International travel can be a wonderful adventure that simultaneously expands your cultural understanding and gives you the chance to make new friends and business connections. The only problem is, whether you’re traveling to Morocco or visiting Honduras, a number of logistical nuisances can interfere with your trip. There may be a language barrier, a misunderstanding of the landscape, or a general homesickness that can hinder your travels. Luckily, all of these preoccupations can be remedied by simply downloading and using the right apps for your smart device.
- iTranslate: Donde está el baño
Language is usually any traveler’s biggest anxiety when traveling to a non-English speaking country. Learning a few key phrases and conversational pleasantries for the country you’re going to never hurt anyone. But for easy access and fast turnaround time, iTranslate makes any need-to-know translation question a breeze. The app is able to translate more than 80 languages and operates in a voice-to-text format and allows the user to choose which dialect the language is spoken in. For business travelers, iTranslate can be used in any other app, including Twitter and e-mail. Best of all, it’s available on any Android, iOS, and Windows device.
- Galileo Maps: I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore
Getting a little lost in a foreign country is often inevitable (especially if you’ve forgotten to download your translation app to ask for directions). But you can find your way back to your hotel or favorite sightseeing spot with stellar, offline map apps that are available no matter where you travel. Galileo Maps allows you to search offline maps in any language, bookmark your favorite locations, share your GPS route on Facebook and Twitter, and has remarkably small map file sizes. According to the Galileo Maps website, the map of the United Kingdom is only 214 MB, so you don’t have to worry about going over your data usage on your international phone plan.
- Moovit: When you can’t get a taxi
Taking public transit is an excellent way to save money on your vacation abroad. The problem is how to work the ins and outs of another country’s transit system when not fully understanding the language or where you are in the city. No problem, because the Moovit app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Moovit covers subway and bus routes for over 150 cities across the world and estimates the best traveling time between stations, tracks your bus, and gives step-by-step walking directions so you’re covered for 100 percent of your trip.
- WeChat: Can you put grandma on the phone?
Vacations and foreign travels are great, but it’s hard to maintain contact with your fellow travelers, as well as your family and business partners back home. To make it feel like your loved ones are there with you, or to keep in touch with your other important contacts, check out the free app WeChat. WeChat allows any jet setter to use the program for instant contact with Walkie Talkie mode, place video calls, conduct group chats, and share moments instantly. WeChat is free to download and use, which beats working the logistics of international talk and text plans while traveling around the world.
- AtHome: Protect what you’re leaving behind
Vacations are a time for relaxation and adventure, and business trips require focus and planning. No one wants to be weighed down by the distraction of worrying about the security of your home or the care of your pets. To put your mind at ease, AtHome provides an app that works for Android and iOS phones that turns your old smartphone or tablet into a working security camera. The live feed can be synced to your device and monitored at your leisure. This free app allows you to check the status of your home at any time during your trip. Thus you’ll know instantly if there is a problem, or you’ll know that all is well and good for your return home.
With these apps, you can assure your trip will go smoothly, and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest. What apps have you found to be useful when traveling abroad?