During my recent trip through Thailand and Cambodia, I found myself with precious little internet time. I could live without my Facebook status updates, my Tweets, and watching my favourite shows fresh off the US production line – but not having the time to sit down and write was certainly something I found frustrating.
To that end, I spent my travel downtime huddled over my iPad frantically tapping out notes on the trip so that I’d be able to write about our adventures through Phuket, the Kohs, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap when I did have some free time (and a more sizable keyboard).
There’s no shortage of apps out there claiming to make traveling a little easier on you. A decent number of them have made brief appearances on my iPad or iPhone (may it rest in peace) over the years, only to be deleted when I realized that they really weren’t much use to me.
Enter TripRider, which I was lucky enough to be given a free chance to try out. And charitable guy that I am, I’m also going to give five of my readers a chance to win themselves a free copy as well!
What I liked about TripRider is that it looks polished. Too many travel notepad apps look like they’ve been put together by a kid using MS Paint, so TripRider justifies its price tag of $4.99 right out of the gate by looking like it’s actually worth your money.
As you can see, the front page gives you the option to add a new trip, look at old trips, or update your latest trip. I took the chance to play around with TripRider during my long weekend visit to Shanghai – as you can see.
It all looks very pretty, but what does it do?
TripRider does a little bit of everything. It’s part travel journal for those of us who travel a lot and want to keep notes. It’s part itinerary organiser, part budget calculator, and part important documents holder. In short – it does a bunch of things that a guy like me should do when traveling – but often forgets to do.
You do pay a premium (in my mind, $4.99 is more than I like to pay for an app) but you’re getting a far more complete product for your buck. Most other travel notebook apps I’ve found don’t do half of what TripRider does.
Without question, my favourite feature of TripRider is the budget calculator (located underneath the US dollar). It’s simple to input your budget and then use the Expenses tab (underneath the receipt) to keep track of where your money is going.
All of this is available without an internet connection as well, so there’s no need to find a WiFi hotspot while you’re on the road. It’s quick and easy, and that’s how I like both my women and my apps.
TripRider is not perfect, but there is certainly opportunity for it to be. Somewhere down the line I’d love for them to include things such as a currency converter (edit: this has been added in the new 6.0 update), access to Google maps, and most importantly: some kind of database to go with the ‘Must See’ and ‘Location List’ tabs. Right now, these are really just notepads into which you can type your own ideas.
I’ve seen other reviews bemoan the fact you have to manually create your own packing list – but this doesn’t really phase me. I’ve never created a packing list in my life.
TripRider has a good base to start from and will only improve with continued development. When everything is in place, you’ll be able to delete the 3 or 4 apps that add up to do the same job TripRider ultimately will. And in the short term, it’s still a very easy and convenient way to document your travels.
Win a Free Copy!
$4.99 can go a long way towards a meal in Thailand, a train ticket in China, or a large bottle of Soju in South Korea. So, save your money and win a free copy right here!
I’ve got five copies to give away and all you’ve got to do is comment below and tell me about your next trip! Easy peazy, lemon squeezie.