Visiting another country is incredibly exciting. To experience another culture and soak up the sights and sounds can be incredibly stressful, though, and that can really put a damper on your next international holiday. Fortunately, there are mobile apps that can make international travel easier.
Tip: your travel experience can be even smoother with these must-have tech products.
Traveling can be incredibly expensive. Thankfully, Hopper (Android | iOS) is here to help. The app uses past pricing history to estimate when price drops and sales may occur, enabling you to plan your next vacation to coincide with the best deals. As a result, Hooper can be used to find cheap flights as well as the best deals on hotels and car rentals. In addition, Hopper can help eliminate FOMO with push notifications of price drops. Rest assured that you’ll never miss out on a deal when Hopper is installed. Finally, through a variety of partnerships, Hopper is home to exclusive deals and offers to make travel even easier on your wallet.
- Price prediction feature
- Book flights, hotels, and rental cars from one app
- Customer support is lacking
2. Travel Freely
Credit cards that earn airline miles and other rewards are great, but are you getting the best bang for your buck? With Travel Freely (Android | iOS), you’ll be maxing out your rewards points all the time, every time. Admittedly, credit card rewards can be tricky to master, but Travel Freely makes it easy. The app tracks credit card reward programs and provides insight into annual fees and minimum spending requirements. Travel Freely offers personalized card recommendations, notifications of important dates, and tracks Chase bank’s 5/24 rule that states personal accounts shouldn’t open more than five credit cards in twenty-four months.
- Uses 256-bit SSL Security for secure submissions
- Easy for beginners to maximize their reward points
- Does not track points earned (although some may see this as a pro, as the app doesn’t collect credit card information)
Tip: did you know that you can use your own headphones to enjoy in-flight entertainment. Read on to learn more.
Price: Free / $48.99 per year
Keeping track of all your travel details can be an arduous task. Virtually all of your most important travel information can be sent to TripIt (Android | iOS): reservations, tickets, Airbnb booking information, directions, and more. In addition, TripIt displays your travel itinerary on an interactive map and enables you to send your travel info to anyone you choose. Furthermore, TripIt keeps track of all your past trips, enabling you to find your favorite restaurants, accommodations and more for future trips. TripIt’s premium tier adds features like a reward point tracker and real-time flight status alerts.
- Organize all travel documents in one place
- Share your itinerary with others
- Premium version of the app is much more expensive than similar apps
Price: Free / $2.99 per year
Have you ever arrived at your destination only to find that you forgot to pack something? Thanks to PackPoint (Android | iOS), you’ll never have to stress about that again. PackPoint is more than just a digital checklist for your suitcase – it’s more like a personal assistant. Simply input your destination and the length of your stay, and PackPoint will generate a custom packing list. The app will alter the list depending on whether your trip is for business or leisure. Furthermore, it takes into account whether you will have access to laundry facilities and willing to wear certain items more than once. In addition, PackPoint can tailor your packing list based on things like the weather forecast and even your planned activities.
- Useful for other scenarios outside of air travel (e.g. camping)
- TripIt integration (requires upgrading to the premium version)
- UI needs refinement
Price: Free / $1.79
When traveling overseas, you want to enjoy the sights, not stress out about how much stuff costs. Unfortunately, currency conversion can leave you relying on rusty math skills to calculate prices on the fly. CoinCalc (Android) takes the pressure off so that you can get back to enjoying your holiday. CoinCalc supports over 700 currencies from around the world, including popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. When connected to the Internet, CoinCalc automatically updates exchange rates to ensure conversions are as accurate as possible. In addition, CoinCalc can convert multiple currencies at once in the paid version.
- Support for over 700 currencies including crypto
- Sorts currencies based on frequency of use for easy access
- Not available for iOS
- Widgets only available in Pro version
Good to know: you’ll need to turn data roaming on once you reach your destination. Find out how data roaming works and more.
Price: Free / $3.99 per month
Flights and accommodation can put a serious dent in your wallet. But what about all the money you’re going to spend when you land? In our increasingly cashless society, it can be difficult to keep track of your spending. TravelSpend (Android | iOS) can help by logging all of your expenses and organizing your spending into categories like food and gifts. Furthermore, the app does not rely on an Internet connection to work and automatically converts foreign currencies into your home currency. TravelSpend is free to use; however, there are in-app purchases to unlock additional features.
- Collaborate with other people to keep track of expenses together
- Export data to a CSV file for expense reports
- App doesn’t allow you to backdate your expenses
One of the worst aspects of traveling is the time you spend sitting around in airports. Everything is overpriced, and finding a place to charge your gadget can be a test of your patience. Fortunately, the FLIO app (Android | iOS) is here to help. Instead of sitting at your departure gate, fire up the FLIO app and explore the nooks and crannies of the airport. The app relies on user-submitted data to help you discover the hidden secrets in over 5,000 airports across the globe. Stretch your legs and find the best shops, eateries, charging stations and other ways to pass the time while you wait for your flight. In addition, FLIO offers built-in airport maps and real time updates on flight information. Furthermore, FLIO can organize parking and lounge access directly through the app!
- Real-time updates about boarding time, delays, gate changes, flight status and baggage claim
- Notifies you if you qualify for flight delay compensation
- Tacked on social element
- UI isn’t the most intuitive
8. Google Translate
If you’re traveling to a country and don’t speak the native language, Google Translate (Android | iOS) can help you avoid frustration. Simply tap a button, speak, and Google Translate will either display the translated text on your screen or speak it out loud. In addition, Google Translate has an instant camera translation feature, which allows users to instantly translate written text, such as signs or menus, within their phones’ camera apps. Furthermore, Google Translate supports a handwriting mode, so users can draw characters instead of using their keyboard to enter foreign words.
- Multiple ways to translate
- Can be used without a data connection
- Support for over 100 languages
- Image translation can be hit or miss
Tip: keep yourself entertained while waiting for a flight with an ebook. Learn how to activate Reading Mode on Android for an improved reading experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get a SIM card when I travel internationally?
You should be able to buy a SIM card when you arrive. In most airports there are kiosks that sell local SIM cards. However, the rates may be a little higher than if you bought one outside of the airport. You can always opt for the cheapest prepaid SIM at the airport and top up later on. Alternatively, some countries (like Japan) allow visitors to pre-purchase SIM cards online, which can then be delivered to their hotels. In some cases, you may be able to use your current SIM via your local service provider. Still, you’ll want to check roaming rates to make sure that you’re not spending a fortune. If you switched to a new SIM and are getting the “No SIM card detected” error, learn what to do.
If I can't get a SIM card right away, will I be able to use Google Maps?
Google Maps relies on a data connection to operate. Fortunately, there is a way to use Google Maps without one. Download the map of the area before you arrive. First, ensure you’re connected to the Internet and open Google Maps. In the search field, enter your destination (e.g. New York City), then tap on the settings/account icon on the top right of the screen. On the subsequent menu, tap “Offline Maps -> Select Your Own Map,” which opens a map of the area you previously entered. You can customize the area by dragging and pinching the map. Once you’ve selected the area, tap the “Download” button. The map will be saved locally to your device to use for navigation, even without a data connection.
Is 911 the emergency contact number in every country?
The short answer is no. For example, in Australia, the equivalent of 911 is 000. The U.S. State Department has a handy list of emergency numbers used in virtually every country on the planet. We recommend finding the one for the country you’re planning on visiting and saving it to your phone. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Image credit: Unsplash
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox