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Best Offline Travel Apps

Amazon currently offers over 27,000 travel apps. Seriously.

Let me suggest you consider a few apps that work (after you download some info online) without an internet connection!

In places where you lack the right SIM card and roaming charges are insane, it is handy to have at least an offline map, currency converter, and your travel records. So consider:

Plus, if Google Translate is not working smoothly offline, a stand-alone offline language translator can also be useful.

Camera
Cameras and luggage are two things we especially need to optimize.

I like to travel light and that includes my small camera on my belt. I want to be able to hop on a crowded city bus or subway and not have to haul around a bag of expensive, unwieldy, conspicuous camera accessories. So I prefer
  • A compact or ultra compact point and shoot camera,
  • With the most powerful optical zoom that I can afford,
  • A wide-angle lens,
  • And image stabilization.

For years I searched for that magic combination and in 2012 such a camera finally became available: the little Canon PowerShot Elph 520. It has a stabilized, 12x optical zoom! Used it for all my 2012-13 photos and it's now a steal for under $150. What a deal.

If you want to pay two or three times as much, you can find a fairly compact camera with an even higher optical zoom, but I still haven't found one quite as thin (0.8") and small (3.4 x 2.1 inches; 5.4 ounces) with a good zoom.

Update: Canon does it again. Another small camera with an even better optical zoom ― 18x. It's the Canon PowerShot SX610.

Now there's another new one ― Canon PowerShot SX710 HS ― that is not much larger but a bit more expensive with a 30x optical zoom! 


Luggage

Briggs & Riley makes handsome, sturdy, light-weight bags with durable ballistic fabric. Worth every penny. If your bag gets damaged, take it to any authorized dealer to get it repaired free of charge.

To avoid checking bags, I like the 20"-21" carry-on models for overhead bins. It's also nice to get a color besides the usual black. Here is a good one with a safe size.

I'm skeptical of "wide body" carry-ons ― hard to roll down the aisle and a prime target for the agent screening bags on a packed flight. I'm also not keen on expandable bags since once packed after souvenir hunting they rarely fit in overhead.

A good under-seat bag helps maximize carry-on capacity too. Briggs & Riley usually calls them executive, computer, or cabin bags.





Other Travel Accessories: