When packing for your next adventure, what is at the top of your list? While your passport, itinerary and appropriate clothing items are all essentials, it's often your smartphone that you wouldn't be able to live without.
Of course, modern smartphones are just that – smart. As well as making phone calls and sending texts, many devices have cameras more powerful than your standard digital version.
Additionally, it wouldn't be wise to talk about smartphones without mentioning applications. Apps, as they're more commonly called, are pieces of software designed for particular purposes. For example, you might already have popular apps such as Facebook, The Sydney Morning Herald and Candy Crush already installed.
However, did you know that there are numerous applications that can add value to your trip with Aurora Expeditions? As such, take a read of our guide below and get your download on before setting sail with us!
While you pay for your trip prior to departure, you might want some extra spending money for an Indian market in Quito or a souvenir in Iceland. If you are worried about converting your Australian dollars into the local equivalent, there are a number of currency applications that can help.
One of the most popular is XE – featured by The Travel Channel, CNN and the BBC in recent years. Offering live exchange rates and historical charts, the application works offline as well. This means that even in the most isolated parts of Scotland or Alaska, you will know exactly how much you are spending.
Language and translation
Hola, Zdravstvuj and Hallo! These are three greetings that you could encounter on an adventure with Aurora Expeditions. While it is possible to learn a couple of valuable words before heading offshore, there may be moments when you need to communicate something a little more complex. Again, this is where your smartphone can be useful.
At present, one of the top language apps is Google Translate. Based off the incredible internet version, Google Translate can convert text between no less than 103 languages. An added bonus is that you can download 52 languages to use this app offline. Que grande es esto!? (How great is that!?)
Remember when you used to buy a travel book with maps and information? While you can still do this today, this is a much easier and cheaper way to get these same facts – through your smartphone! In fact, the world leader in travel information, Lonely Planet, has embraced technology in this area with its free app available for both iPhone and Android.
You'll receive thousands of city guides, offline maps and destination insights including restaurants, cafes and bars – everything you need for your trip away is available at the touch of a button.
Social media has taken the world by storm which means that sharing your adventure with family and friends has never been easier. Of course, with Aurora Expeditions, the real beauty comes from nature itself. Whether you see a blue-footed booby on the Galápagos Islands or the Calanais Standing Stones in Scotland, with the right photo app, you can post a professional-looking image to your loved ones back home.
With over 600 million users, Instagram, is the ideal starting application for photo enhancement. There are a number of filters and creative tools to add brightness, contrast and saturation. Of course, the more you explore the application, the more ways you'll find to improve your holiday snaps. One of the biggest benefits of Instagram is that it's connected to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms so you can easily share photos across platforms to show everyone that adorable, fluffy penguin chick!
For Australians, getting to your adventure destination may require a couple of flights with different airlines. While it is always handy to have your physical itinerary on hand, this has its limitations. You won't be updated with travel delays, gate information, entertainment options or food selections with a piece of paper! Instead, download your airline's app where you can be in control.
Take In-flight Entertainment by Virgin Australia, for example. The free application allows you to download movies, TV shows and music onto your device for use during your flight. Forget hours of boredom and enjoy great entertainment right in your hands.
Other airline applications such as Qantas can be used to check in, view flight information, change seats, pay for extra luggage and upgrade your seat!
In many cities around the world, the main airport is often located away from urban areas meaning you'll need transport to get into town. Commonly, this is where trains, buses and taxis come in handy, but through your smartphone, there is another way – Uber.
Available around the world, Uber is a taxi service application where local drivers can take passengers to their destinations within minutes of booking. Every driver is accredited and both parties can review each other after the trip. Should you have no local cash on you, you can add a credit card or PayPal account to your profile – easy.
Marine traffic application
One of the true benefits of travelling with Aurora Expeditions is that you get to experience nature by sea. By using the oceans that cover the vast majority of the globe as freeways, we can make great progress without even stopping at a red light. However, while you know what region you are in, you might not know the exact position of the ship.
With the help of applications such as MarineTraffic, it is possible to view vessels on a live map and track interesting facts such as speed, course and position. If you see a ship on the horizon, your helpful app can provide all the necessary details – could it be a fishing ship, cruiser or perhaps a pirate ship?
An app for all occasions
With millions of applications available, we have certainly just skimmed the surface when it comes to useful travel tools. If you have an app that you think should be on this list, feel free to tell us when you are booking your adventure with Aurora Expeditions!