Thousands of mobile apps are available to make life easier for travelers. Which ones work for you is a matter of personal choice. I won’t bother reviewing the more obvious and popular ones, but I’ve found the ones below especially helpful.
Planning and navigation
Stay.com allows you to customize your own tour guide and map by adding the attractions and restaurants you plan to visit. Includes addresses, phone numbers, hours, etc. for attractions and restaurants in over 150 cities. Share your customized guide with others or download it for offline use.
TripIt consolidates your emailed lodging and transportation confirmations into itineraries. All of your confirmations in one place.
MAPS.ME Pro provides quick offline access to maps of any location in the world. Helpful if you don’t have a GPS device.
CityMaps2Go is another good offline map app.
MetrO helps you plan intermodal routes, involving buses, trains and/or subways. For example, how to take the shuttle bus from the airport to the subway station to the hotel. After planning the route, you can download it for offline use.
AllSubway HD provides offline access to maps of the subways of the world’s major cities. Online, it provides access to schedules and fares.
Jibbigo Translator translates text or voice offline or on. I loaned it to a German tourist who was struggling to order from a Scottish waiter. Turns out, the German spoke English but didn’t understand the Scot’s accent.
Babbel teaches you foreign languages. Handy for learning the basics, like “please,” “thank you” and “Can you tell me how to get back to the main road?”
Word Lens translates printed words into English using your device’s camera. Seems almost magical. I used it on menus and signage in Portugal. Unfortunately, it is only available in a few languages. I haven’t used VTranslator yet but it appears to work in more languages.
Converter Plus helps with the metric system and much more. I used it, for example, to determine that my 22-pound carry-on bag fell under the 10-kilogram European airline maximum limit.
Checkbook replaces your paper checkbook, plus it does the math for you. Makes it easy to keep track of your expenses.
XE Currency quickly converts the local currency into U.S. dollars and vice versa.
SignEasy allows you to download forms, fill in the blanks, sign them electronically, and then upload or email them.
AwardWallet keeps track of any awards programs you participate in, such as airlines and credit cards. Once you initially enter your account numbers, the app keeps your points up-to-date so that you don’t have to track them individually.
LastPass stores and provides access to all of your passwords in one safe place. Use of the app requires subscribing to the premium service, only $12 per year. Entering all of your usernames, passwords, membership numbers and other sensitive information takes time, but you only have to do it once.
DropBox stores your important documents in the cloud. If your device were strolen, what would you need access to? I keep copies of my insurance policies and itinerary here.
Ghostery allows you to browse the web without being tracked by ad networks, data publishers and others who are interested in your online activity.
Flickr Studio allows you to upload your keeper photos to Flickr’s cloud daily while traveling. Flickr Studio is a user-friendly app for organizing, editing and sharing them.
Evernote keeps important scraps of information in the cloud. I use it for notes, addresses, directions, to-do lists, etc. The notes are taggable and searchable. Evernote is one of my most-used apps with more functionality than I have yet to tap.
Flipboard helps you stay up-to-date with a customizable newsfeed in an attractive magazine format. You pick the topics, e.g. Buckeye football.
Wi-Fi Finder finds free Wi-Fi while traveling. This app didn’t make sense to me until I realized the locations are downloadable.
GetHuman provides shortcuts through the automated phone-answering systems of big companies helping you to reach a real person quicker.
Which additional travel apps do you recommend?