Sometimes I wonder how we managed in the days before technology. I certainly remember long car rides across many states while we played “I Spy” or read books. Today, parents just turn on a movie or hand their kids an iPad and silence ensues.
With said technology, travel in general has just been made easier. Here are a few favorite suggested items/apps for your consideration.
Translation App: You may be lucky enough to be bilingual but even if you’re not, you can get around in just about any country with the assistance of a translation app. Most of these apps can do speech translation or text translation. Need to tell a taxi driver to take you to your hotel? Speak the directions in your native tongue, and it will then repeat them in the desired language. A few recommended apps are iTranslate, iHandy Translator Pro, Voice Translator, and SayHi Translate.
International Converter: I’ve always tried to keep conversion rates as simple as possible and then do the math in my head. In some countries that I’ve visited, this is a bit more complicated. But with my iPhone handy, I don’t have to think anymore. Type in the in-country amount and it will convert to your home currency. A favorite app, GlobeConvert, will also convert temperature, speeds, time, measurement, and more. Extremely handy. You may also want to shop while you travel, in which case a size converter would come in handy. Converter also offers this option in addition to the others previously mentioned.
Expense Tracker: Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s always a good idea to track where your money is going. And when it’s cash, I notice it leaves my wallet faster and I have little recollection as to where it ended up. With certain apps, like Concur, you can track your spending as you travel. For business travelers like myself, the expense tracking and quick reports come in handy. Especially when many receipts lack proper labeling. Use this app to tie details to amounts.
Travel Guide: I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for travel books. When I travel, I want to know every little random detail and bit of history about the place I am traveling to. This can make my bag very heavy. When I was younger and backpacking internationally, I would tear the necessary pages out of books. Now, I just pull out my tablet and/or phone. Unfortunately, my favorite books (Eyewitness Travel) are not available in this format yet. Frommer’s makes a great interactive travel guide, so try this rather than hauling a library along with you.
Luggage Scale: And finally, a digital luggage scale. Because it’s a pretty regular occurrence that when you’re on your way home you will be bringing more than you came with. That combined with varying luggage weight restrictions by country and airline, you’ll need something to make sure you don’t create a open-suitcase scene at the airport. Try this Mini Digital Luggage Scale by TravelSmith.
Alison J. Herzog is an eater, shopper, traveler, and most of all, a proud mama to Baby Zog. She pays for these by working as a social media strategist. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram or at In The Land Of Zog and catch ramblings about all of the above.