By Jessica Russo
Are your worries before and during travel the same as ours? What do I pack? What if I can't speak the language? How much money should I bring? What if I get lost? How will I get around? Hey, you! Take a deep breath and download these handy apps, so that you have solutions to every problem right in your pocket. Spend all your time having fun and less time stressing. You know why? Well, there's an app for that.
... sorry, we had to.
Photo by Instagram user @icentre_romania
For help packing: Packpoint
No matter how excited we are for a trip, there is always that dreaded, overwhelming few hours where we stare at an empty suitcase. We moan and groan and say, "Ugh, I hate packing!" We've all been there. Luckily, PackPoint is an indecisive packer's dream. It works like this: you enter the date, destination, and length of your trip. Then, you enter what sorts of activities you'll be doing (hiking, fancy dinners, etc.). When that's all done, PackPoint actually checks your vacation destination's weather forecast during your trip dates and creates your very own personalized packing list! Trust us, it thinks of everything.
Photo by Instagram user @itranslate
For translation: iTranslate
Okay, this is no plain old dictionary. There are so many reasons we love iTranslate.
Firstly, you can use it offline. Hate to break it to you, but you won't have Wi-Fi 24/7 while traveling. Most apps are connected to the internet, and therefore, will not work without Wi-Fi. Thankfully, with this app, you can still translate that sign in the train station or read that menu at the hole-in-the-wall cafe.
Secondly, with iTranslate Lens, you can snap a photo of a menu or sign you don't understand and the app will instantly translate it for you. Let's be real - no one wants to guess what they're eating for dinner.
Lastly, iTranslate works with over 100 languages! It also uses text, voice, or photo recognition, so whether you read, hear, or see something you don't understand, iTranslate will have your back.
Heads up: While iTranslate is available for Android phones, it may not offer as many features as it would using an iPhone. Google Translate and TripLingo are also great Android-friendly translation apps.
For getting around: Uber
Photo by Instagram user @uber
Did you know that Uber is now in over 60 countries and 400 cities? While it's not guaranteed that Uber serves in your destination, there is a darn good chance that it does. Be sure to keep this app handy - you never know when you'll need a ride, and getting a cab may not be as easy as you think. And, in some cases (especially if you're traveling with a large group), taking an Uber is less expensive than a taxi or even public transportation!
Photo by Instagram user @birdswings
For currency conversion: XE Currency
Converting currency can be confusing. As soon as you arrive in a destination, you'll see prices that may appear really high or really low. You may find yourself constantly thinking: how much is that in USD? With XE Currency, you won't have to do any math in your head and you'll never have to take out your calculator in the middle of a store or restaurant. Simply set the app to your home currency and your destination's currency. Whenever you want to check how much you'll be paying for something, simply plug in the price and up will pop the price in your home currency. This is a great way to make sure you're not overspending.
Photo by Instagram user @whatsapp
To stay connected: WhatsApp
While many cell phone carriers offer decent international plans, WhatsApp is a great free tool for those who want to stay connected without the cost of international calling and texting. Through WhatsApp, you can make voice calls, send text messages, send photos/videos, and even video call! Even if you purchase an international plan through your wireless carrier, it's a good idea to download WhatsApp just in case.
Photo by Instagram user @maps.me
To avoid getting lost: MAPS.ME
Google Maps and Apple Maps are great - but what happens when you don't have Wi-Fi or LTE service? What if you're driving through the mountainous Scottish Highlands and you make a wrong turn? That's where MAPS.ME steps up to the plate. This lifesaver of an app provides maps offline. It also provides directions and detailed maps that show food, shops, hotels, gas stations, and more.