To travel is a genuine blessing. You get to explore new areas of the world, observe different cultures, and meet interesting people.
It’s for those reasons that so many entrepreneurs choose to run their businesses from the road.
And yet – although we can now fly to the other side of the earth in just a matter of hours – travelling is still a stressful ordeal. Bookings need to be made, currency needs to be exchanged, and language barriers need to be overcome.
To make your next trip as smooth as possible, here are nine essential mobile apps that you should download before you check in at the airport.
1. XE Currency
Want to get a good deal when you change up your currency? Of course you do.
XE Currency is freebie app that can compare up to ten currencies at once, with daily, weekly, monthly and annual graphs to boot. Plus, thanks to real-time updates, XE Currency is as accurate as it is elegant.
It has been downloaded close to 10 million times to date, so you’ll be in good company when you use it, too.
TravelSafe is one of those apps you should just install once and leave in that app folder named “Other” – just in case.
It’s home to all emergency phone numbers across the world, so no matter where you are, you can report a fire, seek assistance from the police, or call an ambulance.
Hotels are so old school.
Airbnb is a website that collates user-provided accommodation from the world’s major (and minor) cities. You can then use the site to book reservations, communicate with the owner, and so forth. At the time of writing, Airbnb boasts over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries.
Their app is essentially a pocket-sized version of their website, which comes in handy once you land at your destination and need to access addresses and contact information.
Travelling on business? This app will make sure you don’t spend a dime of your own money.
It aids you in keeping a manageable expense report that can photolog receipts, track mileage, and even import purchase info from your credit card.
But the Smart Scan feature is where Expensify will truly win you over; it allows users to photograph a receipt and have it read by computer and automatically generated as an expense.
Uber has weathered its fair share of controversy, and it remains public enemy number one for traditional taxi drivers the world over – but you just can’t beat that convenience factor.
If you’re unfamiliar with Uber, it’s a company that employs millions of taxi drivers across the world who are just waiting be summoned by anybody using the app. Plus, because of its popularity in major cities, you’re only ever five minutes away from the closest Uber – if that.
Uber is also a global service, so no matter which city you decide to pass through, you can always hail a cab from your smartphone.
6. Google Translate
This one may be self-explanatory, but Google Translate has features beyond being able to tell you how to swear in Spanish.
For instance, the Word Lens tool lets you point your camera at a foreign word, which is then translated in real time on your screen. Yet another win for the geniuses over at Google.
With over 35 million downloads, Skyscanner is one of the world’s most trusted solutions for flight price comparisons.
It finds the cheapest deals for the dates and destinations you want, and then transfers you to the relevant airline website after you make a selection. It can also be configured to give you price alerts, so you don’t miss out on any sales.
Stuck in an airport for a few hours? LoungeBuddy can help make it bearable.
Whether you're traveling economy or first class, LoungeBuddy will direct you to lounges within more than 500 airports worldwide.
But it doesn’t just leave you staring at member-only lounges, because it also lists lounges that you can access for free or a one-time fee.
Last but not least, is the go-to app from when you actually arrive at your destination of choice.
TripAdvisor is used by millions of travellers to find beaches, restaurants, and attractions. User reviews and imagery ensures that you can vet any location before actually getting there, so you can ensure that it’s worth your precious time.
You can access contact details for nearby establishments, explore restaurants by food type, price range or rating, and even add your own reviews and images for others to benefit from.
The apps above don't just make it easier to find restaurants and save money. They’re genuine shortcuts to a more successful trip.
They help you to stop sweating the small stuff, so you can embrace the wonders of travelling, whether its for business or leisure.
About the Author
Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.