My personal top useful travel apps

City maps 2 go:

Download offline maps of whole countries, areas or cities. This app doesn’t act as a GPS and doesn’t give directions, but is great for just finding your way as if you were using a paper map with the convenience of having it in your phone.

Google Maps:

Download the offline map of the areas you are going to visit/stay at in advance when you have wi-fi. You’ll be able to use the app for directions and even as a GPS without needing data/wi-fi. You can also save some places such as your hotel or attractions to find them easily and quickly.

Tripadvisor:

In my opinion, this is the best app for getting reviews before deciding to book a hotel/hostel/guesthouse room, a tour, an activity or even to decide where to go shopping or eat. Give back to other travelers by writing your own impressions and reviews afterwards!

Yelp:

Don’t know where to go for dinner? Yelp has tons of suggestions with opening hours, menus, reviews and ratings and it can also show you which ones are the closest to your location for easy access.

Instagram:

Look up a certain location or tag of an attraction you would like to visit to see how it looks like from an average person or a photograph’s point of view. Also, why not take a mental note of photo ideas.

EX currency:

Keep this app accessible when traveling to check the exchange currency in a quick and simple way. Make sure to update the rates when you have wi-fi. Also, use this app to convert a certain foreign currency amount to your currency without having to use your calculator.

Preparing for a hike

Mount Batur, Bali, Indonesia. July 2015.
Mount Batur, Bali, Indonesia. July 2015.
  1. Pick your destination. Decide if you’ll be going for a day activity or if you’ll spend the night there in camping or at an accommodation nearby.
  2. Pick the trail you’ll be doing according to how long it is and its difficulty. If the difficulty isn’t indicated, check out the elevation compared to the distance.
  3. Check the weather forecast on the day of your departure. Dress accordingly, in layers, and wear good hiking shoes.
  4. Pack light, wear a well adjusted backpack, and bring everything you need. Don’t forget …
    1. a wind/rain coat
    2. lots of water (and maybe some Gatorade)
    3. snacks, lunch
    4. a flashlight (in case you get stranded in the dark)
    5. some toilet paper and a “ziploc” bag (for the soiled paper)
    6. a first aid kit
    7. sun screen, mosquito repellent
    8. hand sanitizer or hand wipes
Mount Giant, Adirondacks, NY, USA. 2014.
Mount Giant, Adirondacks, NY, USA. 2014.

My Southeast Asia itinerary

This past summer, I spent 2 months (65 days) in Southeast Asia with my boyfriend. It was the best trip I’ve ever been on (to this date). Going on a long trip somewhere completely different and unknown is quite an unforgettable experience. It was a challenge to decide where we wanted to go, as there are so many amazing places to see and experience!

Here is the itinerary we followed while on our 2 month trip in Southeast Asia. Perhaps it might help some of you to plan your own itinerary.

I will be posting about some of my experiences later on.

IMG_0283
View of the Mekong River from the airplane
View of a volcano in Indonesia from an airplane
View of a volcano in Indonesia from an airplane
  • Arrival in Hong Kong
  • Vietnam – Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay, Ha Noi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Saigon
  • Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
  • Laos – Luang Prabang, Vientiane
  • Thailand – Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and other islands
  • Indonesia – Bali, Nusa Lembongan
  • Singapore and departure

A typical itinerary to see most of the land part of Southeast Asia is to do a loop. However, in our case, we wanted to visit Hong Kong as well, which is why we had to do something a little bit different. Here’s a suggestion for a loop that can be done:

  • Arrival in Bangkok
  • Laos
  • Vietnam (travelling southbound)
  • Cambodia
  • Back to Bangkok i.e. Thailand

The best way is to start the loop from Bangkok or Ha Noi since these 2 cities are the airplane hubs, where you will find more flights at cheaper prices. Also, you can decide to do the loop in either direction… The choice is all yours!