Have you ever been traveling through a foreign land and suddenly realised that you were hopelessly lost? Have you ever tried to order a meal at a restaurant where you don’t speak the language, only to find that the waiter evidently didn’t understand you and served the exact opposite of what you wanted? Have you ever wandered through an unfamiliar city, certain that there were hidden museums and nightclubs just around the corner but never being able to find them? If you’ve experienced any of these scenarios while traveling, then this article is for you! Today we’re going to explore 10 of the bets iPhone apps for traveling, from apps for foreign language translation through to portable tour guides that fit in your pocket…
Tour guides can be expensive, unreliable and hard to find. HearPlanet solves all of these problems by offering the world’s largest audio guide to over 300,000 locations. In addition to providing geolocation services for hints on nearby points of interest, HearPlanet also offers you the option to download audioguides so that they can be used even if there is no internet access, which is a fantastic feature if you decide to venture off the beaten track.
2) XE Currency
If you’re traveling through a variety of countries, or staying for an extended period of time, currency exchange can become a real hassle, especially when you’re trying to stay up to date with the latest fluctuations. XE.com offer one of the best currency exchange platforms on the net, and now they’ve added an app that allows you to check currency rates on the go, so that taxi in Bolivia doesn’t end up costing you ten times more than it should!
One of the most stressful parts of traveling can be trying to find a suitable hotel without absolutely blowing the budget. Of course, you can always stay in hostels or try your luck Couchsurfing or on Airbnb, but if you prefer the comfort of a private hotel then you’ll want to check out the Hotel Tonight app, which collects last minute hotel deals and can save you up to 70% off your stay. They currently offer hotel deals in the US, Canada and 7 cities in Europe, and are continually expanding.
4) Get Packed
Get Packed is as simple as it gets, but can be a real life-safer. Essentially the app is a checklist and reminder that helps you out when packing for a trip. You input your details and Get Packed will make suggestions (i.e., pack nappies if you’re traveling with a baby) and also enable you to do a quick double check so you don’t have to realise on the plane that you forgot your glasses…
Kayak’s app is essential for booking flights on the go, and also features car and hotel search, along with a flight tracker and itinerary. The layout is clean, and the app also offers price alerts that will give you a heads up if that flight you were thinking about suddenly jumps into your price range.
6) Wi-Fi Finder
Having access to the internet has become a virtual necessity, but when you’re traveling through a foreign city it can be nigh impossible to find the nearest wi-fi hotspot. Wi–fi Finder has been created to combat this issue by mapping over 320,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, both free and paid. It uses the GPS on your iPhone to find the nearest hotspot, and you can also filter via ISP, location type and price, making it an invaluable addition to your app backpack!
7) Seat Guru
If you’re traveling via airplane for hours on end, soon enough you’ll realise that there is an art to finding the best seat. If it’s a 2-hour flight, you might like the window seat to admire the view, but if you’re on a 14-hour flight you might want to score a seat that provides leg room and an easy path to the bathroom. Seat Guru has been developed to help you find the best seats for every flight, along with a list of pros and cons like most leg-room, whether they recline, distance from the bathroom, etc. Once you’ve used it for a few flights you’ll consider it indispensable.
8) Local Eats
Eating on the run can lead to constantly looking out for the nearest McChain Restaurant, and after a couple of weeks can add unwanted pounds to your ‘luggage’. Local Eats is a great app that has collected a dining guide curated by experts to make sure that no matter where you are you’ll be able to find the finest local cuisine in a jiffy.
9) City Papers
If you’re only staying in a country for a short period you probably won’t have the time to learn much of the local language, which may mean that you don’t have a great idea about what’s happening in the local area. City Papers helps you out by collecting over 3,000 English-language new sources for countries around the world, meaning that you can keep abreast of the latest news without resorting to sign language.
10) Google Translate
Finally, a little help with translation can always come in handy, and until we get the Universal Translator that Star Trek promised us, we’ll just have to make do with Google’s very capable Google Translate app, which offers text translation for over 40 languages and even gives you the ability to speak a phrase in English and have it translated into the language of your choice – while it may not yet be perfect, it is still absolutely fantastic and a must-have.
There we go – 10 of the very best iPhone apps for travellers that will make your journey easier, lighten the load, make sure you have plenty of legroom and ensure that you don’t upset the locals. What are your favourite iPhone apps? Are there any that you think we’ve left out and deserve to be on the list? Let us know in the comments and share the love!