15 Reasons Why Backpackers Might Want an iPod Touch

15 Reasons Why Backpackers Might Want an iPod Touch

We bought an iPod Touch recently and it has quickly established itself as a handy tool for travelling for a multitude of reasons.

Stay in Touch

The iPod Touch comes email ready and can be synchronised with Gmail and other email accounts. Throw in Skype and, as long as WiFi is available, the device can be used as a phone or to send SMS messages.

Free Books

When book exchanges have been few and far between I’ve been known to carry up to ten books around with me. You can imagine how much weight that added to my pack. I can now carry hundreds at a time in my pocket, most of them got for free, and read with Stanza, iBooks or Kindle.


News junkies can keep abreast of what’s going on at home and be informed about the region they are travelling through. The BBC, New York Times and Guardian are among the publications and broadcasters that provide apps that can keep us up to date with what is going on in the world.


I’m quickly becoming a fan of podcasts. My interests are travel (surprise!) and football, amongst other things, and I can also listen to the talkie bits of my favourite radio shows. Whatever it is that floats your boat there is sure to be a podcast for it.


iPod Touch Apps for BackpackersIf I want more than just the talkie bits provided by podcasts then, WiFi permitting, that’s possible too. I use Radio Player but there are plenty of other options out there.


The iPod comes with a map app but it is worth complimenting that with Google Earth. Other maps that may be helpful include subway maps.


I’ve tried and like World Nomads for their Arabic and Turkish phrasebooks. The guides are grouped into about ten brief categories such as Directions & Transport, Numbers, Travel Safety and Food & Drink. Most, but not all, sections have an audio component and there is a ten minute or so audio language lesson included.


I haven’t been overly impressed with any of the translator apps I have tried so far. Most require a WiFi connection which isn’t always practical. Word Lens does too but the idea behind it is so clever it should be forgiven.

Replace the Heavy Guidebook

No more cutting out irrelevant sections out of your Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to save weight. Whether found via Google, iTunes or by going to the usual subjects there’s plenty of wordage out there, including for free. EbookTravelGuides.com is a good place to start.

Currency Converter

I use Currency which compares all the major currencies and more can be added at a whim. Click refresh to update the latest exchange rate information. There are plenty of alternative apps out there if you don’t like this one..

Back up Important Documents

Paper photocopies of your passport are so 2010. Instead take a photo of all your important documents, with your iPod camera and store in Traveler ID


Can’t get your key in the door? Trying to pack in a dark dorm room? An iPod can’t lesson the noise of all those crinkly plastic bags but iTorch4, or any other torch app, can let there be (a little) light.


While I wouldn’t leave at home a more functional camera, the 0.7mp camera does take acceptable snaps and is likely to always be in your pocket.

Shoot Video

It also records in HD video

This thing plays music right?

So I believe.

Photo courtesy of linosil

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