Top 10 Smartphone Apps for the Overseas Traveler
Summer is finally here and with it comes the time to start preparing for your overseas adventures! Instead of just giving you 10 apps to download, we’re recommending 10 app categories, including our top app picks for each. Whether you need to convert Euros to Yen or want to make sure that you’re ready for any of the four seasons in a single day, these apps will prepare you for every step of your travels.
1. Onward and Upward
Whether you a like to search for flights well in advance or wait until the last minute, make sure you keep flight apps close at hand! Hopper is awesome when you are planning the best time to go on a trip since it will analyze billions of flights and help you figure out the best times to fly and buy. The apps SkyScanner and Cheapflights are perfect for honing in on the best flight deals and can also help you when it comes to figuring out the best times of the year, month, or week to fly.
2. Airline of Your Choice
All airlines now come with handy dandy apps made just for them in order to make your journey way easier. Make sure that when you download their app that you also stay up to speed with your online check-in (see tip 3 here) and save your boarding passes on your phone for super easy access when you get to the airport. Have your family also get FlightBoard or FlightTracker so that they can keep track of your flights no matter where in the world you go!
3. Feels Like Home
The Hostelbookers and Hostelworld apps have the same complete range as their websites, making it super easy and quick to book hostels anywhere that your heart desires. If you want to experience living like a local, whether in an elegant Parisian apartment or an idyllic beach house in Fiji, Airbnb is the app for you. The Booking.com app is also an excellent option for all things accommodation.
4. Time for Change
XE Currency is an awesome app for currency conversions and remembers which currencies you need to know for whenever you need to know them. Dgrees is the ultimate user friendly app for helping you master the art of converting Celsius to Fahrenheit (it even helps you learn to do conversions on your own) and as for basically any and all of your other converting needs, Unit Converter Ultimate is the way to go.
5. Learn the Lingo
If you want to get a head start on learning the language of your destination country, then Duolingo and Babbel are absolutely the best apps to get. They are super easy to use and are fun for both beginners and those just looking to brush up a bit on their foreign language skills. As for honing in on your vocab skills, Linguee and WordReference are our top faves.
6. Four Seasons in a Day
Most of us are already familiar with checking the weather forecast with Yahoo Weather and Accuweather, and, while both are equally great, WeatherPro is even better! As the master of weather forecasting, you will not only be able to predict the weather with this app, but it also provides all kinds of extra data like cloud formation, wind speed, and even atmospheric figures (for those of us who are a little bit geeky at heart). Make sure that you check at least a few days before your trip so that you can pack accordingly!
7. Look Like a Local
Time Out City Guides will, hands down, help you get the most out of your city trips than any other app. It covers pretty much everything that is happening while you are there, along with reviews and advice on the best places to eat in whichever city you find yourself. If you are a dedicated foodie and want to get an idea of the restaurants in your area, check out Foodspotting. This app shows you a slideshow of nearby eateries with tasty looking photos accompanied by customer reviews. Once you know where to go and where to eat, you might find yourself in the need of oh, say an ATM or a coffee shop – who knows? No matter which city or town you rock up to, the AroundMe app has you covered. Like the other two apps, it is also super fun to use when in need of finding restaurants and points of interest.
8. Never Get Lost
The handy dandy little app called mtrip is basically the best travel app ever invented. While it can definitely do everything that the apps in tip 7 can, what we especially like about it is that you can use it offline – including city maps and public transportation! Never again will you find yourself in a pickle because you don’t have Wi-Fi and aren’t quite sure where you are. Mtrip has got you covered.
9. Where’s the Wi-Fi?
Just in case you forgot to download the aforementioned and wonderfully helpful little offline app, make sure that you know how to find Wi-Fi! Wi-Fi Finder is pretty self-explanatory as it does just that. It will point you in the right direction of all the nearest Wi-Fi hotspots on its built-in map so that you never have to worry about ridiculous roaming data costs again. The Wi-Fi radar also shows you which specific Wi-Fi connection is the closest and the strongest, which is pretty nifty in our opinion.
10. Nerd Out
If you are a history nerd, culture fiend, tech geek, or just like to learn random stuff, then look no further than Google Goggles. This app in action is basically the best thing ever and by the best thing ever we mean that all you have to do is open the app, point your camera and snap a pic of any nearby attraction (building, sculpture, painting, whatever) and voilà! As long as what you photograph is well known enough (cough cough Trevi Fountain), then it will bring up the relevant Wikipedia article automatically, making you an instant expert on whatever amazing stuff you come across!