Whether traveling for work or pleasure, there’s a good chance you’ll rely on an app or two to get where you’re going. We all have our favorites, but we’ve found a few we think are worth sharing. So whether you use an Android or iOS device, these must-have apps just could make your travels easier, and they’re all free.
Traveling overseas? If you are, then you’ll likely find yourself in a situation where you don’t understand the local language. Here’s where Google Translate comes in handy, offering quick and easy translating without a lot of copying and pasting. Just input the text or speech and it translates it for you. It can even translate a photo or handwritten text, and then speak the translated word so you know what it sounds like. If you know which country you’ll be in ahead of time, you can also download the corresponding language pack in advance, so you don’t have to worry about an Internet connection when you get there.
To convert currencies, we like XE Currency. Quick and easy, it can save you a lot of money and frustration when dealing with unfamiliar exchange rates. Or, get fancy and use the app to decide where to vacation, as it can reveal the places where the dollar is strong. Keep in mind that this app doesn’t require an Internet connection to convert between currencies, but does need one to download rates when you first select a currency.
It’s common to find yourself without cell phone coverage when traveling, but WiFi Map is a great way to maintain your Internet connection when abroad. With it you can find nearby public hotspots (over 1 million worldwide) and the corresponding passwords, which are updated by the app’s millions of users. The free version gives you everything you need for a 1-mile range, but for those interested, there is also a paid version, which lets you download an entire city’s WiFi map ahead of time for use offline.
Acting more like a personal travel guide than an app, Triposo assists you in discovering new hotels, restaurants and things to do when out of town. It turns crowd-sourced Wiki-based information, including maps and directions for more than 50,000 locations worldwide, into easy-to-use destination help as you’re discovering those exciting new places on your dream list. Plus, it works whether you have a functioning Internet connection or not.
If you travel with us, you definitely won’t have trouble keeping track of your travel itinerary. But this app is worth mentioning anyway. Tripit makes tracking even the most complex itineraries a breeze. Without manually typing in all of the mundane details, you’ll have at your fingertips exactly what you’ve planned to do and where you are supposed to be when. Best of all, it works even if you’re not online—and the free option is robust enough for most.
Sit or Squat
It happens to the best of us when traveling: you find yourself in an unfamiliar place in need of a restroom. For help finding one fast, the toilet paper company Charmin has created the app Sit or Squat. So no matter where you are, you can access a database of 100,000 user-rated facilities.
American Red Cross First Aid
Finally, you may want to arm yourself with the Red Cross First Aid app. In the event of a medical emergency happening while away from home, this app provides basic knowledge, and even video instruction, about what to do in a variety of situations.