Take some of the confusion out of international travel by putting your smart phone to work with these apps.
Credit: Big Stock PhotoTraveling between countries is complicated and confusing if you are not a veteran at showing your passport and answering questions at customs. Using your smart phone can help clear up some of the basic concerns you might have when traveling, making your journey smoother and less stressful. One important word of warning though, make sure you will not be accumulating massive wireless bills while overseas by checking with your cell phone provider before leaving to ask about your plan and how it applies overseas.
Best Exchange Rate App
The Currency+ application by Jump Gap Software is the one that gives you all the basics free. When you first download, there is a tutorial though it requires an internet connection to view. Once you are through the tutorial, or choose to skip it, you come to a main screen where four different currencies are display, the British Pound, the Euro, the Japanese Yen and the United States Dollar. In addition to these currencies, you can add other currencies to be displayed on the main page. Currency values both transferring to and from the chosen currency are displayed making calculations simple. There is even a place in the settings where you can add a set transaction fee depending on how you transfer the currency. Because currency rates change often, you can hit the refresh button at the top of the app when you choose and it will update the values so you know the exchange rates shown are up-to-the-minute. If you would like graphs of the activity of the exchange rates over the last several months that will cost you extra in the form of an upgrade.
Many large airports now have their very own applications for your smart phone. For example, the application for Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey allows you to check the departure and arrival status of flights on your phone and you can get instant updates by shaking your iPhone or iPod. Some airports even give you a live feed of a webcam covering areas like security checkpoints so you can hustle if the line looks longer than expected. You can also often find parking information along with tips on how to get a taxi or find other public transit.
Avoid Offending Others Accidentally
The World Customs app from Hooked in Motion is exceptionally helpful for international travel. Once downloaded, you select a country and then have options of greetings, communication style, personal space and touching, eye contact, views of time, gender issues, gestures, taboos, and law and order. Within these categories, you have a range of information about the country you are visiting including how not to offend locals and even how much pressure to exhibit while shaking hands. This app comes in especially handy if you have little to no knowledge about the countries you are visiting. The information is simple to use so you can just check the app once you arrive and are waiting for your luggage, or grabbing a taxi to your destination in country.