Erin’s Top Three Backpacker Travel Apps

travel apps

Now that I’m wrapping up my year of travel, I wanted to share a few of the travel apps and tools that I’ve found helpful. It’s crazy to me that even in the last few years, the travel apps that are out there have changed drastically. Some travelers will lament the “good old days” when they had to rely on guidebooks and payphones to navigate foreign countries. Despite the romantic idea of spreading out a paper map, I try to embrace the new technology that’s out there to give me more time exploring than trying to haggle taxi fares.

1. The Skimm

backpacker travel tools

When I’m traveling, I still like to keep a pulse on what’s going on back in States. Not only does it help me feel connected still, but often times I’ll get into a discussion with other backpackers about current events. You never want to be in a situation where the German backpacker knows more about your politics than you do! The Skimm is a daily email that summarizes the news in the same way a friend talking to you would. It’s sassy, uses a ton of puns, and keeps things direct. For topics that are hard to understand, they publish guides to break down tough concepts. If you’re interested, Subscribe here.

2). Grab

Grab Travel Tools


I can hardly remember what it was like backpacking without this app. It’s essentially the Uber of Southeast Asia (based out of Singapore), and is a ride hailing service. Just like Uber, you pin point your current location and the location you’d like to go to, and the service matches you with a verified driver. Sometimes you pay directly through the app and other times you pay the fixed rate in cash at the end depending on your settings. I love it because it gives me peace of mind that my driver has been verified through the app, and I don’t have to negotiate prices with dodgy taxi drivers.



Maps.Me Travel Tools


This is an offline map service that allows you to download an entire city or region to your phone. Once downloaded, you can access the map anywhere without data or wifi. It’s pretty sophisticated and allows you to search for local businesses and uses GPS to pin point your exact location. I love it because many times my data hasn’t been working, or I didn’t bother getting a SIM card for the country I’m traveling in. I think it’s good for safety reasons too just in case I ever ended up lost.


Like I said, these could all change in a few years as travel technology and travel apps are constantly changing. Hopefully these also help you stay safe and informed!


Product Review: Viking Cycle Ironborn Textile Motorcycle Jacket

Product Review_ Viking Motorcycle Jacket

Viking Cycle Ironborn Textile Motorcycle Jacket

Product: Viking Cycle Ironborn Black Motorcycle Textile Jacket for Women's
Size: M

Product Description (from Viking Cycle's Website):

"Get C.E. approved armor delivered straight to your front door. With its removable elbow, shoulder and spine armor passing the highest impact tests available. The reflective stripes mean you’ll be as obvious as possible to other motorists keeping you safe on the darkest of nights. The Viking Cycle's Ironborn Women's Motorcycle Textile Jacket has been designed with a 6-point Sure Fit custom adjustment system. It allows the rider to truly adjust the fit in 6 key places making for comfortable riding.

The Viking Cycle's Ironborn Women's Motorcycle Textile Jacket comes waterproof treated Rock Tex 600 Outer Shell and easy grip zippers. You’ll always stay bone dry and never be caught short in sudden downpours. Removable insulated full-sleeve liners allow for you to stay warm riding on cold days and nights.

The Viking Cycle's Ironborn Women's Motorcycle Textile Jacket comes with pioneering new ventilation system traps cold air whilst pushing out hot air. You’ll be able to ride safely on the hottest days of the year with this motorcycle jacket.

As a bonus, we’ve added a quick-access mobile phone pocket, a hidden pocket, a knife, & sunglasses pocket. Always listen to your favorite cruising playlists. For your convenience, we’ve introduced a dedicated headphone system. It allows you to push your headphones from the phone pocket through the collar and into your ears.Motorcycle apparel should have a close, snug fit, more snug then casual apparel. In order to properly protect you, a piece of motorcycle apparel must fit snug enough so that it’s armor will stay in place."

Viking Cycle Motorcycle Jacket
Viking Cycle Motorcycle Jacket
Viking Cycle Motorcycle Jacket

My Experience

Comfortable Overall Fit: This jacket delivered far more than I expected for the price point. I'm fairly picky about women's motorcycle jackets due to my long torso (I'm 5'8"). Normally, I have to choose between a short feminine jacket that lets all the wind in, or a jacket that looks like a trench coat. I found that the Viking Cycle's Ironborn Women's Motorcycle Textile Jacket had a great length. It fully covered my torso, yet maintained a flattering shape. The adjustable back  allowed me to tighten the jacket to be more form fitting.

Perfect Arm Length: In the past, I've also struggled to find a women's motorcycle jacket with the right arm length. I prefer short gloves to gauntlets,  so I need a jacket that will reach my wrist. The Ironborn Women's Motorcycle Textile Jacket had sleeves that hit my wrist right where my gloves ended, making for a nice fit.

Rain Protection & Pockets: Overall, the jacket is well made and has numerous pockets that fit my phone, wallet, and headphones without feeling bulky. My fellow riding mates even commented on the quality of the water-proof zippers. This definitely gave me peace of mind since I've been stuck out riding in the rain and had soaking pockets to prove it in the past.

Versatile for Multiple Temperatures: In Colorado, we're lucky enough to ride all year with days just warm enough to go riding almost weekly. This past week I took the jacket out for a ride on a 55 degree day with a sweatshirt underneath and was more than comfortable with the temperature. I have every reason to believe it would transition well to the warmer temperature of spring and summer as well.

Protection: I'm a strong believer in protecting yourself when you ride, so I was happy to have the CE approved armor in the shoulder, elbow, and spine. I've found that many jackets out there come without the CE armor, forcing the user to buy them separately. Instead of having to choose whether I could afford to add on armor or not, this jacket came with everything already in place and ready to go.


Overall, I think this jacket checked all the boxes for a pretty low price point. I think it would be particularly good for women who are considering getting into riding, but are scared off by high price points. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this brand adds to their inventory in the future.

Women's Motorcycle Jacket Review
Women's Motorcycle Jacket Review
Women's Motorcycle Jacket Review