No matter what corner of the world you find yourself in this summer, you’ll need to pack all the essentials. The good news is the essentials pack light and right in your pocket. These cell phone apps for traveling will enhance your experience so significantly that the locals will think you’re a native.
The downsides of traveling are few and far between, but one of the biggest drawbacks is jet lag. Download the JetLag Genie app before your trip to ensure you are able to immerse yourself completely in your travels and not in the covers of your bed at the hotel. Gradually altering your sleep patterns before you lift-off is ideal. This app will coordinate a sleeping plan customized to your destination to help you gradually transition to the new time zone. By the time your trip rolls around, you’ll be ready to maximize your precious days of travel.
Available for iOS: (App Store, $2.99)
Wikitude (Augmented Reality)
According to Augmented Planet and CNN, Wikitude is one of the best Augmented Reality browsers available. The camera on your smartphone will make any city come alive on your screen with information from TripAdvisor, Yelp, Wikipedia, photos and tweets from friends in your social network. If that’s not enough to get you to press the download button, the app doubles as a currency converter. Just scan your bank note and it will be converted into a currency of your choosing. This app is like a tour guide and bank all in one.
A word to the wise – don’t forget to purchase an international phone plan before jetting off abroad, or prepare to be very cautious that you’re using your apps in a Wi-Fi zone. Some of the apps mentioned in this article work without Wi-Fi and won’t run up your bill, but in general, most apps will use data if Wi-Fi is not available. Save yourself from astronomical phone bills and plan ahead.
One way to avoid paying obscene data fees is the Wi-Fi Finder app. This app will guide you to the nearest hotspot so you can tweet, upload photos, and browse to your hearts content while abroad. The app operates offline, meaning you can just download the map before you leave and you’re all set to find Wi-Fi in your new city.
Photosynth practically lets you bring landmarks home in your suitcase. This app not only allows you take 3D images, it also features 360-degree photo options. It’s perfect for the traveler who doesn’t want to forget a thing from their excursions. After capturing the moment, impress all your friends and share your photo masterpieces on social media accounts. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but Photosynth is worth the whole story.
Time Out City Guides
Time Out City Guides offer extensively researched travel apps for more than 20 of the world’s largest cities. The app includes insights into the best dining, bars, exhibitions, and attractions available. With these insights you’ll be living like a local and always getting the finest experiences the city has to offer.
Available on iOS (App Store, free)
Word Lens (Augmented Reality)
This app is an absolute must if you’re a little shaky on the language in a foreign country. Word Lens lets you translate a variety of different languages simply by holding your phone’s camera up to the foreign words. The translation in your native tongue will appear on your phone’s screen. While the app itself is completely free, language packages must be acquired via an in-app purchase. The current rate for an English or French package is slightly under $12.00. While the packages are on the expensive side, they will undoubtedly pay for themselves by saving you the hassle of poor communication and confusion while abroad.
Download these apps today and transform from the tourist into the tour guide. Technology like this will allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of the world we live in, while creating unique mementos to hold onto for years to come.