Smartphones are a way of life these days. I take mine everywhere, and look at it approximately 3,458 times a day. With so much time and attention lavished on our mobile phones, isn’t it about time they did something useful for us? As we come to the end of our two weeks of wanderlusting, we’ve compiled a list of 10 smartphone apps that’ll help make any trip easier and more enjoyable — from booking tickets, to what to bring, to how to chat up the locals. These apps will help you get the most out of your phone, so you can get the most out of your trip.
Take a look at our list, and share your favorite apps in the comments!
1. PROBLEM: I need to get my friggin’ travel plans together!
TripIt will help you plan your next vacay and all from your smartphone. You can create custom itineraries and plan everything from your rental car to your hotel to excursions.
2. PROBLEM: But what do I bring?
PackingPro allows you to create lists of what you need, where you’re going and what to bring, so you’ll never be without a toothbrush, pair of undies or weather-appropriate jacket again.
3. PROBLEM: I just got to town and my hotel lost my reservation. Where do I stay?
Hotel Tonight helps you find great last-minute places to stay at deeply discounted rates. Available in 12 countries and in close to 100 destinations, the site’s options are carefully curated designer and boutique hotels, so you won’t get stuck staying at a crappy Red Roof Inn or something. A warning: Because of the high-end selection, even discounted rates can be on the pricey side.
4. PROBLEM: But what’s that really going to cost me?
I’m a zillion percent guilty of treating foreign currency like it’s Monopoly money. Onanda Currency Converter provides quick and easy conversions for 126 currencies, along with the option to add your bank’s international currency fees.
5. PROBLEM: Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
Help Call automatically detects your location and provides a direct connection to local police, fire department and ambulance services. You also have the option of contacting — by dialing or by simply shaking the phone — a pre-set emergency contact.
6. PROBLEM: How do you say “Want to make out?” in Farsi?
Converse helps you quickly and easily translate what you want to say from English into any other language. That way you too can have beautifully profound conversations with French waiters!
7. PROBLEM: Uh, what’s that sign say? Do not enter?
World Lens translates signs, placards and posters by simply pointing the app in the direction of the written words. Works in Spanish, German, Italian and French, so far.
8. PROBLEM: Cabs are expensive. Where’s the nearest metro stop?
AllSubway is an app that connects you to more than 160 subway systems around the world.
9. PROBLEM: I want to take pictures like a pro, without having to carry a huge camera around.
Photosynth allows you to create panoramic, geo-located and interactive photos on your smartphone. You can then post them up to your Tumblr, blog and Facebook page to make all your friends jealz.
10: PROBLEM: I want to learn about that building without having to pull out my guide book every five seconds.
Okay, Google Goggles is amazing. You can use this app to find out information about virtually anything. Just aim the app at a painting, a famous landmark, a storefront or, really, whatever you want, and it will provide you with information about that thing.
[Girl on phone photo courtesy of Shutterstock]