We've compiled something that we hope resembles an “essential list” for people traveling with their iPhones and iPads. If you are an iPhone user and are setting out on a tour, make sure you read this.
When I tell you that your iPhone (and your iPad) is both an asset and a liability when you're traveling, that's a huge understatement. On a tour, you have to take care of your iPhone. In return, it can help you take care of yourself in a variety of ways.
On a tour, you have to charge your iPhone without power outlets (that's where power banks come). You might have to carry a kit bag that can handle all the cables, earphones, cases and more. And you will need some cool apps to help you when you're looking for routes and directions and places to visit.
The Essential iPhone Travel Guide: Tips, Accessories and Apps for Travelers
1. Power Banks for iPhone
2. Battery Cases for the iPhone
3. iPhone and iPad Travel Kit Bags
4. iPhone Earphones (Normal and High-end)
5. Offline Maps
6. Travel Planner Apps
7. Portable Wall Chargers (Dual-USB)
8. Mini Lightning Cables for the iPhone/iPad
9. Multifunctional Cases for iPhone
#1. Power Banks for iPhone
One of the first things that should go into your backpack is a power bank / portable charger. These things are life-savers that keep your iPhone running longer than it normally would. With power banks charged up and ready, you can re-charge your iPhone even when you are not near a power source.
Power banks are better than iPhone battery cases when you're looking for no bulk. Battery cases are usually heavy and do add some bulk to your iPhone. The power banks, on the other hand, are very portable, slim, small and handy.
Power banks are not very costly. In fact, you can find a lot of them for under $15-$30. Usually, most tourists carry power banks in the 3000-5000mAh range which can charge your iPhone approximately 1.5-2 times.
Check out our post on the best iPhone power banks for tourists here.
#2. Battery Cases for iPhone
While I'd prefer a power bank over a battery case, if you're the kind that would rather go with a unified solution (for simplicity), iPhone battery cases are the way to go. An iPhone battery case typically doubles the battery capacity / charge, and will let your iPhone run for about two days (when used optimally).
#3. iPhone and iPad Travel Cases + Kit Bags
A kit bag is something that helps you keep all your iPhone/iPad accessories organized. With an iPhone/iPad travel kit bag, you can have all the cables, earphones, battery packs, etc. in one safe place. And with kit bags, it is easier to carry all that stuff.
While iPad travel bags are all too common, it's a little harder finding a good kit bag that can fit your iPhone, iPad, and assorted accessories into one small handy bag.
Here's a list of some cool iPhone/iPad travel kit bags.
#4. Best iPhone Earphones
If you're like me, you can't stay away from music for longer than a few hours. Somehow, music makes travel even more amazing. In some cases, needless to say, music is what gets me through. And there's nothing better than a good pair of iPhone earphones to set the ball rolling.
Here's a collection of some of the finest iPhone earphones. This one's high-end.
Here are some more earphones for your iPhone.
#5. Travel Apps: Offline Maps
An offline map is a must-have if you're traveling to some new place. There are a ton of great offline maps on the app store that come with a variety of features. For instance, some apps let you download maps of an entire city or locality so that you can access it even if there is no network.
Google's official maps app lets you save maps too (as cached data). This is good too (and in most cases, good enough) but I'd probably go for other dedicated offline maps.
#6. Travel Apps: Tour Planners
If you're just planning your tour/travel, you might also want to check out travel planner apps for the iPhone. There are some great apps here like TripIt, Kayak etc.
With a travel planner app installed, there's a lot of helpful automation. As an example, TripIt can automatically make your travel itinerary based on the ticket confirmation emails you get (once you link the app with your account). From tickets to hotel reservations to even local transport, apps can help you plan your tour in style.
Check out some cool travel planner apps for the iPhone here.
There's more to travel-related apps than meets the eye. Here's an example. If you're in a new place and want to quickly find Wi-fi locations, Wi-Fi finder will help you with that. Apps like GasBuddy will let you find gas refill stations nearby. And then there are apps that will help you translate English (or your native language) to the local language. Or vice versa so you can read and understand the signs.
(Check out iPhone translation apps here).
#7. Portable Wall Chargers for iPhone + iPad
Most travelers carry the Apple chargers with their iPhones/iPads. And in most cases, this should be more than sufficient. But if you're looking for something with dual-USB ports to charge your iPhone and iPad simultaneously, there are some options to pick from. Carrying a dual-USB portable wall charger has its own advantages: some of these are very handy and smaller than the iPad power brick and these can also charge your other gadgets that can be powered through a USB port.
Check out these portable wall chargers for iPhones and other gadgets.
#8. Short/Mini Lightning Cables
I can't tell you how frustrating long cables are when you have to pack them. That is why, on some tours, mini charging cables for the iPhone are far better than the usual ones. I'm not a fan of short charging cables really but they're very handy. Also, they're much safer to handle than the long ones which are too sensitive when you coil them inside the backpack.
Here's a bunch of mini lightning cables for the iPhone/iPad.
Note that with short lightning cables, you lose some flexibility when you have the iPhone connected. But it's great if you're looking for something small, tiny and portable. Most notably, you reduce the risk of a charging cable gone kaput. And they're really cheap.
#9. iPhone Multifunctional Cases
Multipurpose/multifunctional cases for the iPhone are cool although not very comfortable to carry around. One of the reasons we put them in here, however, is the functionality.
If you don't mind carrying a little bulk over your iPhone, it's surprising how many things you can actually add with a simple multifunctional case. For instance, this myTask multifunctional case can help you carry a ton of things.If you are touring on a bike, there's an entire bike-repair tool inside the case. Other variants let you carry things like a USB drive, pen, stylus, nail file, screw driver, scissors, mirror, and even LED light.
Then there's the Convert case for iPhone 5/5s.