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.
Forward all emails regarding flights, car rentals, hotel shuttles, railway tickets and accommodations to TripIt, and the app will create your master travel itinerary. Or simply use Auto Import to connect directly to your email and scan for travel information automatically. TripIt can easily sync with your calendar application, then send your schedule to friends, family or colleagues via email, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you’re a frequent traveler, create an Inner Circle of friends who will be automatically updated with your travel plans for every trip. Available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Free via iTunes, Google Play, BlackBerry World or WindowsPhone.com.
Keep a visual journal of your trip with the Trip Journal app. With full Google Earth and GPS integration, you can geotag and pin each of your photos, videos and blog entries on a map. View this map later or organize your entries by type of media. Share your journal with your friends on Facebook, Flickr and Picasa, or upload your videos directly to YouTube. Trip Journal is also compatible with blogging software for direct embedding with WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Squarespace and Tumblr. Available for iPhone and Android. $2.99 via iTunes or Google Play.
Evernote is an all-in-one app that allows you to save all your travel documents, photos, webpages and notes. This cloud-based app is accessible on nearly every computer and device, so if you’re saving space in your travel bag and primarily using Internet cafés while abroad, this is a great app to save confirmations, important journals, webpage bookmarks, photos and maps. Organize your files by notebook or tags. Available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Free via iTunes, Google Play, BlackBerry World or WindowsPhone.com.
As you venture into a new city, immediately learn more about the world in front of you with the Wikitude app. It instantly shows you millions of points of interest, from restaurants to events to where to grab a taxi. With the Augmented Reality view, hold up your device to the cityscape in front of you and view tweets as they pop up in their geotagged area or tap into their Flickr world to view images around you. The Image Tracking feature can provide articles about the landmark before you or provide you with the exchange rate for the coins on your table. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Free via iTunes, Google Play or BlackBerry World.