Oh wow, we have just arrived back in the UK after the MOST glorious week in Barcelona, Spain. This post is one of 3 being published over the next week or so to highlight some of the things we did and some of the stuff we used whilst in Spain to make our life easier or trip easier to navigate – literally!
The first thing I am going to focus on is Technology. For those that know me in real life, know I am a proper geek, which I think is pretty awesome. I am always the girl finding a tech savvy way to get something done and so I thought I would give you a run-down of what we used….
Ok so Google Maps has been my long time navigation go-to when trying to find my way around a new city, so I thought I would continue this in Barcelona. So the first thing I did when researching places that we might want to visit, including our hotel and places to eat, was to search for them in Google Maps on my iPhone X and then save them into a list. I then shared the list with M and so this meant that we could both continue to add things as we found them and we could both see.
I then made the map of Barcelona available offline, which involved a small download of the map, which meant that it didn’t drain my data (or battery) whilst away as it already had the map loaded. I have to say, this worked BRILLIANTLY! We used Google Maps every day as we walked for MILES from place to place – in fact I walked a total of 26.4 miles across the week, which was 70,280 steps!!!!! Wow.
So, we mostly walked around Barcelona, but we did sometimes need to travel further afield or we were simply too tired to walk. When we did need a cab we used MyTaxi. In my research, I found that Uber didn’t really operate in Barcelona and so we set ourselves up with MyTaxi.
Much like Uber, we could hail a Taxi from within the app and set a destination so if, like us, you don’t speak to local language, the cab driver already knew where we wanted to go.
Once the journey was over, we could use the App to pay, having registered my debit card whilst still in the UK. Perfect and the epitome of stress free!
Another fab thing that I made use of whilst we were travelling was Google Drive which is an online document storage service. Everything I booked, including tickets and passes for things, I uploaded to Google Drive and then made them available offline. I then shared this with M so we both had access. This was SO much easier than having various bits of paper and also useful as most of the trips and activities were booked the day before and so we were simply unable to print things off. Have barcode on phone – will travel! This worked for Runner Bean Walking Tours, Barcelona Zoo, Montjuic Cable Cars and Sagrada Familia. Also I kept our travel insurance and various other travel agent documents in there too. Perfect and never lost!
easyJet Boarding Passes
We flew with easyJet for the first time and as it’s a low budget airline, I didn’t have high expectations. But I have to say, both flights were painless. One of the things we did use were digital boarding passes, which were SO much easier for us. We were able to check in online for both flights up to 30 days before the actual flight (which we did) and this gave us our boarding passes. I downloaded the easyJet App and this then put the pass in my iPhone’s wallet. Once we were at the airport my phone detected where we were and my pass appeared in the lock screen.
We saw so many people faffing with large bits of paper, but the digital version worked best for us as, like most people, we are never without our phones, so it made sense. Also, due to already being checked in and only having cabin bags, we could arrive much later than usual! 🙂
I am going to do a whole separate post on how WELL we ate in Barcelona, but for now I just have to give a lovely mention to Deliveroo. If by some slim chance you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically a food delivery service. But rather than being limited to Chinese or Pizza, this service will go to your favourite (participating) restaurant and bring a whole RANGE of yummy foods. We used this a few times and were impressed every time. We ordered in the app from the menu the restaurant provided and paid using Apple Pay. The restaurant accepts the order and then within 20 minutes or so, we got a notification to say our rider was on his way. We could then track where our rider was via a map in the app (rhymes! nice… ) and before we knew it, a guy on a bike pulled up to our hotel and handed us a bag with lovely food in it…
This was a perfect solution for us being room only in a hotel. Sometimes, after long day being out and about, we couldn’t be bothered to go out to eat, so this seemed like a happy medium. Nice food, but in bed!! Brilliant.
Continuing the food theme, we occasionally used an app called Happy Cow to find nearby Vegan or Veggie restaurants. It has great filters and even some photos of both the place and food. I have been using this in the UK and it worked fine in Spain too.
Words with Friends
Inevitably, travelling can mean lots of waiting around and so M and I resurrected an old favourite in Words with Friends. It’s a simple word game, like Scrabble, that allows you to play against someone in your contacts or against the computer or it will even match you up against another player from around the world. This kept us busy and if I am honest awake whilst we waited for our room to be ready when we first arrived in Barcelona! It’s really the small things sometimes. Also, I hate to admit it, M is VERY good at Words – he always beats me!! 😳
So those are all my tech recommendations for travelling in a new city – I have left out only one, which was an app we downloaded for Barcelona Zoo. But to be honest the Zoo was as crap as the app.. so 🙈 👎 I would love to hear anything else you have tried too.
As this is a small series, don’t forget to come back to see all the amazing Vegan food we ate whilst away – being dairy free has its advantages!
p.s. Why not take a look at some of the places we visited…