Posted 22nd March 2017 | By Nicki Wedgwood, Project Coordinator

As much as we’d all like to do the whole ‘digital detox’ thing and ditch our phones when we’re travelling, they’re actually pretty useful! Here’s a roundup of the most useful (and free!) apps I relied on to see me through 2 months in South America...

Maps.Me
I used to think my sense of direction was fairly decent, but there’s nothing like walking down the same street three times within 15 minutes to make you realise your inner compass probably isn’t that reliable. Maps.Me is a brilliant free app that works with no wifi, just make sure you pre-download the map for the area you’re in when you have a decent connection and you’ll be on your way!

Google Translate
In true British fashion, I thought my (very) basic Spanish and the reassurance that “everyone speaks English, don’t they?” would be enough to get by. Well, I was wrong. After a few days of wild gesticulating and speaking slightly slower but louder English to every Peruvian I met, I spoke to a fellow Brit who was relying solely on her Google Translate app. You just download the dictionary for the language you need and Translate works wherever you are, no internet connection needed.

Instagram
Everyone knows the only reason you go away is to upload smug holiday selfies and make all your friends back home super jealous... and Instagram is the perfect portal for this activity! All jokes aside though, it’s always nice to look back on your feed and remember all of the amazing places you visited (with a flattering Valencia filter overlaid, of course). I also used the app to search hashtags for cities we were visiting to suss out popular places to visit, eat, drink, etc. The Instagram crowd are usually first to jump on a trend!

Tripit
Packing for 2 months meant space was a luxury, so I ditched my usual travel wallet in favour of this handy little app. Tripit pulls together your itinerary into one place (you just have to forward the email with your flight/hotel/bus etc. reservation), so you can see your travel plans for the next few days without scrambling around looking for all of the details last minute. So in theory, no more missed flights or turning up at the wrong hotel!

Hope you find this a useful guide if you’re jetting off somewhere exciting in the near future...

Nicki Wedgwood, Project Coordinator

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