“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
- Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams’ words are poetic, but for the traveller they may not be entirely welcome. As anyone who has ever found themselves in the wilderness, lost with just a compass for company, will know, where you end up may be the polar opposite of where you want to go!
While the stars may be romantic and compasses traditional there are new and improved methods to help the explorer navigate, most of which can loaded into a standard smartphone. Here we look at five of our favourites that should satisfy the needs of hardened outdoorsmen (and women) and their urban equivalents!
Available for iOS and Android, CoPilot provides free navigation tools, including maps and directions, without the need for a data connection. The app is easily navigable and provides a myriad of useful features. Chief amongst these is a points of interest function, which will notify users to interesting sites nearby. This is particularly useful when you find yourself exploring a city without a guidebook.
Is there anything worse than being taken for a ride? We’ve all been there, what looks like a short taxi journey on a map suddenly becomes a time-consuming (and expensive) joy ride, but not knowing the local area you opt to stay quiet and pay up. Where2Boss uses GPS technology to trace your route and compare it with that taken by your taxi driver, meaning you can see if you’re being ripped off.
HopStop is a great tool that not only delivers walking directions, but also precise, up-to-date information on public transport options. This means that whether you’re in a new city, you’ll still be able to get around with ease
Driving on holiday can be a real nightmare. You don’t know the area and you may not even know the language, enter Extra Mile, a voice navigation app. Filled with useful features, Extra Mile records distance travelled, fuel expenses, driving patterns and trip duration. Helpfully it can also alert you to upcoming speed cameras so you can monitor your driving, even in areas where you aren’t aware of local limits.
AroundMe is a handy app that can find everything from good restaurants, cinemas, petrol stations, cash machines and more in one swoop. Even better, it is truly transnational, with a high emphasis on local knowledge and peer-to-peer reviews. Maybe Douglas Adams was right and sometimes where you end really is where you needed to be all along!