by Isabel Eva Bohrer
Smartphones and tablets have changed the world, and that includes the travel industry. Now, we can navigate, find restaurants, taxis, bathrooms – you name it – using an app. Just about any amenity can be searched for from the palm of your hand, and getting to know a destination has also become easier than ever.
Here are 10 travel apps that will really help you learn more details about the places you find go and the people you see:
This app provides customs, cultural information and facts on over 165 different countries. For example, did you know that Bulgarians shake their heads from side to side for “yes,” and up and down for “no”? Orthat pointing with your index finger in China isn’t usually done? Instead, make sure to use your whole hand, the app will teach you.
Available on iTunes, TRVL is a free travel magazine. It is also the first magazine that was made available for iPad only. You can download free issues that show you the lifestyle and customs of anywhere from Buenos Aires to Athens. Great photography is always there to accompany the text.
With this app, you can tap into the collective knowledge and experiences of the Hotel InterContinental Concierges. For any of the cities that has an InterContinental Hotel, the Concierge will give you his insider tips regarding restaurants, shopping, and more.
Shake your iPhone and the Urbanspoon slot machine will pick a good restaurant for you to try. You will surely not go hungry abroad.
Have you ever found yourself in a Japanese restaurant and then received something that you didn’t think you ordered? Don’t let it happen again! This app provides an encyclopedia for all kinds of Sushi, useful for Japan and beyond.
At first sight, travel as a vegetarian may appear more difficult. But in fact, it can be quite a unique experience. This app, the mobile version of the website of the same name, provides a veggie restaurant guide. Get it to go, wherever you go.
7. Word Lens
Thanks to this app, you can instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time. You will always know what is being said (or written).
8. Ask a Nomad
This app serves to connect people with a passion for travel so that they can share their knowledge. Ask another nomad any question about any destination.
Just log in once and you’ll instantly begin receiving recommendations for cool things to do near you – all personalized to your unique interests. Goby covers over 350 categories surfacing millions of activities, events and places to see.
10. UpNext 3-D Maps
The app only includes five cities—Austin, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—but the cities are rendered in 3-D. Hopefully there’s more coming soon.