Social media is great, but when your away, you want something that just works. Effortlessly tracking the memories and giving something worthwhile at the end of it all. No distractions. Unfortunately, other than a few filters and underwhelming number of likes, Instagram doesn’t tend to cut it. An app I found a couple of years ago perfectly fills this gap. Polarsteps has won a converted spot on the front page of my home screen and constant recommendations to anyone I hear is traveling abroad. This is a little plug for it. Totally my opinions, no bribery going on!
The best part of the app has to be it’s effortless journey tracking. It takes hardly any battery, no data and gives the best track of the journey taken. It’s probably not too helpful on a beach holiday to Mallorca but on a trip traveling hundreds of miles around a country there results are great. Even on a recent trips to Singapore and Scotland I can see my entire journey plotted out.
The minimum the app needs, is the dates you’re going away, and access to your location. Then, that morning, from the moment you leave the home, the adventure is being drawn on the map. For me, normally along the motorway to Heathrow. From that point on, you can start placing the pins to form the steps. This can be even easier with the app looking at the photos taken and the cities you’ve been visiting suggesting appropriate locations along the way. This is a lifesaver if you’re slightly rubbish at keeping on top of entries or sitting doing them in bulk over coffee shop wifi!
The point this becomes more than just a trip-tracking app, however, is when you’re home. Back at work, feeling slightly depressed, one of the newest features kicks in. The website automatically generates a travel book showing stats about the journey, and prints of steps along the way. They come in a nice hard back book, on glossy paper and great for showing off to friends and family while they sit and flick through. The books aren’t cheap though. I’ve struggled to make one for under £50 but that’s massively outweighed by the quality of what falls on the doorstep. At the moment there’s also limited control over the placement of the images on the pages. It takes a little playing around and a few re-generations to get it just right. There is now three in our house (I’ve made two, my parents have one) and there will probably be another two soon! This is what the front page of my recent trip would look like…
It’s not often an app gets nearly total praise from me, especially within the social media world. They normally want way too much information, carry too many adverts and always feel slightly…dodgy. Polarsteps is the total opposite and will be sitting steady on my home screen. Even Apple seems to agree:
Polarsteps is available free on the app store. More info is available on their website https://www.polarsteps.com