A smart phone is a valuable tool for traveling around the world. There are a multitude of apps to help in all areas of travel; here are some of my favorites. All are available for free unless noted.
Tripit – this is a must to keep your travel plans organized, and they can’t make it any simpler to use. I’m a pretty organized person to begin with and find this invaluable. Simply email your reservation emails from airline tickets, car rentals or hotel bookings and they will almost instantly appear in your travel plans. You can manually add and edit plans and share your trip with friends, colleagues and family. Works offline. The base version is free. There is a Pro version for $49 a year that monitors your flights, send real-time alerts, keeps track of rewards miles and more. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 devices.
XE Currency App – How much is 6,700 icelandic krona’s in US dollars? What is that €5 glass of wine in Italy really costing you? With the euro close to the dollar in value these days, it may be easy to do in your head, but if you’re in Vietnam and something is priced at 22,750 dong, it’s especially useful. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and Firefox OS devices.
Google Maps – I’m a bit old school and still utilize paper maps, but wouldn’t leave home without Google Maps on my iphone. It is loaded with features. I personally love the transportation options letting you see how long it will take from getting from point A to B with different mode of travel. One lesser-known feature is the ability to download areas to use offline and save your data. What’s cool is since GPS still works, you can still see your location. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices.
Citymapper – Another great transportation app. I prefer this over Google Maps when navigating public transportation options – it will combine options – for instance, when I was recently in San Francisco and needed to go to Oakland, options included combined Uber and BART. With Google Maps these aren’t combined. Other great features is sharing your trip with friends, sending a link allowing them to see your trip in real-time, a nice safety feature. It has a limited number of cities worldwide. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices.
Splittr– This has to be one of the best apps to have when traveling with friends and splitting expenses. Simply put in expenses as you go along, indicating who paid and who took part in the activity and at the end of the trip it creates a report telling who owes what to whom. It is the best $1.99 I’ve spent, hands down.
Google Translate – Another great app from the folks at Google. Text translation available for over 103 languages, with 52 languages available for offline use. You can use your camera to translate text in images in 30 language. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices.