The explosion of electronic devices has been a godsend to travelers. No longer do you have to lug hardback novels to read on the beach or pocket language guides to make sure that you order your dinner correctly. There are apps for that…and more are hitting the market every day. If you're headed to the beach or other getaway this fall, make sure you download one or more of the following:
1. Gas Buddy. With the price of cost soaring, even a few cents can impact your vacation budget. Find the lowest gas prices wherever you are in the United States with this free app. Just enter a zip code and Gas Buddy will tell you where to find the lowest priced gas station. Cost: free.
2. Google Translate. No longer do you have to lug an English to French (or Spanish or German or ?) dictionary or phrase book with you when you travel. And, you don't have to be frustrated when no one understands what you are trying to say. Google Translate converts your English phrase to one of 50 other languages, from French to Farsi. This app is useful whether you’re in Quebec or Kashmir. It will even speak your phrase aloud in 23 languages. Cost: free.
3. What's the Rate. This app, designed by veteran British travel conglomerate Thomas Cook Ltd., makes it easy to comparison shop no matter what part of the world you're in. This app not only converts currencies, but gives you trends in more than 80 different currencies, so you know whether you're getting a good exchange rate or not. Cost: free.
4. Where for iPhone. This one combines user reviews from Yelp with a tourist guide for things to do, see, eat and enjoy in hundreds of cities around the United States. You'll never have to wonder where the nearest movie theater, drug store or Starbucks is located again. Cost: free.
5. Kindle for iPhone. It wasn't that long ago that you had to carry heavy books if you wanted to read the latest novel on vacation. Or, you had to settle for days-old newspapers if you were vacationing on a remote island. With Kindle, that all has changed. If there's Internet access, you have a virtual bookstore of reading material at your fingertips. Cost: free.