The Ultimate Guide to Travel Apps
Smartphone travel apps may be all the rage, but with so many to choose from, where do you even begin to look? This is your first—and last—stop in the hunt for the best travel apps on the market.
CHECK DINER REVIEWS Globe-trotting gourmands have long relied on Zagat's city guides for quick takes on a restaurant's food, decor, service, and cost. The robust Zagat To Go app pairs more than 40,000 reviews across 100-plus cities worldwide with handy tools like GPS-enabled searching, concierge-style recommendations, and an instant online reservation tool. New reviews are added and updated weekly, making that onetime $10 price tag easier to swallow. Android, iPhone/iPad, $10; BlackBerry, $20. Download it: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad.
FIND A RESTAURANT WITH CHARACTER Feeding your family at a big theme park presents a small world of challenges—inflated prices, painful wait times, cookie-cutter meals tailored to pint-size appetites. The Disney World Dining app alleviates some of the angst. Users can browse photos and full menus for over 150 dining spots in more than 20 Disney parks and hotels. Bonus: A GPS-powered "Near Me" tool minimizes the distance between the first hunger pang and that must-have plate of Mickey-shaped waffles. $2. Download it: iPhone/iPad.
EXCHANGE AND TRANSLATION
PAY THE RIGHT PRICE There are dozens of free currency-converter apps, but Oanda Currency Converter stands above them all for its reliability and depth of data. To calculate exchanges between more than 190 currencies, the app pulls from inter-bank market rates—what banks use when trading money. For even greater accuracy, the app also adjusts results to reflect the specific transaction type (credit card or cash) you select. Free. Download it: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad.
SPEAK LIKE A LOCAL Foreign-language mix-ups can make for some serious travel stress. The app iTranslate—basically a digital phrase book—comes to the rescue. It includes 52 languages and translates faster than you can say, "Huh?" Just type in the perplexing phrase and iTranslate displays it back in your language of choice. (The app requires Internet access, but you can store key phrases for future Wi-Fi-free reference.) Free. Download it: Android, iPhone/iPad.
SNAG THE CORRECT SIZE Clothing size is unreliable from label to label—and country to country. Now men and women can shop with confidence by using Convert Clothes. When you roll a dial to pick your U.S. size in four categories (clothes, shoes, pants, and bra), the app's simple interface spits out the corresponding numbers for eight countries, including Japan and France. Whether anything will actually fit is another story. Free. Download it: iPhone/iPad.
CONVERT ANY MEASUREMENT Traveling can seem like one long equation, from figuring out temperature (Celsius?) to assessing how much gas is left in your tank (liters?). Conversion-catchall Convertbot does the math for you. Spin a wheel to select one of 20 categories—time, speed, even data download size—then type in the amount. The app instantly converts the figure into the desired unit of measure. You'll never go over the baggage limit in a foreign country again. $2. Download it: iPhone/iPad.
MAKE SENSE OF YOUR MONEY For up-to-the-minute currency conversions, try Quid Universal Currency Converter. It lists more than 190 exchange rates, updated with every tap of the refresh button. Tip: Turn off the auto-update feature while you're abroad to avoid sky-high roaming charges. $1. Download it: iPhone/iPad.