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8 Must-Have Smartphone Communication Apps for Travel

Smartphones have made our daily lives immeasurably more convenient.  Using GPS to map a route to the closest Starbucks, using Google to research Risso’s dolphins, uploading your pictures to Instagram – sometimes we may take the ease of obtaining information for granted.

Having the right smartphone apps can enhance your travel experiences.  As I have discussed in a previous blog (7 Tips to Save Your Cell Phone During International Travel), it is wise to leave your smartphone in ‘airplane’ mode while out of the country.

It is therefore very important that phone apps used while overseas work offline, or with Wi-Fi.  Here is a list of communication apps I have found particularly useful.

Google Apps

1.  Google Translate:  (FREE) Much improved, Google Translate can translate between 90 languages, and read aloud phrases in the chosen language.  In addition, Google Translate now uses your smartphone camera to read written signs, and can instantly translate them on your smartphone screen.

This feature works instantly between English and: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.  This app translates 36 total languages when you take a picture of the signs.

I used Google Translate Continue reading 8 Must-Have Smartphone Communication Apps for Travel

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7 Tips to Save Your Cell Phone During International Travel


Part of what I love about international travel is seeing a new perspective, and interacting with people from different cultures.

As Americans, we are often sheltered in our understanding of the world, and our role in it.  Traveling internationally as cultural ambassadors and seeking to understand local customs helps us better understand who we are, and better appreciate the blessings that we have in our lives.

Experiencing new countries’ cultures has helped me connect with people by finding common ground.  After traveling through Istanbul and Kusadasi in Turkey, I was able to connect with a Turkish hotel clerk in Boston.

It was wonderful seeing his eyes light up when I mentioned that I had been to his home country, and truly enjoyed my experiences there.  Over the years, I have had similar connections with many others.

Why do Americans not travel internationally as much as people from other nationalities?  Continue reading 7 Tips to Save Your Cell Phone During International Travel