These days most overlanders travel with an iPhone or Android smart phone. There are many applications (apps) that we have found particularly helpful during our three-year trip. The following are our top phone tools:
iOverlander (free): A user database that works offline and shows points of interest, camping, and hotels all around the world. Businesses and for-profit entities aren’t allowed to upload information into iOverlander, only other travelers. This is a useful tool for most overlanders though some places aren’t appropriate for motorcycle camping and, as this app gains in popularity, some of the wild spots are getting a bit trampled. We have found this a great resource for finding unique places to camp.
Maps.me (free): Offline mapping that works well and is easy to use. The only con is that it only does routing from A to B and it is difficult to do preferred routing.
Pocket Earth ($5): Offline mapping that works well. The con is that the routing is only available when you have data (doesn’t work offline). It has easy accommodation search options that include searching for camping (maps.me does not have this). You can also download wiki encyclopedia which is nice for learning about things to see in the area. You can make complicated routing with multiple stops and, if you do this routing while you have data, then the route will be available offline.
XE Currency (free): An easy to use currency exchange application. You are able to customize the list of the specific countries that you want available. It is easy to switch between currencies, for example, US dollars into Thai Baht, then further convert those Thai Baht into Malaysian Ringget, you get the picture.
Trafi (free): We learned about this app before getting to Turkey. It is a public transportation app where you can put two points in and it gives you all options how to get from point A to point B using public transportation. It worked much better than the option on Google Maps. It gives prices, times, all transfers including any walking between stops. This worked exceptionally well in Istanbul using all available options (tram, train, bus, and ferry) and we were able to get around with ease.
WhatsApp (free): Instant messaging service that works with data and you can make free calls WhatsApp to WhatsApp. This is a very popular app everywhere except North America.
Units Plus (free): measurement converter.
There are other fun apps we have found for particular cities or regions, for example, we discovered a fun app for Istanbul that showed where all the graffiti art was located.