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Useful Travel Tips & Apps

Flying somewhere soon, discovering some new places?  My recent travels got me revisiting some of the apps on my phone and various other items for traveling , I have compiled below some tips & apps that are useful.  I few were new to me, that I used while touring the month of January to Vietnam, Spain, Portugal and Senegal with Surabhi Ensemble for their Global Peace Tour (check out their music here! – you are going to get the urge to travel )
Hope they make your next travels smoother!


  • Be open & spontaneous as your travels unfold.  Synchronicities can abound in the delays and changes.
  • Learn a few local words like ‘please’, ’thank-you’, ‘yes’, ’no’,  and a few numbers.
  • Pack an extra few camera batteries if you plan on taking lots of pictures.
  • Pack an extra phone charger (I had 2 stop working during the trip)
  • Have a big scarf or sarong depending on the weather, or both!
  • Make photocopies of important documents – useful if your phone dies or you don’t have an internet connection.


  • Maps/Directions:
    Definitely a great way to see where you are or monitor where a taxi is going, or while on a bus. And you can get directions for walking, driving, or by bus, etc.  You can drop pins at a location like your new favorite coffee shop or a bookstore to reference later or share them with friends to other apps like WhatsApp.
Maps.me (download maps in advance, or when connected to wifi)
google maps
  • Transportation Services:
Uber and Lyft are in many countries and so easy. Grab App is the best way to get around in Vietnam!  You can specify what kind of transportation and what size depending on how many people in your group: a scooter, a 4-seater car, a 7-seater car, a shared car etc)  Set up your account in advance with your credit card and then you are not fumbling with change.
Grab App (in Vietnam, Southeast Asia)
  • Messaging:
Whatsapp is so useful for communicating with people and doesn’t require a robust internet connection – this was great to quickly inform everyone in the group of any changes.
  • Free WiFi connections:
WiFi Master Key is a great app to find free WiFi around you if it is available.
  • Manage files:
I-mazing – program to better manage files on an iphone, from voice memos to music to photos, to just about everything. They offer a free version and you can upgrade to paid version to allow more file transfers.
Finally, for telephone & international Data Service, I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile because of the international data plan/international calls & messages at a set rate with unlimited lite data to 210+ countries. Really useful for WhatsApp when not connected to WIFI.  Check with your provider and the countries you will be visiting to best decide for your needs.  Depending on your length of stay, you might look at purchasing a local sim card.

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