Story by Tricia Edgar
Vacay.ca Outdoors Columnist
Sometimes it’s delicious — that feeling of being lost in a new city, not quite sure what you’ll find around the next corner. At other times it’s downright miserable. You want to find a particular museum, and it’s getting perilously close to closing time. You’re wandering about near dusk, attempting to get to your hotel. But where is it? These apps will help you navigate a new place with ease — and they’re all free to download on your iPhone or Android-enabled phone.
Looking for the mundane essentials of life? Get gas for the car and groceries for the crew with Around Me. This app directs you to restaurants, shops, and other locations that may be of interest to you while you’re travelling. So if it’s lunchtime and you’re ready to get some take out, you can check in and get pointed in the right direction.
The lovely part about wireless technology is that it allows you to navigate without using stacks of paper. The frustrating part is that many of these maps require a wireless signal. Maps With Me allows you to download city maps and city guides to your device and use them even when you’re not connected, just like those old-fashioned paper maps and tourist books. So retro, yet so modern.
You’re navigating a new city. Suddenly, you hit traffic: bad traffic. Is this normal, or is there something else going on? Waze is a GPS navigator with social functionality. It allows people to check in with accident reports and other useful, real-time tips that will help you navigate the city like a savvy local. And yes, it also tells you where to turn right.
You’ve found a restaurant, but is it any good? Looks can sometimes be deceiving. To find those delightful gems in the midst of the city, turn to Urban Spoon. This app allows you to see nearby restaurants, or you can filter by the neighborhood that you’re about to visit later that day. See reviews before you go! If you’re looking for the definitive guide to local food, pair UrbanSpoon with the $0.99 Local Eats app to filter out chain restaurants and find the local groove.
Do you love to wander the streets of a new city, window shopping and sampling goodies from the local shops? EveryTrail will help you do this with aplomb. Discover the local landmarks that are around you with this free app, and learn a little bit about your surroundings as you wander, not quite lost.
Canadians are cool, eh? And wouldn’t you like to act like one too? If you’re travelling around Canada, use this app to disguise yourself as a local. Get tips about where to eat, what to order, and where to hang out in locations across Canada, because only then will you find your way to the best poutine.
Ready to explore? Of course you are! With your trusty navigational device in hand, you’ll be ready to discover landmarks, shop like a resident, and munch delicious food as you travel the world.