Nothing can take away the excitement of getting ready to go on a trip, except maybe the packing, planning, getting lost, language barriers, flight delays, etc. The good news is you don’t have to let those potential hurdles stand in the way of an awesome, well-deserved getaway if you find the right tools to help you stay organized.
Check out some of the best apps and websites that will transform you from confused tourist into happy traveler.
Waze: Download Waze as your free GPS and not only will you get where you need to go, but you’ll avoid traffic jams and speed traps and navigate detours. The app works well since it’s updated in real time by drivers, so you’ll get advice to detour around that 10-car pileup.
Wish you were here 2.0
Postagram: Remember the feeling of getting a postcard in the mail from a loved one? That has fallen somewhat out of fashion, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, but this free app for iPhone and Android is bringing back personalized postcards. Postagram lets you send personalized photos and messages on actual paper postcards for $2 each, but making your relatives back home smile is priceless.
Foreign language 101
Google Translate: Lost in a foreign country or have a question about a menu item? This free app, available for Apple and Android, saves you the time (and embarrassment) of trying to get your words across by allowing you to speak your request in English, and then translating into the language of choice with one button tap.
Expense reports simplified
Concur: If you travel for business, keeping track of receipts and filling out expense reports can be tedious. This free iPhone and Android app eliminates all of the paperwork by allowing you to track and submit your travel expenses while you’re still on the road.
Tripit: If you’re in charge of keeping all the nitty gritty trip details straight — from flights to hotel reservations to events and attractions — this is a must download. Especially helpful if you’re traveling with a group, you can share itineraries so no one misses a meet up.
Hotel Tonight: Deciding on a last minute getaway or need to find a room because you missed your flight? As its name implies, this free Apple and Android app will help you find a place to sleep tonight. The website lists only hotels with unsold, available rooms for that night, so you can’t use it to book ahead. However, last-minute rooms are often as much as 70 percent off.
CityMaps2Go: Never get lost in a big city again. This free phone app lets you download maps and guides to over 7,000 world cities and access them offline.
By using apps like these in your travels, you can save yourself some stress, make the most of your trip and even end up saving some money. Give them a shot, and let us know what your favorite travel apps are.