1. Translator with Speech
Input text and get translations written or spoken. Input speech and get the same! This means you can ask for directions, hold up the phone, and translate them as they’re given to you.
It’s great because: You can input and export in both text and speech.
But: You have to buy the ability to get translations of spoken words.
Price: Free, but $.99 for every language’s speech-to-text feature.
Lyft is a free service where well-vetted volunteers offer free rides. It is suggested that you give a donation to the person driving you (though you don’t have to). Because there is no fee besides a tip, even with a donation this service is cheaper than most traditional cabs.
3. WhatsApp Messenger
This app is a free messaging service that works over 3G or Wi-Fi, perfect for international travelers looking to avoid data and messaging spikes.
It’s great because: It doesn’t require a screen name, which can make apps hard to use. It pulls contacts from your phone numbers so you can instantly see all your contacts who use WhatsApp.
But: Like with phone numbers, anyone with your contact information can message you.
Price: Free for the first year, $.99 per year after that.
If you’re looking for free Wi-Fi or complimentary drinks, LoungeBuddy allows you to search for airport lounges by amenity. Not a VIP or frequent flyer? LoungeBuddy will let you know if there’s a fee you can pay to access the VIP lounges anyway.
It’s great because: This app adjusts prices as you alter inputs. You have a miles credit card? That will change some lounge access information. You’re an army veteran? Same thing.
But: Right now, the app supports 200 airports, but more are on the way.
5. XE Currency
If you’re traveling in a foreign country, you’re going to need up-to-the-date information about the exchange rate.
It’s great because: With internet, the exchange rates are updated in real time. If you go offline, the app uses the most recent rates.
But: With the free version, you can only track 10 rates at the same time. This should be fine for everyone except hardcore travelers.
Price: Free; pro version is $1.99
This app is a no-effort travel journal. Open the app and go about your day. It will automatically register where you go and how long you stay there. It will even pull in any photos you take and place them in your log for you. You don’t have to manually add anything.
While there are lots of itinerary apps on the market, this one distinguishes itself by allowing multiple people to all see and edit one itinerary. Perfect for group trips where different people are booking different elements of the vacation.
It’s great because: The friend-based itinerary app means you can choose who can edit a trip and who can just see the details.
But: The social media features (like seeing friends’ trips you’re not involved with) are unnecessary.
8. Travel List
Everyone needs a great packing app! This one allows you to save multiple lists, perfect for separating what you need for the beach from what you need for the slopes.
It’s great because: Beyond the packing lists, you can set reminders (like to charge your camera batteries) that will automatically adjust to your timezone. Also, clean design.
But: No real negatives. A pretty clean, simple packing app.
This app pulls Wikipedia articles based on your location, so you can see popular, historical, and important locations wherever you are.
It’s great because: This app provides location highlights pulled from Wikipedia, instead of a smaller base of user reviews (like most other apps). This means unpopular or offbeat locations are much easier to find.
But: Sometimes the app has trouble distinguishing between which Wikipedia articles provide useful information about a location and which just mention it in passing.
Price: Free, but there is a $6.99 pro version.
This app is a great supplement to a navigation app like Google Maps. While Google Maps measures in miles, this app measures in exits and utilities. You can see all upcoming exits and what services are available at each one.
It’s great because: RoadNinja allows you to search exits for a specific utility. Need a specific fast-food french fry? You can see how many exits you need to wait.
But: If you’re on a highway that runs parallel to another, it doesn’t always identify the correct road.
11. City Maps 2Go
While most map apps rely on a combination of GPS and internet access to serve maps to your phone, City Maps 2Go allows you to download maps in advance. For international travelers, this can mean huge savings in data bills.
It’s great because: GPS works without internet, so you can still find your location and see what attractions are nearby.
But: The free version only allows two map downloads.
Price: Free, or $2.99 for the full version with unlimited map downloads.
Ever wonder how a local spends a day shopping in NYC? This app lists “perfect days” from celebrities, power travelers, and locals of major cities.