We know international travel is still some way off, but we can still plan. We thought this was a good time to look at the ever-increasing array of travel apps that can assist you with pre-trip research and aid your journey once we can start travelling overseas again.
There are many lists on the internet of the best travel apps. They are often for student trekkers, and often seem to be written by IT people for those occupying a similar demographic to them, sometimes fellow couch-surfers, rather than for travellers who like to travel with Aussies In Morocco Tours™. (That is to say, those of you who generally fall within the description here.).
Our list is curated for our style of travellers – people who prefer the opportunity to explore and discover Morocco on (for the most part) a private tour, rather than be herded around on any regimented group tour.
Trip It is our all-time favourite travel app. It collates all your travel information and documentation in one place, and you simply make your bookings and email your confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org. The app automatically creates an interactive itinerary for you and keeps you up to date on any changes once you are travelling. It includes some great features including:
- Navigator – shows you options to get from one point to another
- Airport maps – to help you find your way around airports and terminals
- Nearby places – makes it easy to find places close to where you are staying
- Safety – shows safety scores for the areas you are visiting
When you are haggling in a medina, it is easy to become confused when converting back into Australian dollars. This simple app allows you to convert dirhams and centimes into your home currency in a flash and on the spot. Never make a costly mistake when haggling again! In our experience, people tend to assume 10 dirhams equate to one euro and quite often that is accurate. However, currency values fluctuate and at times the exchange rate for one euro equates to more than 10 dirhams, which can make a signficant difference when paying large bills stated in dirhams, using your euros. It is so much easier (and accurate) to use a credible converter app.
For more about haggling and tipping in general, please see our blog post about them here.
Careem is Morocco’s version of Uber. It allows you to book and pay for private car transport between two points without the need to haggle over a taxi fare. Careem is one of the safest ways to get around – they use the latest safety technology and track your ride.
What we really like about this app is it gives back to the community, firstly by engaging millions of local people across Morocco, and secondly by supporting a refugee program.
This is an essential app in our book. You can use it to see where you are going, and where you’ve been. It is great to find your way around and gives you local information on eateries, places of interest and places to stay. It tracks your journey, so you can always look back on where you travelled and remember those interesting sites.
If you think you are going to drop out of range, just highlight the area you will be visiting – like a medina – and take a screenshot to find your way around. Just a word of warning – we’ve had mixed reports about getting around in any ancient medinas, where this app may not always work as well as you’d like. You could find yourself in a dead-end alley. You might want to supplement your use of this app with a good old fashioned compass or the one that is likely to be on your mobile device. Whatever you do, don’t rely on people seemingly “hanging around” to give you advice about where to go or to take you there. If really in difficulty in a medina you can always ask a local shopkeeper (and give him a few coins in thanks).
For more information about getting around in medinas you can check out our blog post on this exact topic here.
Use Google Translate to help with the language barrier. One of the best features of this app is the camera, which allows you to translate signs and text. Simply take a photo of the sign, and Google will translate it for you!
Remember though that classic Arabic is not Moroccan Arabic, so you may find yourself with some weird translations! Really, it is something to use if your driver or guide is not available for whatever reason to help you get around.
Never leave home without this one! Download and register with Smart Traveller before you depart. Not only is there a wealth of information to keep you safe overseas, but you will also receive safety updates pertaining to your trip whilst travelling. Should you ever be in an emergency situation, having the app will aid your recovery and give your family and friends at home peace of mind.
Firstly, you need also be aware that loading these apps onto your phone could in some cases make them a bit slower, and increase your data usage.
Secondly, we at Aussies In Morocco Tours™ have a bespoke mobile safety app in the works for the exclusive use of our clients. We think it is better and safer than other options. Once you book with us we can give you all the details and the log-in information. As at November 2020 a media release about same is imminent.
Disclaimer: while we find these apps helpful, please rely on your own enquiries too as to what best suits your particular situation and which ones you feel most comfortable relying upon. Remember too that it is always good to have a backup plan. For example good old-fashioned phone numbers and a reliable local accompanying you can also be helpful if you run out of battery on your own phone.
Published December 2020