There’s an app for literally everything these days. As well as digital tech coming in handy in our everyday lives, it’s also changing the way we travel. Being digitally savvy helps you make the most of your trip as a traveller.
Having the right apps and technology available via your smartphone not only helps you to stay connected with family and friends back home, but gives you the means to participate in online communities and reflect on your experience throughout your journey. Travelling with technology can also help you discover places and experiences that suit you best as described here by Wanderful:
“While abroad, familiarity is in short supply, and that’s not a bad thing. There’s something liberating about wandering around with no plan and letting the universe decide your destination. Sometimes, though, the universe needs a little help, and that help can come in the form of a quick Google search. This isn’t always the way to go (sometimes wandering aimlessly is the way to go), but it also isn’t cheating. You are a citizen of the Internet Age. Embrace it!”
Some destinations are more digitally connected than others. China is actually one of the least connected countries in many respects. China does not facilitate Google services, for example (that’s right, no more relying on Google Maps), nor does it allow non-approved VPN applications. The Chinese firewall also prevents access to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social networking favourites. Being fully equipped with the best tools for travel before you depart is the way to go when travelling to China. We recently revealed what to pack for your trip to China, but here’s what you should download to your smartphone to make your upcoming holiday even more enthralling.
Whilst the ‘Great Firewall’ has been busy blocking non-approved VPN applications, approved VPNs mean you can still access all your favourite sites (including those banned social media channels). NordVPN is one such approved VPN, and it’s recommended for uninterrupted internet usage in China.
Known in China as Weixin, WeChat is the king of the messaging application world. Popular with locals and expats, mainly due to the lack of social media countrywide, it’s a must-download for visitors looking to keep in touch with all the friends they make along the way.
For travellers staying in Shanghai, DiDi will definitely come in handy. Hailed as China’s answer to Uber, DiDi makes travelling around your chosen destinations cheaper, with fares much lower than traditional taxis.
The Chinese language is particularly difficult to translate, but with iOS app Waygo’s visual translator, translating complex characters into English is easy. Decipher signs and advertisements, and even order food at traditional Chinese eateries with Waygo.
The subway is the best and most affordable way to explore many Chinese cities. With the vastness of most Chinese cities, however, you can imagine just how complicated those networks of subway lines can get. MetroMan is a free and easy to use app that helps you find the best route to your chosen destination.