Travelling around with a smartphone can sometimes seem a bit silly, especially when you are going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground. But the reality is that there are many apps out there that make your travels significantly easier and worry free.
Tripit – This is one of those apps where you won’t understand how you managed without it. It seamlessly organizes all your travel arrangements to a cloud-based account. An impressive line up of
features allows you to automate itineraries automatically based on your reservation confirmations, organize multiple trips, and share your trips with others such as family or coworkers.
Word Lens – This cool app will translate anything that you take a picture of. Now you can read signs in other languages, hopefully helping you to avoid sticky situations from not knowing the local language.
Google Translate – Quick and simple is the name of the game when it comes to Google’s apps, and their translate app is no different. Type or speak a phrase from 64 different languages, and you’ll get it translated into just as many languages, both in words and audibly. It’s not perfect, but it does the job, at least for the other people to know the general direction of your conversation.
Skype – Most people have a Skype account but many don’t migrate their online talking habits to their smartphone. With Skype you can stay in touch with anyone that you’d like, around the world, for pennies a minute (assuming there is wifi nearby). You can even
enable video calling if your phone has a forward facing camera.
Viber – Viber allows you to make free calls, but only to other smartphone users who have the app installed. That said, with over 100 million users, you probably have a few friends also using it. With a free price tag, you can’t go wrong!
Wi-Fi Finder – Data plans while travelling are out of the question. Unless you get a local sim card, Wi-Fi will probably be your best option for getting your internet fix. The Wi-Fi finder will use your location to find the nearest wi-fi points, saving you time trying to search it out.
Columbia GPS Pal – GPS has changed the way we explore the outdoors. We can now map out our routes beforehand and follow waypoints, as well as map it out real-time in the field. There are many gps-enabled map applications out there, but this one gets our nod mostly for two reasons: 1. It is amazingly simple to use, and 2. It’s free. There are dozens of features, but a few highlights are:
- Live journaling with notes, video, and photo geotagging
- Avg. Speed
- Elevation change graphs
- Shareability via email and social networks
SitorSquat – There is nothing more frustrating (or nerve racking) than trying to find a public bathroom in Managua after eating 5 roadside tacos. SitorSquat has a database of over 100,000 public toilets worldwide, with an ever growing user-generated network of places to go. It even holds details such as operating hours, amenities, and user ratings. A very handy tool that you’ll be happy you had when the time comes!
Any other ideas for great travel apps? We want to hear about them! Let us know in the comments below!