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10 must-have travel apps

Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, but you can use your phone as the ultimate connection tool.

Here are 10 free apps that can help make that trip of a lifetime even more enjoyable.

  • Google Translate: having trouble figuring out what you just ordered or figuring out if the sign means parking is free?  Download the language you need and aim the camera at the text you need translated.  Boom! Instant translation.
  • XE: most of us have trouble figuring out what 1,348,128 Vietnamese Dong equals in Canadian dollars.  Use the currency exchange app XE to stay on top of spending. 
  • Around ME: crucial in today’s uncertain times.This app monitors your whereabouts and identifies the closest banks, gas stations, hospitals, movie theatres and restaurants.
  • App In The Air: Real time flight updates, gate changes, airport navigation maps and tips means you’ll not find yourself running frantically through airport terminals any more.
  • Duolingo: if simply translating isn’t want you are looking for, this free app makes learning a language a fun game. The list of languages is consistently expanding. It currently offers 23 including Spanish, Vietnamese, Swahili and German.
  • Guides by Lonely Planet: a condensed version of the Lonely Planet travel guides. You can download the guide for the city you’re visiting and then search for the category you want. These include things to see, places to eat, places to drink, places to sleep, places to shop and places to play. Essential information including maps and descriptions are all stored offline on your device, so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges.
  • Google Trips: Are you the type of person who keeps all your travel itineraries in a manila folder?  Google Trips is exactly like that without all the paper work. Simply forward your hotel, air and tour bookings and the app organizes it all automatically. It also maps out day or half-day itineraries with suggestions of things to see or do. The info is all stored offline so access is easy and free.
  • PackPoint: automatically generates a bespoke packing list for your trip. Just download your destination, duration of stay, time of year you are travelling and some details regarding the activities you’re planning to partake in. The app supplies a list of clothing, apparatus and equipment, which you can “tweak” to your own personal taste. Never forget your “­­­­­______” again.
  • Family Locater: have kids backpacking Europe this year? Want to keep track of their whereabouts?  This app lets you plot their map and has features that include integrated messaging, check ins (automatic and manual) as well as push notifications advising when they have left and arrived to destinations.
  • Rome2Rio: the transit app. Route planning from A to B and continent to continent can be frustrating and overwhelming. This app uses information from over 4,800 transport operators in 158 countries to instantly display flight, train, bus, ferry and driving options with estimated travel times and fares.

Technology is your friend; make it your personal travel valet as well.

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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