5 essential travel apps everyone should have

Seasoned traveler Jenny Peñas relies on apps for her travels. Here are five of her smartphone staples

Icons of Instagram, Citymapper, Day One, Swackett and Google Translate

Preview your trip

If you’re tired of reading through reviews from TripAdvisor, use Instagram to check real-time updates from real people. Enter the hashtag for your specific destination and scroll through the feed to know where to go. You’ll also see what people are wearing — helpful if you’re not sure what to pack.
Free on Google Play and the App Store

Find your way

I’ve found the routes from Citymapper to be more accurate than Google Maps. Trying to navigate the old laneways of Beijing? Give it a shot. If you’re heading off the beaten track but then get hungry and need to find that hole-in-the-wall restaurant ASAP, this app will save the day.
Free on Google Play and the App Store

Remember your trip

Day One is a multi-platform journaling iOS app. Take note of your ideas while on the road and review them later from your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. It lets you integrate photos, current location, weather data and more into your journal entries. You can keep your memories to yourself, or choose to publish and share them.
US$4.99 on the App Store

Know the weather

Its developers call Swackett “a Different Kind of Weather App”, and it’s true. The iOS app uses cartoons dressed up in the appropriate outfit for the day’s weather. Swackett also tells you to carry an umbrella on a rainy day, while on hot days it reminds you to apply sunscreen and bring a water bottle.
Free on the App Store

Also read: 3 awesome weather apps for your smartphone

Understand the lingo

Konnichiwa! Hola! Ni hao! Say “hello” and more in the local language with Google Translate. One of the app’s best updates is a remarkable feature whereby you can point your camera to any sign, menu or text and it will magically translate the words into English.
Free on Google Play and the App Store

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Jenny Peñas

We use cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping Smile website reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our Sites are used.