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.

FIND THE PERFECT PHRASE Overcome awkward lost-in-translation moments with World Nomads. The 25-language translator apps cover keywords such as please and thank you, numbers up to 10, and a few phrases useful for other travel conundrums (our favorite: "Those drugs aren't mine!") in easy-to-scan categories like Introductions and Travel Health. Most phrases have audio clips. Free. Download it: iPhone/iPad (downloadable in 25 languages, including French, Spanish, German, and Italian).



EDIT IMAGES A few tweaks can turn even the most drab camera-phone images into frame-worthy photographs. Use Photogene to add backgrounds and colorful borders, crop out unflattering details, or just remove red-eye from that otherwise-flawless family portrait in front of the Eiffel Tower. iPhone, $2; iPad, $3. Download it: iPhone, iPad.

ORGANIZE AND SHARE With Photobucket, you can sort your vacation photos before you've even boarded the flight home. Geo-tag the images you want to keep, drop them into folders, or find favorites using the key-word search—and save yourself one item on that just-back to-do list. Free. Download it: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad.

INCORPORATE SOUND These days, the old vacation postcard doesn't quite cut it. Fotobabble lets you express a more unique sentiment: Just snap a photo, record your own audio message (up to one minute long), and send the file to a friend's e-mail account. Free. Download it: iPhone/iPad.

ADD A RETRO FEEL Looking to enhance your images with a little old-school flair? Hipstamatic, an app based on the discontinued 1982 camera of the same name, has nine options that add artful blurring, fading, and flashes to your photos to create that vintage-snapshot look. $2. Download it: iPhone.

SHED SOME LIGHT For all their strengths, many older-generation iPhones lack one important element: a flash. The Camera Flash+ app solves that problem, with a self-adjusting burst of light that allows users to take vivid, point-and-shoot-quality photos long after the sun has set. Free. Download it: iPhone.

TAKE THE LONG VIEW Some scenes are simply too majestic to capture on one screen. Enter Pano, which stitches together up to 16 separate shots to take in, say, a 360-degree view of the Grand Canyon. A built-in guide helps you line up each frame, and the app will hold your place if a call interrupts your shoot. $2. Download it: iPhone/iPad .

SEND A PERSONALIZED POSTCARD Nothing says "Wish you were here" like a good old-fashioned postcard—with your face smack in the center. For about $1.50 per note, HazelMail turns your photo into an actual paper card complete with a custom message and then stamps it and sends it off within about two business days, saving you the trouble of hunting down a local post office. Free. Download it: BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad.

DOCUMENT YOUR ADVENTURES It may have been invented for students, but Facebook's ubiquitous app has become an invaluable tool for all kinds of folks. Travelers can share crazy vacation moments on the spot, either in the live feed of status updates or in a mobile gallery where they can instantly dump cell phone pictures. Free. Download it: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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