There are thousands of apps out there. Many are quite original, others can even be extravagant, and some are essential for a traveler’s smartphone: like travel guides, translators, online phone call services, currency converters and value hotel finders. These 10 apps are among the most useful for international travel. Have you downloaded them yet?
The XE Currency app allows you to know the current exchange rates for different currencies in real time. Every time your phone goes online through a Wi-Fi connection or data plan, the rates are updated. It has information available for more than 150 currencies. Free and available for Android and iPhone.
The personal version of this app allows you to add and organize trip expenses. It can even be used without an Internet connection to control trip expenses and organize them in categories.
Having the Skype app allows you to make international calls from your cellphone to landlines in any other country for a few cents. Using this app instead of foreign phone networks can help you save up to 95% for each minute.
Last-Minute Hotels in Europe
For those traveling around Europe, the Blink app can find last-minute hotel deals. The app finds the user’s location and shows the very latest deals around. Must have a Wi-Fi connection or data plan to use the app. Free and available for Android and iPhone.
For those who are open to sleeping anywhere, the Airbnb app can find them a place to stay in private homes in most parts of the world, depending on the their location. Make a reservation the day you plan to stay with only a click. Free and available for Android and iPhone.
The Tripadvisor app is as close as you can get to having a travel guide on your phone with tips from other travelers. It’s one of those apps that are not very flashy but extremely useful. Free and available for Android and iPhone.
This app allows you to use your phone’s camera to find out what monument, palace or place you have in front of you. Just focus the object on your camera, and the app will identify it along with providing additional useful information. Free and available for Android and iPhone. Wi-Fi connection or data plan required.
Offline Travel Guide
TouristEye is an app that provides a complete travel guide for most places in the world, with the added benefit that you don’t have to be online to see it. You can download the information at your hotel, when there’s access to Wi-Fi, to use it later offline. The option called “passport” allows you to store the information of the places you’ve visited. There’s a free and a premium service.
World Lens Translator uses the same technical system as Google Goggles, but instead of identifying monuments, it can translate signs, pamphlets and indications. Take the picture of a sign at an airport, for example, and it will be translated into different languages. It translates in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. Price; US$4.99.
How will you communicate with a cab driver in Chinese, a waiter in Russian, or bargain at a market in Arabic? Vocre can “listen” to your voice and repeat what you’re saying in any of 66 languages. Available for Android and iPhone. Price; US$1.