4 Must-Have Apps for New International Travelers

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London Tourist taking picture of river Thames

You have finally scrimped and saved enough money to afford an adventurous international vacation. Maybe your destination is a big exotic city like Bangkok or Sydney, or a tightly-scheduled itinerary where you’ll visit a dozen countries in a dozen days.

Perhaps you’re headed to the jungle or desert in the middle of nowhere, which will still be worth it because it’s a place that’s far from home. Whatever the case, you have earned this trip so the only thing you need to do now is to start planning.

Getting there, of course, is half the fun. You can get a head start on your travel plans with a mobile device. If you don’t have one yet for this trip, you can find tablet deals with providers like T-Mobile. Tablets can give you easy access to useful travel-related apps before and after you arrive. Think of it as traveling with a computer and your own native guide in one resource.

TripIt

This app can help organize details about where you’re going and how you’re getting there, everything from confirmation numbers to what gate you’re flying out of. It also alerts you to possible changes, such as a delayed flight or a changed gate, and syncs the same data to different device screens so any traveling companions can have access to the same data. It’s available for free for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry, or $49 a year for TripIt Pro that provides more planning assistance, including details of where your seat is on your next flight.

TouristEye

If you have been thinking about this trip for years, you may already have acquired all sorts of information about the destination. Here’s your chance to assemble everything you plan on seeing and doing with this free app. Share your pre-scrapbook with social media friends so they can share their experiences, advice, recommendations and warnings, everything from fun places to visit to what places to avoid. Think of it as crowd-sourcing your own travel plans. TouristEye is now part of the Lonely Planet travel portal and available for iOS and Android. It also works off-line so you can read your wish lists anywhere.

XE Currency

Talking about the money part isn’t necessarily as fun as sightseeing but knowing something about current conversion rates can come in handy, especially if you’re planning on loading up on souvenirs or not that familiar with local costs. This free app for Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry explains your current rates for dollars against the currency of your intended destination. This could be useful when shopping, dining or looking for exchanges.

SayHi

More apps are now available to help navigate different languages compared to a generation ago when the only choices were fumbling with hard-copy dictionaries, learning the basics, or hiring someone who speaks the language or knows the culture as a guide or driver. There are various translation program options, but SayHi focuses on conversations and allows you or another speaker to talk into your device, which then tells you what they’re saying in a tongue or dialect that’s easier to understand. SayHi is $1.99 to get started with 100 languages for Apple iOS products. You also can buy additional language upgrades.