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Favorite Travel Apps

    While on family vacations, we use our smartphones to reveal the night sky, translate languages, look at maps that show us our location anywhere in the world, all contained in a pocket-sized object.
      Here's a running list of apps we use on our travels with kids. We've listed the apps available on the iPhone, but you can look for similar apps for Android smartphones.

Tripit Finally, we can put all the parts of our travel itinerary together – plane flights, car rentals, hotels, tours and activities, including confirmation numbers, addresses, arrival and departure times, contacts, phone numbers, websites. It's easy to organize trips on your desktop computer, edit, add new info, share with others, and all the information automatically updates in the smartphone app.


Night Sky We were clueless about constellations, but no longer. Now when we're out in Death Valley or the Australian outback, camping in Bryce Canyon or Joshua Tree, where the desert night sky is filled with stars and there are no city lights, we can easily find all the constellations.

  Foreign language dictionary Dictionaries! We always travel with dictionaries in our smartphones. For example, sitting in a restaurant in Granada, when the menu listed unfamiliar dishes, we consulted our Spanish English dictionary app, and ordered without delay. We also use the Ultralingua dictionaries for Italian, German, and French.
Currency converter app
  Currency converter Even if you can easily convert from one currency to another in your head, conversion rates change. With this handy app, punch in the price in a foreign currency, and immediately see what it will cost in your "home" currency. Or vice versa, enter an amount in your home currency, and see what it's worth in the local currency (this is particularly useful when you go to an ATM).
Free Wi-Fi app
  Free Wi-Fi In some countries, don't expect free Wi-Fi in your hotel and the price isn't cheap (e.g. Australia). This is a very useful app to find out what's close to you, e.g. the local McDonald's, where you can use Wi-Fi for free.
Flashlight app
  Flashlight While traveling, there are times where a flashlight comes in handy: restaurants with dim lighting to read the menu, exploring dark tunnels in Mayan or Greek ruins, an unexpected power outage. We each have a flashlight app on our smartphones to provide a bright light from the cell phone screen.
Topo maps US app
  Topo Maps Last summer, for fishing and hiking in the High Sierra, we didn't bring our large-size paper topographic maps. Instead, we used this Topo Maps app and we're hooked.
    Within the app you can download for free, any and all the USGS topographic maps for the United States.

A to B Distance Calculator For all your drive trips in Europe and the USA, it's a snap to enter two destinations, see the distance (displayed in miles or kilometers) and estimated drive time. No more wild guesses about drive times, and cranky kids in the back seat wondering why you still haven't arrived at your destination.

Disneyland MouseWait

MouseWait Disneyland and MouseWait Disney World Find out in real time what the wait time is for popular rides. For some rides, even when you arrive as the park opens, already there's a two hour wait . Essential for planning which rides to use FastPass, and avoid long wait times. The apps are free.

  Paris metro map – Never get lost while navigating the Paris metro with this very handy map app of the Paris metro, plus London and New York. Apps are free.