Travelling without technology is a dream for some who want to switch off from the world for a while, but there's no denying that some smartphone apps make travelling easier, safer and more enjoyable, whatever your age. With a wide variety of both free and paid apps available, you can easily manage your itinerary. Here are our top picks.
No other language apps beat Google Translate in terms of efficiency, and the Word Lens tool lets you point your phone camera at a foreign word and have it translated in seconds. Magic. With 90 languages under its belt and downloadable language packs in the event that you go offline, it's a pro at making sense of things where you can't seem to.
Take the headache out of navigating different currencies with the app, XE Currency. You can easily convert over 180 currencies using the latest exchange rate calculations. It will come in handy when you need to withdraw cash from an ATM or work out if that dress is actually a good price after all. It even works without Wi-Fi so you can use it anytime, anywhere. To know exactly what you're spending abroad, simply add your dollars, dirhams, pounds or rupees to a live list and watch it convert back to your home currency.
The app to compliment your tour around the Louvre is free and their digital gallery really brings art to life. The app for Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum will guide you round in nine different languages. NY's The Guggenheim and Guggenheim Bilbao app feature built-in tours, while London's Victoria and Albert Museum offers a catalogue of apps for multiple platforms. Search around - there are lots of museum apps out there to boost your cultural adventures.
The ultimate pocket city guide, FourSquare helps you discover the best places to eat, drink, shop and visit in any given area. You’ll never be led astray by touristy restaurants with access to over 60 million local reviews and recommendations from experts. You can easily keep track of where you’ve been, start a bucket list and plan mini day trips.
Hiking the Andes? Petting pandas in China? Caravanning round Corfu? Whatever you're doing, this clever app creates a digital diary of your journey, letting you pin photos, audio clips, videos and text snippets to the map as you go. You and others can easily track your journey through GPS, and it even measures your speed and altitude.
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Now available in hundreds of cities all over the world, Uber takes the hassle out of finding a local taxi company and scrambling for local currency to pay the driver. Once you've registered your email address and added your bank account details, simply open the app and enter your intended destination to see who's around to take you where you need to go. Easy.
Whether you need to update your Facebook, use Google Maps or check your emails, free Wi-Fi can be a lifesaver when travelling overseas. The Wi-Fi Finder app can help you find free connectivity quickly and easily – perfect for when you can’t see the nearest Starbucks. You can even filter your search by location type, such as restaurant, cafe and hotel.
The AllSubway app is pretty simple but extremely necessary when navigating foreign cities using public transport. It contains over 200 subway maps for many of the world’s most visited cities. You don’t even need an internet connection to view the maps. Currently, the AllSubway contains maps for most of Europe, North America and Asia.
iTranslate will quickly become your best friend when travelling through foreign cities and countries. This award-winning app translates words, phrases and text in over 90 languages. You can use voice recognition to type and listen to translations, and even select between different dialects and control the speaking rate.
If you are catching numerous flights on your holiday, GateGuru was made for you. This nifty app will store your itinerary, notifying you of any flight delays, gate changes or security wait times expected for your upcoming flight/s. You can also see the amenities, including restaurants and shops, at each airport.
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