If you’re like me, your phone is your constant companion. My calendar, email, social media, news, and so much more are all there at my disposal. There’s an app for everything, and travel is no exception! Here are my top five iPhone travel apps (many also available for android):
The usefulness of these apps depends largely on how many of your contacts use them, which is why I put both of them instead of just Viber. In my opinion Viber is much more useful since you can send free text messages and make free calls, while Whatsapp is just for messaging. But for some reason everyone I know uses whatsapp, so in practice it’s proved more useful to me.
I really like around me, especially since I always find myself wondering where the nearest ATM is. This app not only tells you where the ATMs are, but which banks they are. Save money by asking your bank ahead of time who their interational partners are where you can withdraw money without international transaction fees, and find them using AroundMe! Other emergency needs like gas stations and hospitals are there too. The Bars, Cafès etc I don’t find to be so useful – I think its better to rely on local recommendation when traveling (but if you’re having a caffeine emergency, well…)
Find Nearby necessities & Get Directions
If you’re going to a foreign country a translation app is a must! Since I live in Italy, I use iTranslate to double check my grammar and for quick vocabulary checks, and I’ve found it to be pretty accurate since it uses vernacular phrases by analysing context instead of just translating word for word what you type. Google translater works well but and has a simpler interface. They’re both good choices, I just happen to be used to iTranslate. Of course, I like having an alternative in case a second opinion is needed.
Accurate translation between lots of languages
4. XE Currency
No currency conversion app can predict with 100% accuracy the rate that you’ll be charged at an exchange point or by your bank. Money exchange is a lucrative business and each institution tends to make their own rules. The advantage of having the XE Currency app is the ability to roughly estimate how much something is really costing you so that you don’t loose sight of your budget, and to check before exchanging money to make sure that, if you MUST use an exchange point, you’re not getting completely ripped off (but in general, stick to ATMs).
Don’t get ripped off when you exchange money!
5. Wifi Finder
Sure, your phone can already detect wifi thats in range, but what about finding a spot nearby in the city? This is by far my favorite wifi app! Not only can you see nearby wifi, but it tells you which are paid and which are free, you can get diretions, keep a list of favorites, and install an offline directory – which could be useful since this is for FINDING wifi after all…
Be sure to contribute to helping other travellers by submitting any hotspots that you find!
Find wifi anywhere! Remember to install the offline directory
These five apps are amazingly useful for travellers, and your smart phone can be a powerful tool during your trip. But use your phone as a tool – not a crutch! Remember that local advice often beats technology, with the added bonus of actually talking to locals. Turn off your phone once in a while while you’re on vacation and enjoy where you are!