It’s been awhile since I last shared some of my favorite travel apps. Below are six that are a great finds for every type of traveler. And best of all, they’re free (or at least cheap.) It’s truly amazing what’s possible with technology these days!
This new app is a great tool when you’re having language difficulties while traveling abroad. To use it, you speak into your iPhone and it types what you say. Then, it responds with the translation in words on the screen as well as voices it aloud! The app offers thirty-one different languages including English (USA, UK, Australia), Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese (Portugal & Brazil), Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Dutch… and many more. The only caveats– you have to speak clearly and need a WiFi connection. [99¢]
This is an extremely helpful app for international travelers. It gives you up-to-date travel alerts and warnings, country information, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more. It also gives you access to the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which helps them better assist you in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster, political unrest, or a lost or stolen passport. There’s even a fun option to shake your iPhone for information on a random country. [Free]
There are many great photo apps out there, but Photosynth actually allows you to stitch together a series of photos to create unbelievable, 360° panoramic images. You can even point the camera above and below you to create an entire sphere of photos! Once you’ve created your project, it’s easy to share with your family and friends, or post them to Facebook or Twitter. I can’t wait to try this one out when I go to Machu Picchu, Peru next month. [Free]
This one is great for anyone living in or visiting Los Angeles. L.A. is famous for it’s freeways and “car culture.” (Not so much for its public transportation, even though it’s improving greatly every year.) With this updated app, you can find the locations of nearby bus and rail stops and the arrival times of the next bus or train, too. You can also plan a trip from your current location, or access over 200 maps to use when offline. This is a great app for tourists to L.A. who might not have a car. The update includes the brand-new Expo line, which links downtown L.A. with the Westside at Culver City. [Free]
This great app from the travel experts at Frommers has lots of great features including a global tip calculator, packing lists, currency converter, and city guides. You can even send postcards to your loved ones back home. [Free]
This will be a good one to remember in the winter. It gives all sorts of information including current snow conditions, weather reports, and chair lift information. There are resort cams showing live conditions in select areas too. You can even get push alerts when there’s new snow at your resort of choice. [Free]
Have you used any of these apps before? Do you have any other recommendations? Feel free to comment in the section below.