With the technology age in full swing, it’s becoming even easier to travel the globe thanks to all the gadgets and apps making life that little bit easier. So our travel experts have pulled together their list of the top apps and gadgets that have become an essential part of their travels. Searching for the best place to spot the Great Migration? There’s an app for that. Want better photos on your iPhone? We’ve found the solution…
1. Herd Tracker
A Serengeti safari is one of the most rewarding and captivating experiences in the world, but in a game reserve the size of Nicaragua tracking the great migration is not always the easiest feat. EnterHerd Tracker – the live google maps of the safari world (and now app), created by Discover Africa. Herd Tracker tells you where exactly the herds are, and where they seem to be heading on their 1,200 mile journey across Tanzania and Kenya, with the live updates provided from pilots flying over the Masai Mara and Serengeti, and from park rangers, guides and lodges. It’s a safari essential, especially if you’re looking to witness the Great Migration for yourself.
If you’re flying over the bright lights of Tokyo, sailing through the Greek Islands or watching the sunrise over Mt Rinjani’s crater lake (one for the bucket list, trust us) then we’d like to introduce you to Hyperlapse, the new (ish) time lapse app from Instagram. The possibilities are endless, with the ability to create high quality time lapse videos of absolutely anything (we’ll leave the creative direction up to you). We’ll be honest, we’re a little bit addicted to it.
3. Wifi finder
The name is fairly self-explanatory, yet this app is an absolute essential for the well-connected traveller, with the low down on the wifi spots in 650,000 locations in 144 countries worldwide. Using your location the app will find all the local wifi hot spots, or you can search for a specific location to find out where to go to get connected. Sure, there are a few places where wifi will be a bit scarce, (that mountain top temple, that desert island) but nonetheless, it’s one you’ll be glad you downloaded.
Getting under the skin of a place is one of our favourite aspects of travel, and it’s now become that bit easier with Localeur, the app bursting with insider tips and guides written by the locals. It’s aim is to be ‘more than a guidebook’, focusing on experiences in a destination, recommended by the people that live there.
If you say you haven’t already heard of Uber, then we just wont believe you. Already a city essential for most, Uber is now available in 54 countries (and counting) from New Zealand to Peru. It’s not just essential for getting you home after the office party, it’s an efficient, safe and often cheaper way to get you around whichever city you’re travelling to. And in case you wanted to go one better, there’s even the equivalent for the private jet world. Meet Jet Smarter.
Travel and photography go hand in hand, but for the times when you don’t feel like carrying your camera bag or when you left it in the hotel room (sigh) here’s a tiny solution to fix all your photography woes. From a team that create no-nonsense professional lenses for high-end MILC and SLR cameras comes Lensbaby, the magnetic mini lens that attaches to your smart phone. The entire mechanism connects to a stainless-steel ring that fastens right around the lens on your phone, and even comes with a free app for you to edit your new professional-esque camera phone photos. Instagramming never looked so good.
Nothing is quite as infuriating when travelling as your airline losing your luggage. Enter Trakdot, a tiny device packed into your suitcase that’ll text you the location of your bag, so you’ll always know where your luggage is (even if the airline doesn’t). It’s accompanying app will also let you know when your suitcase is headed your way around the baggage carousel.
Almost every populated area across the globe will have phone reception, but for those embarking on a more intrepid adventure in to the more remote corners of the earth (desert trek, anyone?) then often the only way to stay connected is via a satellite phone. The SPOT Global Phone lets you send short text messages and make voice calls just about anywhere in the world. Service starts at $25/month (for 10 minutes of calling or data usage), with rates dropping to 50 cents per minute if you sign up for a $100 monthly plan.
Not just a regular camp stove, the BioLite Camp Stove uses wood for fuel and converts heat into usable electricity, which is used to power an internal fan for improved combustion, creating a smokeless campfire. The electricity can also be used to charge electronic devices through a USB port – perfect for when you’ve ventured into the wilderness (but still want to stay connected).