Don't shortchange yourself with subpar travel apps. These handy mobile tools can make all the difference, whether you're traveling just a few towns away or to the opposite side of the globe. All the apps on this list are compatible with iOS and Android, and a few of them are even free.
Concur is a large company that offers a variety of business intelligence, travel, expense and invoice-related solutions. Many consider the free Concur app to be the gold standard for travel expense tracking, and its utility is undeniable. You can snap photos of receipts and file them directly through the app, send information for reimbursements while you travel, and even build out basic approval and processing workflows for your home-based team.
We all know that translation software can't compete with human translators, but if you travel abroad and are in a bind, Google Translate is better than nothing. The free Google Translate app is available on Android and iOS mobile devices and offers translation to and from more than 100 languages. Google Translate integrates with your device's cameras and microphones, so you can use it for translating text as well as audible speech.
Google Trips combines organization and exploration into one easy-to-use app that's ideal for business travelers. In addition to storing your itinerary information (complete with details about flights, hotel bookings and car reservations), Google Trips offers built-in travel guides to more than 200 cities around the world, so you can step outside your hotel and explore with ease. The app also takes note of your past searches to learn how to better cater to your travel tastes in the future, so it gets better at guiding you toward things you might be interested in.
If you travel often enough, at some point you're going to get stranded. When that happens, you'll be happy you have Hotel Tonight. This free app does exactly what you'd think: It helps you find hotels at the last minute, and it works in the Americas, Europe and Australia. You can only request a hotel room on Hotel Tonight up to seven days in advance, because the app is built for last-minute accommodation seekers.
Are airports your home away from home? If so, LoungeBuddy is for you. This freebie app identifies airport lounges near you, pointing out which ones require membership and which ones you can access for free or a small fee. You can also book lounge space (when available) through the app and browse lounges at various destinations.
Finding Wi-Fi is easy when you're close to home, but when you're traveling in remote areas or unfamiliar places, finding connectivity can be a challenge. Wi-Fi Finder takes the guesswork out of finding service by showing users free and paid public spaces with Wi-Fi available. This handy app works in a whopping 144 countries worldwide, and each Wi-Fi location is accompanied by a phone number (if there is one available), so you can call from the app to confirm locations, rates and hours.
There is a free and paid version of this currency exchange app, the main difference being a lack of adverts on the Pro ($1.99) version. XE Currency isn't just a conversion calculator; it's a real-time app that shows live exchange rates and charts, which makes it valuable for business travelers as well as those who do business or trade internationally. The app even allows you to set alerts for certain rate changes so you can monitor specific currencies, but if you plan on using it for that, you may as well upgrade to Pro to avoid pop-up fatigue.