Everyone with a smartphone can’t live without their apps. On our bike ride I have fallen in love with a couple of different iPhone apps. They make our bike ride so much easier and that’s the main reason why I’m sharing them with you. Most of them are even free. Win!
It may not be the best map when you’re on your bike, but it works perfectly when you’re trying to find the nearest shop in a city. It works both online and offline. When you find places online you can save them for later. When you’re offline you can find the places you have saved and use the map.
When you’re offline you can still see where you are, because your iPhone has a GPS function.
Best thing about this app: It’s very easy to find your current position and to find your saved places with the GPS.
Worst thing: Don’t trust the bike routes. Google Maps will make you go through forests, mountain tops and other crazy places. Use OpenMaps for bike routes.
This is the perfect app if you’re travelling on a budget. When you buy things you save the amount in the app. You choose how much money you want to spend each day (or not spend). The app helps you save money, because you become aware of how much money you’re spending.
Actually I don’t think this app is only for travellers. Everyone can use this app if they want to save money. When the app tells you that you have spend too much money that day, you will think again before you purchase more things. Do you really need one more chocolate bar?
When we make our monthly travel expenses we use the app. See July 2013.
Best thing about this app: It makes you think about what you really need to buy. It makes it easy (almost fun) to keep your daily budget goal.
Worst thing: I miss more analysis features. For now it’s only possible to download a CSV file with all the data you have entered into the app. More features would be helpful when you want to write a blog post about your travel expenses, or if you want to show your expenses to someone else. Like an accountant or bank consultant.
Price: 2.99 USD
ACSI – The Europe camping app
When you’re camping in Europe you should really download this app. The app can be annoying from time to time, because it’s hard to find campsites ahead of your travel, because the search function doesn’t work very well. You need to search for a certain region (soooo annoying) of a country and then you will get A LOT of campsites. When you’re on a bike ride you really just want to search for campsites in a certain city and country, and then the app should find the nearest campsite.
The reason why the app is still worth downloading is because it works perfectly when you’re online, and in the city where you want to sleep. Here the app will find you the nearest campsite by tracking your position. So when you’re sitting at a McDonald’s you can find the nearest campsite. We’ve used the app this way several times.
Best thing: It has a lot of campsites. When you’re tired and online it will find you the nearest campsite.
Worst thing: It doesn’t use GPS coordinates and therefore it only works, when you’re online. (Read about the WifiCafé app to see how GPS could work). The app is very clumsy if you want to find campsites the day before. Well, it actually stinks if you want to use it for this purpose. It’s much easier to use Google Maps to search for campsites.
I bought this app because of a Facebook tip. Thanks again social media :D . When I first tried it I was very skeptic because the app didn’t really worked the way I was used to with Google Maps.
After I bought it I kept using Google Maps until we reached the first mountain top in France. In the Netherlands it was no problem going along the big roads because there are bike lanes all over the country. In France there are no bike lanes near the bike roads. Google Maps wants you to go up big mountain tops, so you really need to find your own route.
It’s here that Openmaps is so much better than Google Maps. Openmaps give you the option of choosing a cyclemap instead of the normal map. This means that you will find all the good bike roads. In France there’s a lot of good bike lanes near the canals and rivers. So lovely!!!
It has all the EuroVelo roads that the EU has created so you can ride your bike across Europe. These roads are hard to find on Google Maps. OpenMaps actually tells you if the roads are paved or not. So cool!!!
Best thing about this app: It has all (I really mean all) the bike roads mapped. You can plan your trip while you’re online and save it so it’s ready for your trip, where you’re probably offline.
Worst thing: Well, it’s not Google Maps. :D . It’s so much easier to navigate in Google Maps than Openmaps.
Price: 1,99 USD (Free if you don’t need to download routes – but you do)
Free WiFi Cafe Spot
If you love the Internet, you will love this app. It tells you where there is free wifi. Well, it’s not totally free because it finds restaurants and cafés, so you need to buy a beverage or some food to use the Internet. If you don’t want to spend any money, you can always go to McDonald’s. The staff doesn’t care if you don’t buy anything – but you should buy something.
If you find a place with free wifi that isn’t on the list you can add it yourself and help other users. I’ve done this a couple of times. Pass the free wifi along to others. It’s good Internet karma.
Best thing about this app: It works offline by using GPS coordinates. You don’t have to be on the Internet to find Internet. Pretty smart. It will tell you the distance and direction you have to go to find free Internet. We’ve used this so many times.
Worst thing: You can’t search by plotting in an address, like on Google Maps. You need to fill out country and city. It means that you can travel to a city to sleep and find out, that the nearest Internet is 10 km away. It would be so much better if you could plot in an address.
Price: 1.99 USD
Which apps would you use on a bike trip?