Traveling with a smartphone is more important in today’s world than ever before. We’ve selected the top five smartphone apps from the newly released book Before You Go Abroad Handbook
, that every traveler should not leave home without.
Google Translate is a traveler’s best friend. You can type in sentences and have them translated to over 100 languages. But the real magic for a traveler comes when you talk into your smart phone and it speaks the local language (available in 32 languages).
Or when you hold your phone up to a sign and press the “see” icon. Magically what your phone is pointed at is translated (37 languages.) I recently used this feature on a menu in Mexico and it showed me what I planned to order was earthworm tacos (like in the picture to your right).
You can use Google Translate offline by downloading one of the 50 language packs. Free for Apple
devices. More information on page 53 of the Before You Go Abroad Handbook
Hopper is an easy way to get the best price for flights. Simply search on the trip you want to take and see when you should buy your ticket. The app tells you if you should buy now or wait. It will even send you an alert when the best predictable rate comes up. I used this app last year to save $150 on a flight from Portland, OR to Cancun, Mexico. Hopper is free for Apple
. Find it in the Before You Go Abroad Handbook
on page 99.
There are lots of currency conversion apps available. Our favorite is XE Currency. It is easy to use, has an option for multiple currencies in one chart, and can be used off-line. You don’t get the most current rate if off-line, but when traveling I am fine with that. And I can always go online to update. XE Currency is free from the Apple iTunes
or Google Play Store
. Read how we use it to save money when traveling on page 37 of the Before You Go Abroad Handbook
I love this app not just because of its fun name, but also because it is a great way to find nutritious meals when traveling. Happy Cow finds veg-friendly and vegan restaurants in 183 countries. Listings include basic information (type of place, hours, pricing, address/phone) and reviews. When online you can map how to get to a specific restaurant. Plus, you can save trips that you can refer to when offline. Happy Cow is available from Apple iTunes
or Google Play Store
as a free app (has ads but not bothersome), or for $3.99 without the ads. More details on page 69 of the Before You Go Abroad Handbook
There are numerous apps that can find lodgings around the world. My favorite when traveling is Booking.com. The app is easy to use and I have never had a problem with any reservation I have made through it. Booking.com lists properties in 226 countries. Accommodation options range from campsites & hostels to 5-star luxury resorts. Especially useful are the filter settings and customer reviews. Look at the Booking.com “Top Picks” for some amazing deals. It is free for Apple
devices. Read more about hotel booking websites and apps in the Before You Go Abroad Handbook
Check out our newly released book: Before You Go Abroad Handbook! The first in the book series Travel Smart Strategies.
This book contains over 127 tips and tools any international travel should know about before they venture abroad. Available on Amazon in either paper or e-book format.
Are the tips and tools really secret?
Actually yes, they are secret—at least no one told us about them before we journeyed abroad and we had done a lot of research and preparation. We had to discover many of them the hard way as we traveled around the world to more than 70 countries. These are the secrets we wished we had found, in a concise and consolidated book like this one, before we went abroad.