Whether you’re taking a world trip to explore new cultures or simply visiting family and bringing your camera along for the ride, these smartphone apps will help you stay organized, get translations, find local hot spots and store or share your images as you go.
When you’re in a different country with a new language, you can turn to the Google Translate app to help you with words, phrases or even natural conversation. This app instantly translates between 64 languages when typing or 17 languages when speaking. You can listen to spoken translations for pronunciation and save your translation history to retrieve phrases you’ll need later. Conversation mode is available for Android phones, and the app translates spoken conversation between two people. Available for iPhones and Androids. Free via iTunes or Google Play.
As you move between countries and currencies, be sure to keep an eye on the exchange rate with XE Currency. This app converts every world currency and precious metal, keeping your top-10 currencies in a favorites window. While live rates are set to refresh every minute, timing may be customized, or simply shake your phone to refresh the rates. The price converter calculator is incredibly handy abroad. Available for iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Free via iTunes, BlackBerry World or WindowsPhone.com.
Use the Stow app to pack every last memory card and battery, then recheck your list when you’re departing your hotel so you don’t leave anything behind. The app has several packing templates, or customize your list with trip dates, names of people you’re packing for and details of the items you’re packing. Make edits to the quantity of your items and check them off as you add them to your bag. Share your list with your travel companions with email or print a spreadsheet to track the contents in case of lost luggage. Available for iPhone and iPod Touch. $1.99 via iTunes.
When you’re in a new city, you might find yourself looking for a quick bite to eat, in need of a bank or a place to stay. The simply designed and easy-to-use Around Me app uses your GPS location to quickly find important spots to rest, refuel or entertain yourself with a movie. Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Free via iTunes, Google Play or WindowsPhone.com.