1. Viber – This app lets you text, chat or send pics for free as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people at home.
Note: While most of our family and friends in the US now have Viber, the majority of people we meet internationally use WhatsApp, which works the same way. When traveling, it’s best to have both so you can stay in touch with family at home and new friends abroad.
2. Google Translate App – Whether you need to translate one word or a full page of cooking instructions, this app translates more accurately than the others I’ve tried. Not 100% word for word but close enough. Plus, it has audio to pronounce the translation for you, which helps significantly when speaking with locals.
3. Trip It – This is the perfect way to organize all your travel times, confirmation numbers and documents. Everything is in one place, so you can easily find the information you need while on the go.
4. Word Lens – Love this app! Download the app and then download the language of the country you plan to visit. Once on your trip, hold your phone over any sign, menu, etc. and it translates the words right in front of you. Its magic. No Wi-Fi needed either. Coolest app ever.
5. XE Currency Exchange – This is probably the most practical app on my phone, as it helps convert any currency to USD so I always know what I’m spending.
6. Instagram – I love Instagram because it’s a fast, easy way to share travel experiences with family and friends at home with one simple photo. It also makes it easy to share on other social media sites at the same time, so you can get back to your trip quickly…to take more photos, of course.