Our favourite free phone apps that we use when travelling abroad

As each year passes, our phones are becoming more and more integral in our lives. While this might not always be a great thing, one instance where it does come in handy is travelling. We’ve surveyed the brain’s trust of experienced travellers in the Back Track office for the apps they use most often whilst out of the country, and this is what they’ve got!

 

Maps.Me

Available on iOS & Android

The days of unfolding large maps awkwardly as you attempt to navigate a new city are over! Maps.me is one of our favourite travel apps, and the reason is because it lets you download maps onto your phone to use offline. It features a voice-over system to give you directions if you are driving or cycling, without having to look at your phone.

 

Duolingo

Available on iOS & Android

Before jetting off on your next holiday, it’s worth learning a few key phrases in the language most spoken. Duolingo is a free app that teaches you a variety of languages, including Spanish, French, Japanese, Dutch and many more in a fun, game-style way. You can add your travel companions to keep track of each other’s progress. This app is also perfect for beginners.

 

Google Translate

Available on iOS & Android

Understanding signs, menus, or what your taxi driver is saying in a language you are unfamiliar with is one of the trickier parts to travel. The Google Translate app can translate text for over 103 languages, 53 of which are available to download and use offline. Use the camera on your phone to translate written text instantly, or speak into the microphone to translate spoken word.

 

XE Currency

Available on iOS & Android

Keeping track of how much things cost can sometimes be tricky, especially if the conversion rate isn’t easy or you are travelling through multiple countries. XE Currency is one of the better finance apps, with frequently updated exchange rates that are available to download offline while you’re away from WIFI or don’t want to pay for international data fees.

 

WhatsApp

Available on iOS & Android

Keeping in contact with family and friends whilst overseas can be expensive with the cost of sending texts and making calls internationally. We’ve found the best way to keep in touch with home – and any friends you meet along the way – is WhatsApp. You can send messages, make calls, and share photos with anyone across the globe for free. However, this app will only work if you are online – either having access to WIFI or international data roaming on your phone.