WorldNomads is a travel website which runs the Ask A Nomad service, where you can ask whatever you want and get answers from locals or from people who’ve been there before you. But I don’t carry my computer everywhere, so I was very happy to find the free Ask A Nomad iPad app. This app is aimed solely at asking and answering questions about places in the world.
Browsing Existing Q&A’s
The first thing you need to do is choose a location. You can either choose “Nearby”, which will use your current location to find questions and answers about places close to you, or you can browse the world and find your places of interest.
There are many places to choose from. Start by choosing a region and zero in on the country and city you’re interested in. You can then browse existing questions and answers about this location. Who knows, someone else might have already asked your question and the answer may be waiting there. You can also read all the questions about an entire region, like Central America.
If you find a question you’re interested in and wish to follow, or you find an answer you’d like to keep for future reference, simply add it to your favorites by tapping the star. From here you can also answer the question, of course, but for that you’d have to create an account (see below).
Access your favorites to see all your selected questions. When a new answer appears in one of these, you’ll get an alert at the bottom of your screen.
You can also search all the questions by keywords. The search is very quick, and all your recent searches are saved so you can return to them easily. What I couldn’t find is a way to limit my search to a region or country I’m currently browsing. This could be a useful option for future versions. For now, you can search a string like “food china” and it works just fine.
Creating An Account
If you don’t already have an account at WorldNomads.com, you can create one directly from the iPad app. It’s very easy and quick – simply fill in your name and email and a username and password. Note that none of these are the name that will appear when you ask or answer questions. You will set that somewhere else.
Next you can edit your profile and choose a name, a profile picture and fill in some more details about yourself.
That’s it. You are now ready to ask some questions! (or answer).
Asking And Answering
To ask a question, tap the big blue button on the bottom left side of the screen. Now you need to enter the subject of the question. This can really be just a subject or you can write your whole question here, if it’s short.
Next you can fill in some more details. The app tries to figure out the location automatically from your subject, but it can sometimes be wrong, so be sure you check it. It will also try to add some topics (sort of like tags) automatically (in this case it didn’t). If you have a long question, write it in the Description part.
And that’s it. Hit the “Ask” button, and your question is created. You can view all your questions and answers from your profile page, but you can also access your questions from the app’s homepage.
If you wish to answer a question, tap the orange “Add Your Answer” button and type in your answer.
From my experience, answers arrive pretty fast. I asked my questions at night, and when I got up in the morning I already had several answers. The app alerts you when you have new answers and also adds your answered questions to your favorites automatically. You can remove them from there at any time, of course.
You will even get an e-mail alert when someone answers your question. I didn’t get an e-mail for all the answers I got, however, so I’m guessing this still doesn’t work very well.
If you don’t want to get e-mails or want to configure the notifications, go to WorldNomads.com. From there you can also and do many more things like change your privacy settings, access all your questions and favorites and even earn stamps by answering questions.
The website itself offers many more things that I didn’t cover here, but just the app by itself is really useful for all travellers. Whether you’re trying to find that secret local restaurant or just find a cheap place to stay, you can do it with Ask A Nomad. It’s fun, it’s slick and it works.
Did it help you find something cool? Do you know of more ways to ask travel questions? Share in the comments!