1. Google Maps
Using a standard GPS is great for navigation purposes, but there are some advantages to using Google Maps via your mobile device instead. Maps can be taken offline and used in an area where there is no signal. This is useful where pre-planning via pins and favourites can be added and even a custom map saved to be used later when needed. An entire trip can be planned before the time in this manner. Via the cloud syncing function, the google maps become available on all of your devices, so planning can take place on a PC for example and be synced to a cellphone or tablet for use on the trip.
Visit the Google Maps page to try it out: https://www.google.co.za/maps
2. Life 360
Through the creation of a Group, the members are able to track one another’s physical location. Set a ‘Hot Zone’ and this will notify the members when a travelling individual has reached a certain location. Great app for family members to be able to view and track travel progress.
Visit their website to learn more: https://www.life360.com/
This is a great communication tool for travelers. We recently tested this in an environment where only Edge signal was available, with great results. Photos were gradually uploaded and communication remained seamless regardless of the slow speeds. There was also very little data usage, which makes a difference in other currencies.
We also tested Whatsapp on Edge signal and the results were positive, even when making data calls. This makes for our first choice for communication when in rural areas. The App is also linked to a website if mobile devices are unavailable on: https://www.whatsapp.com/
Apart from the 4 Apps discussed, we would also like to recommend the following 2 websites for travel use:
Google consists of a range of products great for use when travelling because of the cloud based functionality, making maps, contacts and communication available on a number of devices simultaneously.
This Afrikaans based website for booking accommodation has a great user-friendly interface and wide coverage.
Check it out: https://www.lekkeslaap.co.za/ its English counterpart is TravelGround available on https://www.travelground.com/establishment/signup/
We wish to leave you with a final suggestion with regards to data when travelling. To avoid excessive costs caused by data roaming rather purchase a local SIM when in another country and load it with data. Swop this SIM with your regular one for the duration of your trip.
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