What apps are best for overseas travel?

With the help of modern technology – i.e. smartphones – traveling to a new country or city has never been easier. Here is a great list of travel apps to check out.

1.  Viber
There’s a wide range of apps out there that offer travelers and expats an opportunity to keep in touch with their friends and families back home. One such example is Viber, an application that allows iPhone users to make free phone calls to fellow iPhone users no matter where in the world they are. Providing you and the call recipient both have iPhones, then international calls using Viber or Wi-Fi are completely free of charge.

2.  iMetro
iMetro is a handy app that provides metro/underground transport maps for 28 cities throughout the world. Each map is scalable and you can manipulate the screen to zoom in and find your way.

3.  HiConverter
Can’t quite get used to the measurement systems in place abroad? HiConverter is a very handy app that quickly converts measurements from one system to another. Temperature, shoe sizes, distance, currency; you name it, it can convert it. The app also has the added advantage of being integrated with Tiptulator, an app that allows you to calculate the tip on a restaurant or bar bill.

4.  iLingual
ILingual is a fun app that steals your lips and transforms them into multilingual speakers. You simply take a photograph of your lips (or someone elses’ for a more comedic effect), choose the phrase you would like to say in the foreign language and then hold your iPhone over your face where you lips are to create the effect that you are speaking the words. At the very least it will get a few laughs! The app is currently only available in French, German and Arabic.

5. XE Currency
XE Currency is a very popular app because it allows for very quick currency conversions and is capable of performing multiple conversions at the same time. The currency rates can refresh every 60 seconds meaning that you have the most up to date rate available at your fingertips. You can also program the app so that it automatically tracks the performance of a number of different currencies over time, great for expats who are investments in a variety of locations.

6. Word Lens
Word Lens is one of the newest apps on the scene and it has caused quite a stir. The app offers a new approach to translation that is based on images and goes significantly further than many other translation apps have been able to go. At present it only offers Spanish to English translations but more languages are planned in the future.

7. Weatherbug
Weatherbug is a great app to save, and track, the weather conditions in up to 20 locations throughout the world and offers live webcam views of the weather in action.

8. Tourcaster Walking Tours
For travelers or newly arrived expats who are interested in exploring on foot without being armed with an attention-grabbing tourist book, the Tourcaster audio walking tours app offers walking tours in popular destinations throughout the world. Load your virtual map and follow the onscreen instructions to explore the city and learn more of its history. Each tour is categorized according to difficulty, length and distance so you can fit your tours in around your schedule and explore at your own pace.

Thanks for the information, George Eves, serial expat and founder of Expat Info Desk, a comprehensive online information resource for expats worldwide.

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About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.


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