Whenever I travel, I usually forget whatever I did at the beginning of my trip. Even if I’m away for just a week or two! That’s why people keep diaries, take photos and buy souvenirs. But, there is an alternative, perhaps better way to keep track of your travels. It comes as a neat travel tracker app called Polarsteps. I discovered this app a few years ago and have used it on all my trips ever since. I’ll talk about it and its features in this article. This article is not sponsored, I just really like the app.
How Polarsteps works
Polarsteps was launched in 2015 by a team of developers based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The concept is simple: you tell the app when your next trip is leaving. The travel tracker will then automatically log your travels. The app plots your travel itinerary on a map and allows you to add so-called ‘steps’ to this map. These steps acts as entries in a travel blog and can contain text, images and recommended attractions or places.
Polarsteps is very easy to use. It uses your phone’s GPS sensor to keep track of your location and it requires almost no maintenance. The app keeps track of which countries and continents you’ve visited and also counts kilometers and days travelled.
The only issue I found with the travel tracker is that it sometimes logs invalid GPS positions. The app will make it seem like you’ve been all over the place while you really weren’t moving at all. It’ll sometimes do this at night, which makes you wonder if you’ve been sleepwalking…
Share your trip with family and friends
An important app feature is that people can follow your profile to keep track of your trip, updates and whereabouts. Of course, this feature is completely optional. You get to decide who sees your trip and who doesn’t and you can make it private at any time. People can interact with your steps using likes and comments. You’re also able to share your updates to Facebook and similar platforms. People don’t need to create an account or log in to view your trip; they only need your “secret” link, which you can share through WhatsApp, Messenger and other services.
Generate travel books
As soon as you end your trip and return home, the travel tracker shuts down again. At this point, you can let Polarsteps turn your travel log into a physical “travel book”. It’s basically a photo book, but it also includes the stories you’ve written in the app while you were away. This saves you a ton of time, since the app generates the entire book with minimal effort on your side. I can’t speak about the quality of these travel books because I have not purchased one yet.
While this travel book feature is great, I don’t consider it to be mature at the time of writing. The amount of customization you can do is very limited. If you don’t like the style or layout of the book, you’ve got no way to change it up.
All things considered, Polarsteps is a great travel tracker app. It’ll help you remember your trip like yesterday. The ability to share your trip with friends and family in real time is great if you’ve got a bunch of people that are keen to follow your latest adventure. The app is still relatively young, so you’ll find the occasional bug. The app is barely known outside The Netherlands, but I’m sure it’ll keep growing steadily.