Essential Apps Every Traveller Should Download Before Boarding That Plane

Maybe not as essential as air and water, but certainly important enough to find a place in your smartphone so to make your travel abroad as hassle-free as it can be possible.

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Google Translate

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Download: Android and iOS

Travelling to a place where you don’t speak the local language?

Google Translate is the app you must have! It supports up to 60 languages. Uses the camera and microphone on your smart device and turns a foreign language into English in no time. It lets you type in words to sort through a dictionary.

It also lets you talk into the device, offering verbal translations in return.


Download: Android and iOS

An essential app for the tech-savvy backpacker, listing affordable accommodation around the world, ranging "from a private apartment to a private island," the Airbnb is a growing community marketplace that connects you with people who have space to rent. So far there are 150,000 places listed in 190 countries. In-app messaging to guests/hosts make communication frictionless, keeping all activity on your smartphone.

XE Currency Converter

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Download: Android and iOS is one of the best known and most reliable currency-related sites on the Internet, and its app is no exception. A handy currency conversion app, XE Currency provides a main field to input the amount you want to convert and instantly displays its equivalent for all the currencies that you have selected. Just set your default currency and you can keep tabs on a number of others. The best thing about it is that it remembers the most recently updated rate, so you can still convert with reasonable accuracy even when you don't have a connection.


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Download: Android and iOS

While Uber's reputation has taken a hit in recent time, it's still a fantastic app that helps in navigating a foreign country that is not known for trustworthy transportation options. You can check out the cities in which Uber is available here and see if you can use it for your upcoming vacation.

City Maps 2Go

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Download: Android and iOS

While Google Maps and Apple Maps cover pretty much of the mapped earth, and helps in navigating around towns. Both apps have an extensive point-of-interest (POI) databases. City Maps 2Go, however, helps you navigate new areas with offline maps. It's not designed for navigation, but for getting maps and travel info before you leave, so you won't require a data connection when you arrive at your destination. It has worldwide maps and tourist information, even for out-of-the-way places.

WiFi Map Pro

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Download: Android and iOS

A crowdsourced database of public Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. WiFi Map shows more than 2 million hotspots. The app also allows its users to document passwords and add comments about the hotspots, making it easier to get online. WiFi Map comes in a both a free and Pro option in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. The USD4.99 Pro version is aimed at travellers who may not have mobile broadband access at all times; this edition helps them find Wi-Fi hotspots even while they're offline.

PS: For obvious reasons, you're going to need this app more than others on this list!

For further planning, here's a list of online services to help you...

And in case you're planning a trip to France...

However, with travelling, comes travel scams. So be wary:

Finally, here's a list of do's and don'ts when travelling abroad:

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