This post was originally written in May 2019 at Medium.
I’m planning to move to the US with my spouse soon. Before he starts his job, we had a few months vacation due to the visa issue, so we visited a few places: Chiang Mai, Thailand with my mother in law, the cities in Portugal and London, just two of us, and Da Nang, Vietnam with my parents. For these trips, I used several new features and new apps that I wanted to share with fellow travelers.
- Google Maps
Of course, it is the best app for maps but Your places, Explore nearby, and Your timeline features were unexpectedly useful.
Before the trip, I looked for the places that I want to visit and added them to my Want to go list, and shared with my spouse. Then, when the day came, we planned the route for the day. Your places enabled us to plan the trip of the day and visit the places we wanted. But I felt a little tired of opening the app over and over again, so I thought the notification, when I am near the saved places, would have been a useful tool during the trip.
Explore nearby was useful when we didn’t have any idea of where to go. On the first day of our Portugal trip, my spouse and I arrived in Porto at 11 pm. We didn’t want to waste the first night at Porto so explored and found a place to drink our first glass of wine in Porto.
Your timeline was useful when I wrote the diary at night. As it shows the path I went and the pictures I took at the place, Your timeline summarizes the day. It became much more useful when I wrote the diaries a few days later. The trip route refreshed my memory 😛
Triple is the app for Korean travelers. I heard about this on my favorite podcast and downloaded it before the trip. Triple introduces the cities and has a lot of information about the places to stay, visit, eat, and drink. I can save the places that I want to visit and get some tips from the editors and other users. This app shines on your first visit to the countries that you don’t know the language.
When my mother-in-law, my spouse, and I went to Chiang Mai, none of us had an idea about the language(we couldn’t even read the alphabet). Thanks to Triple, I had the necessary information about the places we want to visit (from how to go there to the history of the site). I explained the history of the places we visited and shared some tips about there. All of us could enjoy the trip more with some pieces of knowledge. Also, Triple enables the users to write comments so we could choose the trip schedules and restaurants based on the empirical observations.
The most useful function was creating the route. When I put the places that I want to visit, it automatically creates the best route for me. After I got the way, I could modify it as I want, which made it better.
My spouse and I didn’t use it to find restaurants in Portugal and London because we wanted to go to the restaurants where the local people go. (So we got some advice from the people we met.) If Triple can get more information about not-touristy restaurants, it would be awesome. (While writing this, I have the dilemma. If local restaurants become famous among tourists, they become touristy, so I’m not sure how this would work.)
As Triple has such a vast database of trips, I think they would make a great app for travelers in Korea. Even though my country is small, there are so many beautiful places to visit and so many delicious foods! With a vast database and the empirical reviews, the app could be an exellent help for first-time travelers to Korea.
While walking around Lisbon, I spotted a lot of electric scooters: Lime, Hive, Tire, Voi, Bungo, and Wind. Eager to try this new kind of transportation, I persuaded my spouse for three days to try one of the scooters. We started our ride from Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte and went to Jardim Botto Machado. The trip took 11 minutes, and we rode 876 meters (0.54 miles). Lime said we saved 223 g of carbon each.
The handle was big for me,s so it was a bit hard to control the scooter at first, but I became used to it soon. However, Lisbon downtown was not the best place to ride an electric scooter for me because the road is too rough. As the streets are covered with cobblestones, I could feel the stones with my whole body. And bicycle roads were not very common, so it was a little dangerous. I wished I had have tried it on the beach road, which is more suitable for scooters. Once I have a chance to visit the country with scooter rental services again, I will definitely try it again on more comfortable roads.
I assume most people who traveled to Southeast Asia have used or heard of Grab. This is the Southeast Asian version of Uber and Lyft, but there was the episode that I wanted to include Grab to this list.
When I visited a shopping mall in Vietnam with my parents and my spouse, a man approached us. He said that he would drive us to the hotel with the amount of what Grab shows, to avoid to pay Grab commissions. He rushed us so we didn’t have much time to think it through and my mother and I were a little anxious in the car. We, fortunately, got back to the hotel safely but I think I would have never ride a car like that if I was alone or just with my spouse.
This is a Korean service, which enables travelers to get cheaper tickets and USIM services. I bought the tickets for Warner Brothers Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter and USIM for Thailand, Europe, and Vietnam.
Since I am a huge Harry Potter fan, visiting Harry Potter Studio was one of the biggest reason that I wanted to visit London. We tried to find the ticket a month before our visit but could not find the tickets. It was impossible to find the tickets we wanted. After we bought the refundable tickets, I found the tickets at myrealtrip.com! They were the cheapest tickets without the time limit. So we refunded the previous ones and got the new ones. I think more precise and more specific instructions on what to expect right after the purchase will lead to more purchase because I was worried that I might not get the legit tickets. Even though we were a little unclear that we got the right ticket at first, getting the actual tickets at the studio was smooth, and we spent 7 hours in the studio. As a big Harry Potter fan and a future media production worker, we wandered around on our own pace. It is almost impossible to get the tickets from the official webpage. However, with myrealtrip, I could fully enjoy my day with Harry Potter.
Thanks to these excellent services, I could enjoy fully in a few different countries, and I still use some of them to look for the next trip.