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10 Best Apps for Travel (& They’re Free!)KayakEvernoteGate GuruGoogle TranslateXE CurrencyWazeAward WalletConcurJ WireICarPark
Plan and make bookings. Organize notes. Waste less time at airports. Want to speak Urdu? Translate thoughts into grammatically correct foreign speech. Calculate your cash conversions correctly. Steer away serenely from traffic jams. Track loyalty rewards. Submit expense reports. Before you run out of juice find Wi-Fi. If you’re too juiced…. find your way, easily, back to your parked car to sleep it off. These 10 apps can do this all and for free.
Start planning with Kayak.com, before you even leave home. Search for, compare, coordinate and book flights, hotels and car rentals too. Kayak links to TripAdvisor to screen and provide information about hotels using real travelers’ ratings and reviews. Manage your trip itinerary while traveling to keep organized with confirmation numbers, and find out about last minute changes. Kayak.com/Explore also helps you search and plan your after-work time giving various options for different budgets.
Compatibility: Universal IOS app (iphone, iPad, etc.), Windows Phone, Nokia's Android
Thank you to EntrepreneuressAcademy.com for recommending Evernote, an excellent app, for before, during, and after your business travels. Record, save—and organize—your thoughts. Clip and copy from the web. Capture and store images. Include word documents and excel spreadsheets. Keep special e-mails handy, and send special notes. Make, save and synchronize your plans, as you keep current on all your devices including computer, phones and websites.
Compatibility: IOS compatible, Android, web browsers, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and more
Before and after the security check-in, waste no more time in the airport. Flight tracking notification alerts you about the crowds or unexpected delays. Prevent unnecessary problems due to gate-location confusion. No need to miss a flight (or a meal) because you can’t find your next departure gate or nearby tasty edibles. Get better gifts on the go with the gateguru’s help. Find your favorite kind of layover lounge with reviews from fellow travelers.
Compatibility: IOS and Android (not yet live for Windows, but expected in May.)
Amazingly versatile and instantaneous, TranslateGoogle currently works with 57 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish. Really helpful for on-the-go spontaneity, it offers an immediacy 2nd best to a human translator. All you have to do is think it, and type it. See the translation, and hear the phrase in the desired language. In addition, a newer Google Translator Toolkit actually uses human translators aided by technologies like Google Translate to translate entire documents!
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
The Ex.com app calculates and makes conversions for you instantly using up to 180+ worldwide currencies. You can also access live foreign exchange rates, up-to-date currency news as well as historical rates. Get e-mails or follow economic indicators calendar. You can create and track comparison charts, and get help to calculate prices even in remote areas. Get free e-mail updates with currency rates and news headlines including several central bank interest rates.
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone
Driving can be treacherous—especially if you’re traveling in uncharted territory. Obstacles can be avoided with this dynamic navigational map system. Constantly updated in real time using drivers’ GPS points, WAZE can automatically alert you to bumper to bumper traffic jams, fender-benders and detours—even police traps. This application was suggested by our reader, Natalie Lawrence, and is “driven” and activated by participating drivers who generate reports and send in photos.
Compatibility: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia
Track and monitor your loyalty and reward programs. You can store your passwords, balances, and account numbers connected to your frequent flyer miles, hotel and car-rental and credit card loyalty points—even free coffee card awards. Awardwallet can help you to earn more—with your ID numbers conveniently handy—and you will be more likely to take advantage of your rewards because you can be notified before expiration dates.
Compatibility: Android and iPhone
Recommended by CommandPower who says, “My expenses are done before I’m back in the office,” Concur organizes and tracks, saves and submits travel expenses. Employers and employees can use it on-the-go. Helps prevent forgetfulness, and sloth. Submit expense reports online or click from a mobile phone. And get your reimbursements more quickly. T&E, office supplies, cash and credit card charges can all be reimbursed directly to bank accounts. Integrates with TripIt for Business for free, too.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry
Cost: Free 30-day subscription then starts at $8 per month
You won’t get stuck out on a limb—isolated and unconnected, nor get caught on deadline running out of juice. With Jiwire, you can quickly access hot Wi-Fi spots in remote areas—located in more than 140 countries worldwide. You can download a list, call or get directions, and you can be connected automatically. You can add it to your favorites list, and you can easily share it through Twitter or Facebook.
Compatibility: Wi-Fi-enabled devices including Macs, iPhones and PC laptops, Android, or virtually any other smartphone
Forget where you parked the car? Mark and save your spot securely with this personal parking valet. Note the level and the row. Stores details on up to five different vehicles, with exact display of distance and positions, measured in meters and yards. Keep track of time if a meter is ticking. And with a click, iCarPark will get you walking directions from your current position, back to your car—or bicycle. Lost no more.