10 free apps I can't live without while travelling

How did we travel without smartphones? Eventhough I've packed a real map of South America (so retro) and an actual spanish/english dictionary, my iphone is still my trusty friend when it comes to getting to the information and people I need quickly. Here are the apps that are helping me on this journey...

1

ES-EN dictionary

It's a free dictionary - usable offline - which spares me my usual interpretive dance/mime routine in trying to communicate the words I don't know in spanish. Not spanish or in a spanish-speaking country? Never fear, they have heaps of other languages too. 


2

World Lens

This is another language app I love and have only just discovered. It works by holding up the app to a sign in another language and it magically translates the sign into your chosen language. Useful AND fun.   


3

TU Go

This is only for UK O2 mobile phone customers. It allows you to make and receive calls from your mobile, over wifi, without paying ridiculous roaming charges. Of course, Facetime and Skype also do this, but only if people you're trying to call have the app (and an iPhone in Facetime's case) and are also online. This just acts as your normal phone.


4

Mapswithme (lite)

The joy of this little app, other than that it's free, is that you can download a map of a whole country to view offline. Googlemaps can also do this, I hear you say, but it only allows you to download an area or a city, not a country. It will also tell you your location while offline for whenever you find yourself a little lost. Which I tend to get occasionally.


5

XE Currency

This clever little app tells you how much the conversion rate for all currencies are. It's free, it's accurate, it's easy to use and I use it all the time.


6

Skyscanner

There is always a debate with my US friends and I about whether Skyscanner or KAYAK is best for finding cheap flights. Skyscanner wins for me hands down. It finds me the cheapest airline tickets for where ever I'm looking to go and has never let me down.


7

Tripadvisor

Yes, yes, a regular on these kinds of lists but it's a faithful friend when I'm looking for a place to stay and go when I hit a new town. Also, having users rate their experiences makes it feel a lot more authentic than a hotel/tour/venue pitch. You can find my profile on there here if you fancy connecting (yes, I do need to do some more reviews).


8

Shazam

Music is one of my favourite things in life and as I travel, I keep hearing music I adore but have no idea what it is. And for that, I have Shazam. Just open the app, put it close to the music and it will tag it - if you're online, it will tell you what it is automatically or store it for later if you're not. It's in my top 5 favourite apps of all time.


9

Whatsapp

You can chat, send pictures and videos and soon you'll be able to talk to your loved ones too, from anywhere you are. And it's free (over wifi). Joy.


10

Foodspotting

Oh how I love food. And this app tells you where to go to get the very best food closest to where ever you are. Right now it's telling me the closest place for me to get the best ceviche - food of the gods - is at Canta Rana in Barranco, Lima. I'm putting on my hat...


So these are mine - what about yours?