You might not always have data enabled, and WiFi might let you down, but as long as you’ve got a few of these apps downloaded on your smartphone, we promise, you’ll be just fine.
App in the Air
No more showing up at the airport three hours before your flight, or running through the terminals. App in the Air is essentially your personal flight assistant who delivers real time updates on crucial information pertaining to your flight, whether that’s a sudden gate change, weather delays, and even a calculation on how long various obligations, like check-in, passport scanning, and boarding will take. You can store all of your upcoming flights, and even keep a track record of all of your flying habits, from the number of countries you’ve been to, to the various carriers flown with.
We’ve all been there at one time or another. Scrambling for foreign coins or bills amidst our home country’s currency and trying to mentally work out how much change we should expect back. More often or not, you end up with slightly less, because not all countries convert right down to the last cent. The XE Currency app provides live currency updates at real market value for more than 180 countries, so you’ll never have to worry again!
Most of us know all about Google Maps, but not everyone has heard of Citymapper. Consider the app your best friend when it comes time to navigate the transit systems and underground networks of an unfamiliar city. As soon as you pull up the app, it geographically sources your location, and presents nearby buses, taxis, streetcars, or other methods of transport nearby - right down to which bus route or train number you’ll need, and even whether or not there’s a delay! You can also map out your route by inputting start and end points, and access maps to verify which route you want to take.
Say goodbye to being lost in translation. Although Duolingo is great for learning a new language, it’s not everyday that you’ll need to know how to say “The red horse is eating a blue duck” (yes, this has happened). Instead, iTranslate lets you speak directly into your phone’s microphone, so you and whoever you’re speaking with can read, write, and speak with one another in real time. The app supports more than 100 languages, and uses voice recognition to do the work for you.
Lonely Planet (Guides)
Sometimes you do a ton of research before you visit a new country, and sometimes plans just sort of come together last minute. For both, there’s the Lonely Planet Guides app, which is packed with all of the best site-seeing spots, restaurants, and maps, hand-picked by destination experts. The best part? Everything about the app still works, even if you’re not connected to WiFi, making this the perfect app to use for a full day of exploring.
Not the best at making packing lists? Now, there’s an app that does it for you - and then some. Packpoint gets straight down to business as a smart app that takes into consideration the length of your stay, what kinds of activities you’ll be doing, your health and eating priorities, and more to deliver a customized packing list that ensures no running shoes, medications, or bikini will be left behind ever again.
When you travel, do you like to go to the tourist hubs, or do you prefer adventuring through winding roads that lead to local hot spots? If you're all about the latter, Hidden Gem lets you see the world tyhrough a local's eyes, taking into account your location, and making recommendations on off-the-grid spots nearby. You can also create a profile that demonstrates what style of travel you're into.
Available in 84 countries worldwide, Uber can be a lifesaver, especially if you don’t have the number of a taxi company on hand. With Uber, it’s not about waiting in a congested city to see who’s available. At the press of a button, you’ll be automatically paired with a driver who’s nearest to you, and there’s plenty of options and vehicles to choose from, which goes a long way if you’re travelling in a group, or for a business trip.
Finally, a way to mix business with pleasure - without worrying that you’ve lost an important receipt or 10 along the way! Business trips always require an expense report at the end of the trip, and unless you’re open to paying for that pricey client dinner, you guard those receipts with your life, even if it means spending hours digging through luggage and pockets when you’re back home. Thanks to Expensify, you can log all of your receipts as you go, without leaving a paper trail. With automated real time features and scanning technology, you simply input your receipts and the app calculates the rest.
Tip N’ Split Tip Calculator
As Canadians, we’re accustomed to tipping. The same thing goes for our U.S neighbours. But around the world, it’s not always customary to tip. And while the going rate is between 18 to 20 per cent in Canada, how many of us are familiar with the percentages worldwide? Tip N’ Split lets you enter the bill total, calculates the tip, and, if you’re travelling as a group, splits the amount evenly so that everybody knows how much they owe. The app also provides tipping protocol on destinations worldwide.