Written by: Rikki Lux
Whether you have an Apple gadget like the iPhone or a Microsoft Windows-powered Android, you know that you can download an app in seconds. If you are planning to travel internationally, take a second to download these useful (and free) apps that will make your trip safer and more enjoyable.
1. XE Currency
This app, from currency site Xe.com, makes it simple to instantly calculate and convert currency from over 180 countries. Create charts to see how far your dollars can take you. Get emails when information is updated and compare present and past rates.
2. Google Translate
With 64 different languages that can be translated, this app is absolutely essential for traveling abroad. Since the translation is done by software instead of human ears, it won’t be perfect – but translation is constantly improving. The app will make it possible for you to communicate with non-English speakers about necessary information like costs, location, and simple conversation. You can speak into your phone and Google will translate it into the specified language. All languages in the Google database can be translated in every possible combination, so the app can be used by anybody regardless of their native language.
This travel app has been downloaded over 15 million times because of the easy-to-use layout and large collection of international cities for abroad travelers. Find food, lodging, attractions and more, as well as reviews that can help you make the best choices.
4. Wi-Fi Finder
Wi-Fi Finder will locate both free and paid wireless locations in 144 countries. The app is linked to almost 700,000 wireless locations – so no need to wander through a city you don’t know with your cell phone held toward the sky while the locals stare.
5. Sutro World
This app will provide you with travel guides for over 375 destinations all over the world. Independently authored, you will get insider information from a local who knows the city you’re visiting like you know your own. You will have offline access to maps, recommendations, photos and user comments. Go online to watch videos and talk to other travelers.
6. Smart Traveler
Downloading the Smart Traveler app would be the smart thing to do before you travel abroad. This app is the official State Department app for U.S. travelers and is frequently updated with travel alerts and warnings, and all U.S. embassy locations are provided. You can enroll in the free Smart Traveler Enrollment program so that the State Department can help you if there is an emergency situation. An Android app will be released in June 2012.