Thinking of traveling abroad? Perhaps you are planning your very first trip to Italy, or Egypt, or France. Although you know it will be exciting and possibly even a trip of a lifetime, you may also have some apprehensions about speaking to foreigners, arranging hotel accommodations, and finding a bathroom when nobody around you speaks English. Fear not, eager traveler, there are some great new apps for your iPhone and Android that will make traveling abroad as easy as ordering a big piece of tiramisu.
Photo Credit: Flicker Grant Wicket
1. Kayak for iPhone, “My Trips” Tool:
Says one happy traveler, “This app neatly organizes booking confirmations for flights, lodging, ferries, rental cars, and more into an easy-to-read log of each leg of your trip.” This app will certainly make a difference when you are traveling to multiple destinations within a country, or hopping a train to a nearby country when you are overseas.
Additionally, the free app for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 stores all of your travel information in one, easy-to-access location. You can view your trip chronologically, including flight confirmations, shuttle vouchers, hotel reservations, car rental information and just about everything else you need to stay organized. Apps like Tripit help you know what’s next, especially if jet lag is fogging your brain.
1. Airports by Travel Nerd:
This free iPhone app helps travelers quickly find out important airport information including floor plans, gate number and Wi-Fi availability. Use this app to plan your travel to and from the airport including shuttle service using www.shuttledirect.com or taxi sharing to cut down on expenses.
2. All Subway:
An experienced overseas traveler might tell you to make the most of your money by getting around town like a local. The All Subway app for iPhone costs a dollar and is well worth the investment. It can save you many dollars otherwise paid to expensive taxi drivers by giving you subway and public transit information so you can travel like a local in 147 different countries. Find subway routes, train routes and shuttles to and from the airport with this useful app.
Parlez-vous Francais? This traveler-friendly app can help you overcome the language barrier in 12 different countries. iStone (basic version) comes free with 12 foreign languages so you can ask directions to the nearest restaurant, find the train station, or locate the closest restroom. It records your voice and your question, then translates it into the language you need. It also has over 300 useful and common phrases that a traveler might find handy.
2. Google Translate:
Although your intentions were good, you ran out of time before mastering the language for your trip abroad using your Rosetta Stone program. The Google Translate app is another free app for both iPhone and Android that can help you translate words and simple phrases in 64 languages. Show your smartphone screen to a local so he or she can read your question in foreign characters when your pronunciation isn’t up to par.
Currency Conversion Apps:
1. Currency Converter:
Another free app for iPhones and Androids, any savvy traveler should not be without the Currency Converter app when visiting a foreign country. Want know if you are getting a good deal at a local clothing store or how much a gift item that you are purchasing as a souvenir would be worth if bought in the United States? Use Currency Converter to give you real time exchange rates in over 180 types of currencies.
2. Xe Currency:
Available for iPhone, iPad and Android, this free and accurate app also allows you to monitor the highs and lows of current rates around the world.
In addition to the apps listed here, there are many more you can choose from, including photo apps, postcard apps, and even apps that let you video chat with friends back home without using your cell phone minutes. If you are planning your next great escape to England, or Germany, or Peru, consider downloading several of the many travel apps that are currently available for your smartphone. Take the hassle out of the planning so you can really live in the moment and experience your trip to the fullest.