01 June, 2016
When life takes you away from home, take technology to help guide and entertain you. Apps can help make your trip easier and more fun.
Travel apps are very helpful to guide you on your trip. Some apps help you plan your trip and others help you travel.
TripIt is a helpful app to organize travel plans. Sign up for a free account at the TripIt website and download the app to have all of your travel plans handy in one place.
After signing up for an account, forward any email confirmations for your travels to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send TripIt all confirmations for hotel, flight, train, theater and other reservations.
TripIt will create a travel itinerary that will be shown in the TripIt app on your phone. No need to hunt down emails when it is time to travel. Everything will be in one place, on the TripIt app.
There's a video that shows how TripIt works.
TripIt is free but a paid version is available that keeps track of loyalty programs, gives flight alerts, fare refund notifications and more.
When traveling outside your home country, you may need some language assistance. Google Translate is an app that can help you understand a language other than your native tongue.
The Google Translate app translates between 103 different languages. Copy and paste text into the app to see a translation. You can also handwrite text onto the screen.
Use your phone's camera to see a translation of signs. Point the lens at words to see the translation on the phone's screen.
The app works even without an Internet connection.
Google Translate is available for free.
OpenTable is a restaurant reservation app to help users discover and make reservations at restaurants. Search by location, cuisine, reviews and prices.
OpenTable includes 31,000 restaurants around the world. Check the app to see availability and make reservations within the app. Earn Dining Rewards by making your reservations through OpenTable and get a free meal.
Photo Editing on the Go
Part of the fun of traveling with a smart phone is taking and sharing photos.
The Fotor app lets you edit your photos and add filters for special effects. The app has been updated recently with new editing features so users can edit their photos more easily.
Fotor has added a slider to give users greater control of the edits. Editing effects can be saved as favorites to use them easily later.
See, Photo Editing App Improves Your Shots to learn more about Fotor.
Waterlogue is an app that edits photos to look like watercolor paintings.
The app is best used on photos of places instead of people. It can make your photos look like works of art. Choose from 14 different filters to get different colors and effects.
Waterlogue is available for iPhone/iPad for under $4.
Traveling often means you are offline and away from the Internet. When camping in the wild, flying on a plane, sailing on a boat or riding in the car, you may not have an Internet connection.
If you are traveling outside your home country and away from Wi-Fi, you should use apps offline to avoid large bills for using international data.
Google Maps can be used even when no Internet connection is available. Maps can be downloaded for times when you are away from the Internet.
Create your own Google Maps that you can use offline. Customize maps by including directions and points of interest. After creating a custom map, you can share it with others so they can see where you are going or join you on your trip.
If you discover favorite restaurants, hotels or museums, you can save them to your maps to revisit them later.
How to Download Google Maps for Offline Use
To download Google Maps for offline use, open the app when you are connected to the Internet. Search for the place you want Google Maps for, such as Washington, D.C.
When the map appears in the app, touch the bottom bar with the name of the place. A page will appear with the option to download the map.
Load your phone or tablet with Ebooks before you leave home. Download Ebooks over WiFi so you can read them anywhere, even when you are not connected to the Internet.
Plenty of Ebooks are available free so you can fill your device before you leave home. Check out ereader apps including Kindle for Android; Kindle for iPhone and iPad; Google Play Books for Android; Google Play Books for iPhone and iPad; and iBooks for iPhone and iPad.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Carolyn Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Do you use travel apps? Have you tried any of these? Do you have travel apps to suggest? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section, and post on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
alert - n. something (such as a message or loud sound) that tells people there is important information
fare refund - n. receiving money back when the price of a ticket drops
translate - v. to change words from one language into another language
cuisine - n. a style of cooking
slider - n. a control that is moved horizontally or vertically to control a variable, such as the volume of a radio
offline - adj. not connected to the Internet
data - n. information that is produced or stored by a computer
download - v. to move or copy (a file, program, etc.) from a usually larger computer system to another computer or device
customize - v. to change (something) in order to fit the needs or requirements of a person, business, etc.
option - n. something that can be chosen : a choice or possibility