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Posted June 12, 2013 by Tom Litchfield in Tips
 
 

More travel apps for your next trip

Woman with tablet computer on the beach sitting in the deck chair
Woman with tablet computer on the beach sitting in the deck chair

{EAV:e58311b2357accb9} I’ve written about several worthwhile travel apps you’ll want to have on your phone or tablet while you travel. Here are a few more useful apps to consider for your next vacation or business trip.

MyWeather

Before you reach your travel destination, you’ll probably check the weather reports so you’ll know what to pack and what to prepare for. After you’ve arrived, it’s just as important to have real-time weather information at your fingertips, in a language you understand.

If you like to shop and book tours and events locally, you’ll want to know the forecast before scheduling your activities. You don’t want to buy tickets for an outdoor show on the same day rain is expected, or schedule a boat trip if a storm is approaching.

There are several weather apps you can use, MyWeather is a popular one known for its accuracy. It provides as much detailed weather information as needed: “feels like” temperature and actual temperature, clouds, wind speed, storms, lightning and more.

MyWeather app screen example

Information is displayed at-a-glance and on animated satellite maps with radar. Shows hourly and 10 day weather forecasts. You can also receive optional alerts for severe weather changes.

MyWeather is free for Apple iOS devices.

  • Apple App Store
  • Google Play (Since writing this article MyWeather is no longer available on Google Play, the link has been changed to a similar free weather app, AccuWeather.)

Google Translate

Google’s language translation app is one you’ll want to download and keep handy if you ever need to translate a word or phrase to English or the other way around. You’ll especially need this app when traveling in non-English speaking countries.

The app can translate 64 languages, 24 with audio, and offers voice input for 17 languages. You can even draw characters for some languages on the screen and it will translate them for you. It can translate characters, words, phrases and full sentences.

Google Translate app screen example

Are the translations perfect? No, but it’s still a pretty amazing app, particularly considering the number of languages it supports. What’s even more amazing is that it’s free.

Google Translate is like having a digital phrasebook that you don’t need to remember to pack. But if you want to learn how to understand and speak a language you may be better off with a language learning app that allows you to practice. These apps are better for learning and may have translations that are more accurate than Google’s. Language learning apps are usually not free.

The Google Translate app is free for Apple iOS and Android phones and tablets:

XE Currency

If you’re traveling to places with different currencies, you’re going to do lots of calculating in your head if you don’t have the XE Currency app.

XE Currency was designed for easy currency conversion calculation. It toggles between currencies for quick calculation and allows you to monitor any currency for quick glance rates.

Best of all, the app works offline. While you’re online it stores currency information on your phone or tablet, allowing you make calculations anywhere. Once you’re online again, the app will update, downloading current rates.

XE Currency app screen example

Some travel apps like Kayak include currency converters. But you might find having XE Currency handy on your home screen, set up for your trip, more convenient.

XE Currency is free for Android and Apple iOS devices, with a Pro upgrade for iOS only for $1.99:

Wikihood

This app uses the GPS location on your mobile device to display Wikipedia information on your surroundings. Local information and facts on landmarks, attractions, buildings, parks, districts, and anything else nearby that is noteworthy.

As the app developers put it, “Wikihood is mobile Wikipedia on steroids.” This app can be very handy when traveling and perhaps can save you from having to buy a local guidebook. Discover sites, landmarks, even historic events, all around where you’re currently standing!

Wikihood app screen example

If you like having background information on places you visit, this app can be lots of fun, particularly if you’re a history buff. I’ve found that it has interesting facts missed by other apps and traveler reviews. It’s surprisingly helpful when traveling off-the beaten-path, away from the tourist spots.

The Wikipedia mobile app has a similar GPS search feature, but I find Wikihood much more streamlined and easier to use. The maps in Wikihood are significantly better than those in Wikipedia mobile.

Wikihood is free and available for Apple iOS and Android devices:

There’s A Travel App for That

Many of us travel to discover and explore new places. To get the most out of your next vacation you may want to do a little app discovery and exploration before your trip.
There are thousands of travel related apps for Android and Apple devices. Many cater to certain outdoor hobbies and interests, such as biking, scuba diving, and other activities.

Here’s a sample of app titles for outdoor activities. The usefulness of these apps will depend on where you’re visiting, so you’ll have to do some research to know if they’ll come in handy.

Then there are apps for specific cities. Aside from TripAdvisor’s City Guides, these apps are developed locally for navigating the public transit and subways, calling taxis and the local perspective on the city’s lesser-known spots.

Do a search in the app stores for the major cities on your itinerary and browse the apps available. You may find apps that provide richer local information compared to the global apps, or others that cater to activities you enjoy.

Whatever the reason you like to travel, and wherever you go, I’m sure these apps will help relieve some of the stress that goes along with the pleasure of travel and make your trips more enjoyable. Even if you have a favorite place you like to visit each year and know every nook-and-cranny of the land, some of these apps may surprise you. When you’re packing for your next trip, don’t forget to pack your phone with some of these great travel apps.


Tom Litchfield

 
is generally fascinated with mobile and internet technologies, and how they can help people and organizations. He’s always on the lookout for new technology that solves real problems.