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Favorite Travel Apps

    While on family vacations, we use our cell phones to translate languages, look at maps that show us our location anywhere in the world, find transportation options for any city, reveal the night sky, use topo maps for hiking and more.
      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 phones.

Tripit 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 app.

Currency converter app
  Currency converter 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 (don't think a British pound or Swiss franc is one to one with an American dollar, or just how much is...).
  CityMaps2Go Offline Map – Given the cost of international data roaming, offline maps are very helpful, no data roaming charges. This app has hundreds detailed maps for cities, provinces, and countries worldwide. Tip: Especially useful in Tokyo, to display street names in Latin alphabet, as well as Japanese letters.
  Pocket Earth – Pocket Earth offline maps are very helpful on drive trips, where cell phone service is spotty or none at all, e.g. High Sierra mountains and remote deserts of California. Originally recommended to us by a family driving around Namibia, their rental car GPS ceased to function, but they had offline road maps in this app.

City Mapper Transit Navigator – Wondering what kinds of transportation options are available in a city, find out in this app - schedules, maps, info for bus, subway, ferry, light rail, Uber and Lyft, all in one place. We also found this useful in Paris during strikes which affected the RER and Metro.

  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.
  Foreign language dictionary Dictionaries! We always travel with dictionaries in our phones. 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.

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.

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.

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.


Flashlight While traveling, there's times where a flashlight comes in handy: exploring dark tunnels in Mayan or Greek ruins, an unexpected power outage, and more.

For iPhone and Android phones, flashlight is a feature on smartphones. The flashlight may be accessed differently with new OS updates, so know how to light up your phone.

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