10 Travel Apps to Give this Season

Smartphone with Apps on Screen in Gift Box with Red Bow (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 29, 2013. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Annette Thompson, gift guide, product reviews, technology and gadget.

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Don't be a skinflint by gifting free apps. Splurge on these hot little numbers instead. Most are actually quite affordable, and they give value far beyond the holidays. Here are 10 great apps that help even the most fumbling traveler become a sleek adventurer.


The iTunes store makes gifting apps easy: In the drop-down menu next to the app's price, select "Gift This App." Android is a bit more difficult: The easiest solution is to purchase an Amazon-branded gift card good for Android app purchases. Your recipient can install the Amazon Appstore on his or her phone, then use the gift card accordingly—you can accompany your gift with a note about how cool it would be to have a particular app.

For Folks Lost in Translation

Even if you've mastered snippets of the lingua franca, it's easy to forget how to ask or say what's needed in the rush of the moment. That's when TripLingo comes to the rescue. The app is free, but the language-pack add-ons, which teach thousands of useful phrases and sentences in 12 different languages, cost extra. Instead of having to learn the basics of grammar and seemingly never-ending vocabulary lists, you can use TripLingo's audio feature, which speaks the basics so you can copy and say them back with a smile. We love TripLingo's cultural courses, too—they're antidotes to travelers' foot-in-mouth disease.

Available for free on Android and Apple; language add-ons cost from $9.99 to $49.99.

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