international travel apps

Absolutely Essential International Travel Apps

Preparing for international travel is a journey in and of itself. Between packing, learning key phrases, converting foreign currency, and keeping in touch with loved ones, it’s a wonder that travelers are even able survive the trip itself. Luckily, app developers have created these 6 international travel apps to help travelers focus on the destination, rather than the grueling journey. Combine this list of international travel apps with our list of essential apps to have an effortless and enjoyable travel experience.

XE Currency: Free
Apple Store: ★★★★★  Google Play: ★★★★

Exchange rates, from personal experience, can be wildly confusing and frustrating. Every traveler has a horror story of getting ripped off by one exchange rate booth or another. XE Currency is the international travel app that will put every traveler at ease. Not only does it provide rates that are updated once a minute, but it also has a built in rate advisor. For the rate advisor, simply input the rate given by any exchange booth, hotel, or bank and then see the difference between the live rate and the transaction rate. Travelers can immediately see how good, or bad, the offered exchange rate is. Best of all, XE Currency works offline which means international travelers can stay educated without having to stay connected.

XECurrency Screenshot

XE Currency removes a lot, if not all, of the confusion surrounding exchange rates. XE Currency is an incredible international travel app that helps users understand the rates they are seeing and whether or not they should keep looking.

Google Translate: Free
Apple Store: ★★★★  Google Play: ★★★★

When it comes to translation apps, it’s hard to beat Google Translate. This international travel app comes preloaded with 90 type-to-translate languages, 26 camera translation languages, and 40 speak-to-translate languages, Google Translate has the international traveler covered; and best of all, it’s free! All translations come with meaning and a pronunciation guide, which can be especially helpful for tonal languages such as Chinese. The main drawback to Google Translate is its reliance on a wifi or internet connection. Travelers without international data plans should plan accordingly. For iPhone users, an app like Bravolol is a good alternative, or they can search for a nearby cafe with free wifi. For Android users, Google does offer downloadable language packs. So Android users should go to their destination prepared with the local language pack downloaded. For both iPhone and Android users, there is an option to upload an image into Google Translate. This means travelers can take a picture of signage and then translate it when wifi is freely available to them.

Google translate screenshot

While its reliance on an internet connection limits Google Translate’s ability to call itself the king of international travel apps, it still provides a great translation service and remains the best travel app to help international travelers communicate with locals.

Bravolol Phrasebook: Free
Apple Store: ★★★★½  Google Play: ★★★★

Bravolol Phrasebook is the perfect international travel app for international travelers. Before traveling abroad, everyone should learn essential key phrases in that country’s language. Not only will it make travel easier, but it could also save lives in an emergency. The free version of Bravolol Phrasebook contains 13 languages and common phrases in 9 useful categories which include greetings, romance, eating, and emergency. Bravolol is great for a number of reasons. One, it does not require an internet connection to use. So international travelers can use this app without worrying about racking up huge data roaming charges. Two, it not only translates phrases, but also provides pronunciation guides through text as well as audio. Three, the 13 languages can be both inputs and outputs. For example, English speakers can find common Chinese phrases, and Chinese speakers can find common English phrases. Four, important phrases can be starred and found when needed in a pinch.

Bravolol Screenshot

Bravolol is a great international travel app for travelers all of the world and can remove many language barriers making vacation, and business trips, more enjoyable.

Viber: Free
Apple Store: ★★★★½  Google Play: ★★★★

While communicating with the locals when traveling abroad is important, it is equally important to communicate with your locals back at home. Viber is a free international messaging app that provides texting, phone calls, and video calls. Messaging and calls between Viber accounts is totally free when over wifi or 3G (though data charges will apply). To make calls to non-Viber users there is a per minute charge which is determined on where calls are going to. For the United States, calls cost 1.9 cents/minute. For China, they cost 1.3 cents/minute. And for the United Kingdom, calls to cellphones cost 5.9 cents/minute and calls to landlines cost 1.9 cents/minute. All of these prices are cheaper than Skype calls (United States: 2.3 cents/minute, China: 2 cents/minute, and United Kingdom: cellphones 10 cents/minute, landlines: 2.3 cents/minute). The one downside to Viber is its messaging services are limited to people who have Viber accounts. However, the app is free and easy to setup (no username or pin required, just a phone number). So before any international trip, travelers should make sure their important contacts download this app and communication will be a breeze.

Viber Screenshots

It is essential to have a travel app that helps people communicate while they’re abroad and Viber is the perfect app. With wifi hotspots, it’s possible to stay in touch with the people who matter, for free!

Airbnb: Free
Apple Store: ★★★★  Google Play: ★★★★

While Airbnb is an app that can be used everywhere, it is especially helpful for international travelers looking for comfortable accommodations that won’t completely deplete their bank account. Airbnb is especially helpful when traveling in countries where hotels and hostels near the city center can be wildly expensive. Furthermore, many hostels are shared spaces where there can be 8 people in the same bedroom. There are pros and cons for hotel and hostel stays. For example, hotels offer premium services such as breakfast and a concierge, and hostels allow for unique social interactions with travelers from all over the world. Airbnb is able to combine these two experiences while still saving money! Many Airbnb’s are entire home or apartment rentals so travelers have their own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and, often times, free wifi. On top of these amenities, a lot of hosts like to leave their guests recommendations on local hotspots which allows travelers to get a unique view of local culture.

Airbnb Screenshots

Airbnb is an incredible app for international travel. Their prices are simply impossible to beat. Travelers will be hard pressed to lodging that is more diverse, more convenient, and more affordable than the homes offered through this app.

Postagram: Free
Apple Store: ★★★★★  Google Play: ★★★★

Before every trip, promises of postcards are made to friends and family. And after every trip, excuses are made to explain why those postcards were never sent. As a recent offender of unsent postcards, I think that the excuses are perfectly valid. However, they have become irrelevant with Postagram. Postagram is an international travel app that keeps family members updated with personalized pictures and cards. Travelers no longer have to worry about trying to pick out a personalized postcard from a sea of generic pictures of the same major landmark. Now, they can simply upload their own picture into the app and create a postcard using an actual picture of themselves. Furthermore, this picture can be punched out of the card and be saved. Postagram also takes care of the delivering the postcard. Gone are the days of trying to ask for stamps and a post office in a foreign language. Postagrams can be delivered to anywhere in the United States for .99¢ and $1.99 for addresses in other countries.

Postagram Screenshots

Postagram is an international travel app that makes travelers look thoughtful and caring without them having to do very much work. Personalized and beautiful postcards are just a click of a button away!

Have an international travel app that was a total life-saver? Share it below!

2 thoughts on “Absolutely Essential International Travel Apps”

  1. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

    1. Hey Jack! Glad that I could help! Let me know if you have any other questions, I would be happy to help in any way!

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