Contributed by Sarah Janousek
More than 25 million Americans will depart on an international vacation this summer, many of which take place in August after camp and sports programs come to an end and before school begins again. With bag and weight limitations, travelers must make important decisions about the items they pack. What many travelers may not realize is that some of the most useful tools for traveling can be downloaded right onto their mobile phones and save them time, frustration and money so they can enjoy as much of their vacation as possible.
• AllSubway: Save time and money by sticking to public transit. This app helps you navigate 151 different metropolitan transit systems across the globe like a pro. Best yet, it’s available off-line so you’re able to navigate anywhere, anytime.
• iTranslate: Another free app that will save the day! Need to converse with a waitress or hotel manager and forgot how to say a word or phrase? The iTranslate app can translate more than 60 languages and also includes an extensive dictionary at your fingertips.
• Vonage Mobile: International phone fees can become an unexpected high-ticket cost without proper pre-planning. Before you take off, invite friends and family to download the free Vonage Mobile app and you can keep them up-to-date on your awesome adventure, whether by phone, text, video or all of the above! International calls to the U.S. are free over Wi-Fi. With over two-thirds of European hotels providing free Wi-Fi, it’s easier than ever! Imagine the trip treat you can buy the family with the money saved!
• TripAdvisor Offline City Guides: This free city guide will come in handy when you find yourself strolling through a European city with a sudden urge to grab a bite or deciding last minute to take a day trip to an Italian coastal village. With this app, you can read reviews of restaurants, attractions and hotels with no data roaming charges.
• BillPin: Traveling around the world with friends or extended family is one of the best parts of being abroad, but figuring out rent and splitting expensive checks at restaurants can be tricky, especially in foreign currency! This free app helps track expenses and exchange rates - and avoid the awkward “you owe me” conversation.