Gone are the days of bulky guidebooks, unwieldy street maps and cumbersome calculators.
Today’s traveller can lead a much more streamlined existence thanks to our smartphones. So much more than simply a means to call home while you’re travelling abroad, load your mobile phone with travel apps that you can access on the go for myriad functions from free texting to local reviews and organising your itinerary.
Consider these top 10 free travel apps for your next overseas trip.
1. XE Currency
Monitor and compare up to 10 different currencies at once with this popular app. XE Currency has live market rates for every conceivable world currency to ensure that overseas bargain really is a steal when converted into Australian dollars. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
2. Wi-Fi Finder
To avoiding paying for expensive hotel wi-fi or limiting yourself to fast food chains, the Wi-Fi Finder app locates free or paid wi-fi hotspots at over 650,000 locations in 144 countries worldwide using the GPS on your phone. Available for iPhone and Android.
3. Google Maps
Your staple on-the-go navigational tool, access maps for 200 countries and 2,800 cities with voice-guided GPS navigation for driving, biking or walking directions. Live traffic updates and street view imagery also help smooth your way in a new locale. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Find local spots to eat, shop, drink, relax and play with photos and reviews from this online city guide. With entries from 25 countries in Europe, North America, Australasia, Asia, Mexico and Brazil, narrow your search to what’s open nearby right now. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
5. Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express is the original on-the-go photo editor. The easy-to-use functions include basic crop, flip, straighten and rotate options; slide adjustments; and handy one-touch filters. A paid pack offers even more pro features. Available for iPhone and Android.
6. Word Lens
You’ll need to purchase the separate language packs (English to Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, or Spanish) to use this nifty app. Word Lens uses your camera phone to instantly translate printed words on signs, maps or menus. Available for iPhone and Android.
Send your travel confirmation emails (flights, hotels, car hire and restaurant reservations) to TripIt, which will create a detailed daily itinerary for each trip synced to your calendar with directions, maps and weather for each destination. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
For instant weather data about your destination or multiple locations worldwide, Weather+ offers current weather and a full 3-day forecast plus the local time, climate conditions and temperature on the one easy-to- read screen. Available for iPhone.
Avoid international charges and send free texts, photos, videos, location data or set up voice chat anywhere in the world with wi-fi or 3G connection. The Viber messenger app works on multiple platforms and syncs your mobile contacts. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Keep a copy of your important travel documents safe and accessible by scanning your passport, flight tickets, insurance information, travel itinerary and boarding pass into Evernote. This app allows you to save, search, sync and share your travel details. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.