Smartphones are vital tools for living these days, from keeping up with the news, with friends, and for handling countless little chores to make life easier.
Those who travel a lot, either for business or pleasure, will want to know about these helpful apps for travelers. Whether your pocket smartie is an iPhone or Android (or anything in between), you’ll find these programs can make life on the road a whole lot easier.
An oldie but still goodie, Google’s venerable app can translate text from more than 80 different languages. Can’t read that road sign? Snap its picture and Translate will tell you what it says. Type or speak a phrase into your phone and the app will spit out its meaning. This app is simply required for anyone venturing into foreign lands. Free download on iOS, Android, Windows phones.
Time is money and waiting for passport control upon re-entry to the USA can be frustratingly long. This new app permits U.S. and Canadian citizens to breeze through passport control. You download the app, create a profile and then submit a wireless customs declaration when you arrive back in the country. You get an electronic receipt with QR code on your phone and use that to bypass the long lines and just show passport and the code on your phone in a special electronic lane. Currently available at about six airports in the USA, with more scheduled to come online in the months ahead. Free download for iOS and Android.
XE Currency Pro
That pair of shoes is listed at €177. How much is that in “real” money? This app will calculate the exact value of your purchase in real time at current rates. It shows exchange rates and can monitor up to 20 currencies simultaneously. Very useful for all international shoppers! Download for $1.99 from iOS and Android, free on Windows.
Create, store and share your travel itineraries and sync them with your calendar. Keep track of reservations, both air and hotel, and manage them on the go. Upgrade to the Pro version ($49 per year) to get real-time alerts on flight delays or cancellations, seat tracking, refund notifications, and more. Download free on iOS, Android, Windows.
This app is a major stress-reducer for those who worry about falling ill while away from home. Especially handy for international travelers, the app will direct you to English-speaking doctors and hospitals in the cities you visit, provide you with the local names for medications you may need, help you contact emergency services and provide you with health and safety alerts wherever you travel. Free download for iOS and Android.
Maybe you already know how to cram a week’s worth of clothes into a carry-on bag. But with this app, you simply enter where you’re going, for how long, with whom and the app spits out a huge list of suggestions of things not to forget to include. There are the essentials (passport, money, tickets) and the extras (gadgets, gifts, special equipment). You can include the other people going on your trip, and they’ll get personalized packing suggestions, too. It will even create alerts to make sure you get to the airport on time! $2.99 on iOS only.
Getting connected is important to everyone these days, and this app will help you find the nearest wi-fi hotspot, anywhere in the world. Click on Search and the app will show you the closet hotspots in your city. The app includes recommendations on security and reliability with comments from other users. Free download on iOS and Android.
OK, we can all agree that civility is important in today’s world, but haven’t you ever wanted to tell that rude waiter or cabbie or salesperson where to get off, in his or her own language? This helpful little app will provide an indexed catalog of international expletives which you can delete or use! $1 download on Android.
If you are a business traveler, your accountant will thank you for downloading this app. Manually track expenses on the road, photolog receipts, import purchase info from your credit cards and SmartScan a receipt to automatically save it as an expense and file it in the right chart of accounts. You can also track and store mileage, time and rate-based expense and automatic currency conversion. Free download for iOS and Android.