds obvious, right? Well actually, Google Maps may be one of the most underrated apps I have ever used. Other than leading you to your destination, whether on foot or in your vehicle, it has officially become the modern-day tour guide.
It allows you to discover what is “near you” – that can mean a five-minute radius to however far you are willing to go. It also suggests a whole list of options that you might be in the mood for. Whether it’s a bakery or an art gallery, if you are looking to get to know the neighborhood, then this is your best friend. I also liked the fact that other than suggestions, there were reviews allowing you to add your two cents as well.
You can save the places you visited and share it with friends, which I thought was a great add on, as the worst thing is when you can’t remember that great tapas bar you visited and are dying to go back.
I feel like this works hand in hand with Google Maps, to be honest. I used it when I wasn’t sure what the building I was heading to looked like, or if I wanted to know if there was parking. It literally will give you a 360 of your destination and sometimes of the venue itself based on location.
If you have all your travel plans put in your calendar, you can actually ask Google for packing tips, the weather at your destination and whether you will be needing an umbrella at any point. GENIUS! Ladies, no more packing for EVERY season, we have a friend!
You can also ask general questions that you might have; you will get general answers, but overall this app is resourceful if your hands are busy and don’t have time to type.
If packing isn’t your main concern, then this may impress you just a bit. Since you’re synced, Google Calendar will actually send you a reminder of what time your flight is and the terminal you should be heading to. Oh, and if you just have hand luggage, it will actually check you in and send you your boarding pass so all you have to do is go to the gate. BAM!
I also appreciated the fact that it had a currency converter and some basic information about the city I was going to as well as a couple sayings to help me start my trip.
If you have an “i” anything, then you will be used to using the typical Apple apps. Now this is not to diss, I am a Mac girl and am proud, but I got to discover this app that basically creates your whole holiday album for you!
Firstly, it collects all your pictures that you have taken, syncs them so that anytime you want to go back you can basically say the magic words “OK Google, show me my pictures of Madrid” and voila! You don’t even need to tag the country, it does it for you. OK, excuse my excitement, but the less effort one needs to make, the better.
If that wasn’t enough, it then creates a full story for you in chronological order. It shows you your trip with the best pictures and videos you have taken, highlighting all your experiences.
I was personally using the Nexus 6 on this occasion, but all these apps are available for iPhone and Android.
This has genuinely changed the way I will travel from now on. The only thing I would recommend is getting a data line wherever it is you land, unless you already have a great home data plan.
WE SAID THIS: Safe travels! 🙂