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18 Must-Have Travel Apps For Traveling Abroad

18 Must-Have Travel Apps For Traveling Abroad

If you’re like me, you sure want to have all the practical information handy way before you land in a new country. And even though you might have visited it before, you certainly didn’t get the chance to see all the places that are to be seen. Unless you’re Chris Guillebeau. Travel apps are always your best friend in this case.

Want to go to a certain restaurant because one of your friends tweeted the picture of the most perfect, yummiest dish you’re craving? Or check out that gallery that’s running a timely exhibit of your favorite artist? Or maybe there’s a particular running route you want to cover within the next few days after you reach your destination? All of them are on these high-tech apps whenever you need them.

So, before you pack your bags and see the world, check out this list of travel apps that should anticipate all your on-the-road needs.

1. Travel List

If you need a little help to pack properly and not forget your charger or toothbrush at home, the Travel List app helps you easily organize the items you’ll put in your suitcase. You can add a reminder for the things you have to pack at the last minute, so you’re all set before you leave. This app can also help you plan every stop of your trip and won’t let you miss out on anything. Add events to your calendar or set one-time or regular alerts. (Cost: $1.99; for iPhone)

Travel List iphone

    2. FlightTrack Pro

    With more than 3,000 airports and 1,400 airlines, FlightTrack Pro has got you covered. You can manage your international flights with real-time updates using zoomable maps. Updates on flight delays and cancellations are now at your fingertips. It also includes push flight alerts, Tripit, terminal maps and weather delays. (Cost: $9.99; for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry)

    Flighttrack Pro iphone

      3. Trip It

      Your mobile trip planner, Trip It shows all your trip details at a glance: flights, hotels, car, map, directions—all in one place. You can sync your travel plans with your online or mobile calendar, share itineraries and post travel plans on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (Cost: free; for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad and Windows Phone 7)

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      tripit iphone

        4. Kayak

        Kayak provides a fast comparison of hundreds of travel sites on your tablet or smartphone. Some of the features include comparing flight, hotel and car rental deals; booking your accommodation; tracking flight status; managing itineraries and accessing airline numbers and airport info. (Cost: free; for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad, and Windows)

        KAYAK iphone

          5. Google Maps

          Taking Google Maps with you is one of the best options to explore new places. Traffic updates, public transit, city tours with 360-degree street views, plus a voice-guided, turn-by-turn GPS navigation are merely some of the features this mobile app offers so you can navigate like a pro. (Cost: free; for iPhone and Android)

          Google Maps iphone

            6. CityMaps2Go

            Pin your key locations as you pre-plan your route with CityMaps2Go. The app includes city guides for top cities (e.g. New York, Paris, London, Rome, Berlin etc.), offline maps, local tips from experts, millions of points of interest, and includes subway maps. (Cost: $2.99; for iPhone and Android)

            citimaps2go iphone

              7. GateGuru

              GateGuru helps you manage your full day of travel. You can navigate the app as you like. The Home screen gives you direct access to your AirportCard, already pre-populated with a list of the closest airports. You enter your itinerary and GateGuru connects the dots for you. Some of the relevant info a traveler can get are: airport food and amenity information customized to your arrival and departure terminal; airport weather; and airport maps and tips, which are useful if you’re in an unfamiliar airport. (Cost: free; for iOS, Android and Windows)

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              gateguru iphone

                8. Seat Alerts

                How much do you hate that moment when you realize the plane to your favorite destination is full and the only available seats are the middle ones? Seat Alerts monitors the available seats until the flight’s departure. If a window or an aisle seat becomes available, the app alerts you and you can change your seat once you’re notified. You just need to get in touch with the airline you’ve booked the ticket with. (Cost: free for a single alert, 99 cents for additional alerts, from $4.99 for an Expertflyer.com account with up to 30 alerts; for iOS and Android)

                seat alerts iphone

                  9. WalkJogRun

                  If you’re a runner and want to stay in shape at your destination, WalkJogRun offers you a huge selection of the safest running routes in more than 1.6 million cities worldwide. Take advantage of the most accurate iPhone GPS and discover new routes while exercising without injury. There’s a training plan for everyone, from beginners to advanced walkers and runners. (Cost: $4.99; for iPhone)

                  walkjogrun iphone

                    10. Google Translate

                    You won’t feel completely lost at your destination if you have access to Google Translate. You can either type into a word box or use the speaking option to translate a phrase. You can translate 58 languages in text and hear 23 languages worth of converted phrases. (Cost: free; for Android and iPhone/iPad)

                    google translate android

                      11. iStone Travel Translation

                      This is another app that will help you not get lost in translation. Equipped with more than 300 useful phrases in 12 languages, it quickly comes up with the correct expression. (Cost: free for basic version, full versions of languages require in-app purchases; for iOS)

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                      iStone translation iphone

                        12. Foodspotting

                        With Foodspotting you can find the dishes you crave the most in any restaurant, from dumplings to the juiciest burgers. The photos, at least, are totally to die for! Learn from what your friends, experts and foodspotters love to eat and share. (Cost: free; for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry)

                        Foodspotting iphone

                          13. Chefs Feed

                          Chefs Feed offers the top chefs’ recommendations on the best restaurants and dishes in London, Canada and the US. Mouth-watering photos and competent advice for every foodie out there. (Cost: free; for iPhone)

                          CHEFS FEED IPHONE_resized

                            14. Mint

                            With Mint you can easily organize your finances, keep an eye on your travel budget and track your expenses during your trip. It’s absolutely safe and secure. That because it’s a “read-only” service, which means that you can’t move funds between accounts, and neither can anybody else. (Cost: free; for Android and iPhone/iPad)

                            Mint iphone

                              15. Oanda Currency Converter

                              Oanda uses an easy interface that gives you access to daily filtered rates for more than 190 currencies, which are used by corporations, tax authorities, auditing firms, and financial institutions. The app keeps frequently used currencies on quick access and uses a big-button keypad to quickly enter conversion amounts. Besides that, you can use the Interbank rates, which are seldom available to the general public. (Cost: free; for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad and Windows)

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                              oanda curr conv iphone

                                16. ICE

                                In case of emergency, ICE gets you covered. The last thing you’d want to happen to you when you travel abroad is to have any medical issues. But, just in case, the app keeps details about your medical conditions, your doctor’s primary contact details and insurance information that can be accessed even if your phone is locked. Among other features, it also translates the stored information in 10 different languages. (Cost: $3.99; for Android)

                                ICE for android

                                  17. Pocket First Aid and CPR

                                  To complement ICE, American Heart Association’s Pocket First Aid and CPR app is worthy of being added to this list. It provides clear instructions to care for you and your loved ones. It’s easy to use and saves your medical information for fast retrieval. And you can review first aid procedures anytime, anywhere. Besides that, this is the app that saved someone’s life in the Haiti earthquake. (Cost: $1.99 for Android and iPhone/iPad)

                                  Pocket FA and CPR iphone

                                    18. WhatsApp Messenger

                                    Last but not least, stay in touch with your friends and family while you’re on the road exchanging real-time messages without paying for SMS. All you need is a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. (Cost: free; for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows phone)

                                    WhatsApp iphone

                                      That said, safe travels wherever you’re headed to!

                                      More by this author

                                      Anca Dumitru

                                      Freelance Writer & Content Strategist

                                      10 Ways To Create and Promote Your Website Effectively 4 Simple Steps To Make Your Internet Life Secure 13 Things To Do During Weekends To Improve Your Life 10 Most Zen-Friendly Websites to Keep You Calm and Productive at Work 18 Must-Have Travel Apps For Traveling Abroad

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                                      Last Updated on August 6, 2018

                                      20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                                      20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                                      Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. But most people may not be using Google search to its full potential.

                                      Want to use Google search more efficiently and get the search results you want quickly? Here are 20 Google search tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency:

                                      1. Use the tabs

                                      The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.

                                      2. Use quotes

                                      When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

                                      3. Use a hyphen to exclude words

                                      Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.

                                      • Mustang -cars

                                      This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

                                      4. Use a colon to search specific sites

                                      There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

                                      • Sidney Crosby site:nhl.com

                                      This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on NHL.com. All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.

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                                      5. Find a page that links to another page

                                      This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page. Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below.

                                      • link:nytimes.com

                                      That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.

                                      6. Use the asterisk wildcard

                                      The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.

                                      • “Come * right now * me”

                                      To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

                                      7. Find sites that are similar to other sites

                                      This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.

                                      • related:amazon.com

                                      If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

                                      8. Use Google search to do math

                                      As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.

                                      • 8 * 5 + 5
                                      • Planck’s Consant

                                      If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant. So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.

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                                      9. Search for multiple words at once

                                      Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.

                                      • “Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”

                                      By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below.

                                      • chocolate OR white chocolate

                                      This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!

                                      10. Search a range of numbers

                                      Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit. People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below.

                                      • What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
                                      • 41..43

                                      In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results. In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

                                      11. Keep it simple

                                      Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

                                      • Pizza places nearby

                                      Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

                                      12. Gradually add search terms

                                      There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option. As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below.

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                                      • First try: job interviews
                                      • Second try: prepare for job interviews
                                      • Third try: how to prepare for a job interview

                                      This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step. Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

                                      13. Use words that websites would use

                                      This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples.

                                      • “I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
                                      • “My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”

                                      The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

                                      14. Use important words only

                                      The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example.

                                      • Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
                                      • Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
                                      • Or: Chinese restaurants near me.

                                      Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

                                      15. Google search has shortcuts

                                      A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.

                                      • Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
                                      • What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
                                      • The math example posted above is another one.
                                      • What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
                                      • Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
                                      • You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.

                                      These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

                                      16. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter

                                      Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples.

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                                      • If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

                                      This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

                                      17. Use descriptive words

                                      Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

                                      • You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
                                      • When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”

                                      There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

                                      18. Find a specific file

                                      An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple.

                                      • *Search term here* filetype:pdf

                                      In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

                                      19. Money and unit conversions

                                      Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies. If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it.

                                      • miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
                                      • USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.

                                      It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

                                      20. Track your packages

                                      Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there. No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

                                      Google Search wrap-up

                                      Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web. Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.

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