It’s a year since I bought my iPad, and a week since I bought my iPad 2, time for an update on my post on what to take when traveling with one. This is directed both at those using an iPad as a tourist and as an alternative for a work computer while on the road.
+ Strongly consider buying PDF versions of the Lonely Planet chapters you could use. Sadly, at regular prices, the individual chapters are way too expensive, making it easily more interesting to buy a whole guide, at about a 50% discount.
Having tried some alternative solutions, apps that also offer travel info, nothing beats the Lonely Planet, still. The more obscure your destination and the shorter your stay, the more you’ll benefit from getting the guide of guides, if only for the practical info.
+ Use the free Read It Later app to save Wikitravel guides of your destination to your iPad. PocketTrav used to be an excellent app to do this, but the app has stopped working, at least for me and my friends.
+ Consider saving the Wikipedia entries of your destination to your iPad. This gives you your history section.
+ Get the MapsWithMe app. This allows you to pre-download openmaps of the countries you are visiting. The maps are not as easy on the eye as Google maps, but their always being available, with your GPS location marked, makes them extremely useful. As long as you have internet access, Google maps is the way to go, but if you’re traveling abroad, this is often a problem.
+ Get the Tripadvisor app. Granted, you need a connection for it, but when there is one, typically at your hotel or, depending on your destination, perhaps a cafe you visit, you’ll be able to check out which restaurant to visit, or which sight to see, based on other people’s reviews. Contribute while you’re at it.
+ Consider using the Wikihood app. It’s nice, but doesn’t add too much, as it only shows you what’s near you, when you are online, while the info is culled from Wikipedia. As plenty of venues do not have coordinates associated with them, many of your nearby locations will go unnoticed by the app.
Not giving you travel info, but useful, are HipMunk, AirNinja and SkyScanner, for finding cheap fares and budget airlines. Also get your favorite weather app, mine is AccuWeather, and a good clock, I use the aptly named Alarm Clock.
Also, on my recent one month, eight country trip, I took just my iPad, not my computer, crossing my fingers I would be able to do all that was needed. This almost worked, but not completely. KyPass, MySQL ODBC and Gusto go a very long way, but when the shit hits the fan, I need the convenience of a properly multitasking high resolution desktop with easy to use keyboard.
I gave up on the Bluetooth keyboard I purchased for my trip to Afghanistan. Just pairing it was so cumbersome I’m better of having thrown it out of the window.