When my friend and I decided to backpack Europe in 1997, we didn’t have a single mobile app. We didn’t even have mobile phones! As a result, navigating around foreign cities often became a frustrating (and time-sucking) chore. When you spend a lot of time being lost, reading unreliable maps, and following poor directions from well-meaning locals, it’s difficult to enjoy the beauty of discovery and adventure. This summer, my friend and I are going on another European backpacking trip, but this time we’re bringing our apps.
Here are top three travel apps that every backpacker should have on their mobile device:
Sit or Squat?
If you have a small bladder or suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease, you know that locating the nearest – and cleanest – toilet in a foreign city is no small feat. SitOrSquat simplifies your search.
Touted as “the world’s first Wiki for recording and accessing bathroom information globally,” SitOrSquat has a database of more than 100,000 toilets around the world, with more being added every day. Charmin sponsors this user-maintained database of where to find the nearest free toilet based on your geo-location. Toilets also come with the rating “sit” or “squat” depending on cleanliness, a photo, and user reviews.
SitOrSquat is free and available for download on all compatible mobile devices (including Rim’s newly released BlackBerry Dakota).
This app is perfect for those of you who are not used to navigating your way around a city that has a rail system. AllSubway takes the confusion out of confusing transit system maps.
The travel app compiles comprehensive metro and light rail maps for over 100 cities around the world and puts them at your fingertips. Each map is available offline, which is great for navigating from the depths of the underground tube in London.
AllSubway costs $.99 and is available for download on iPhone. AllSubway Pro is free and available for download on Android.
Take advantage of the fantastic train service in Europe by purchasing a Eurail pass. The European train system is so fast and efficient; you will most likely make this your main mode for travelling. The train tables can be confusing though, so I recommend using this app to help organize your trip and figure out what kind of Eurail pass you need to buy. This is perfect for anyone traveling on a budget.
EuroRailways is free and available for download on Apple mobile devices.
What travel apps would you recommend for backpackers? Please share them in our comments section!
Author Bio: Lyndsey Rabon is a freelance writer for the Prepaid Reviews site, a site that provides information about prepaid phones coupled with over 17,000 consumer reviews of 30+ service providers such as Straight Talk. She is a technology enthusiast with a special interest in mobile apps.