8 apps for better international travel

As the summer crowds begin to dissipate, airlines and hotels start to advertise their can't-miss fall specials, dubbing the arriving season one of the best times of year to travel. No matter where you hail from, if your upcoming travel plans include a destination abroad, download these apps to help make your global gallivanting more gratifying.

JetLag Genie

Since it’s likely few will sympathize with jet lag following your summer abroad, it’s best to get ahead of it with JetLag Genie. This app helps you manage and reduce jet lag by creating a customized plan of action. Input your sleep patterns, traveling times and more, and JetLag Genie will set up alarm clocks and suggestions such as, “take melatonin” or “sit in the dark.”

Cost: $2.99

Rating: Usability: 4/5 Design: 2/5 Innovation: 4/5

HopStop

With more than 600 cities to choose from, HopStop is the only transit app you’re likely to need. Access bus, train, subway, taxi, walking and biking directions and real time transit information while you travel.

Cost: Free

Rating: Usability: 4/5 Design: 4/5 Innovation: 3/5

TripList

There’s nothing like arriving at your destination and realizing you forgot to pack a toothbrush. This easy to use app will help you efficiently ready your suitcase for any adventure. Customize your list with personal items and receive suggestions for items you forgot to include. Add multiple trips and select items from a catalog with more than 250 items to get you started.

Cost: Free / Pro version: $2.99

Rating: Usability: 5/5 Design: 4/5 Innovation: 3/5

Word Lens

Since the general public does not have access to a personal translator on their international travels, Word Lens serves as the next best thing! Word Lens instantly translates printed words using your device’s camera. While it admits that it’s not perfect, if you use with most printed text it should give the general meaning in the selected language. Quest Visual, the maker of Word Lens, was purchased by Google earlier this year and is providing language packs within the app at no cost for a limited time.

Cost: Free to download. Language packs free for a limited time.

Rating: Usability: 4/5 Design: 4/5 Innovation: 3/5

WhatsApp

The well-known messaging app, WhatsApp, is a crucial download for international travel. WhatsApp uses data or wifi for messaging with other WhatsApp users. There are no additional costs once the app is downloaded so feel free to send hourly updates to friends and family during all of your upcoming adventures.

Cost: $0.99

Rating: Usability: 5/5 Design: 4/5 Innovation: 4/5

Gogobot

With its beautiful new design and easy to navigate interface, Gogobot is better than ever. No matter where your travels take you, find spot on suggestions for restaurants, hotels and attractions from people with similar interests. Plan a trip, review your favorite spots, upload photos and more. Gogobot is often at the top of the list with apps in this category and with good reason.

Cost: Free

Rating: Usability: 5/5 Design: 5/5 Innovation: 4/5

Uber

Available in more than 40 countries you can be sure Uber will help get you where you need to go. Request a ride at the press of a button, and be updated when that ride is on the way and when it arrives. All payment is through the credit card you connect to your account so you never have to exchange money with the driver, which is a safer option than most private city transportation since there's always transparency and reliability when it comes to how much they're charging you. Additionally, being able to see who's picking you up, what their name is and their rating is just another form of accountability and safety that Uber offers. Added bonus: Uber's customer service department has proven reliable, so if you have an issue with a bill or driver they're extremely receptive.

Cost: Free

Rating: Usability: 5/5 Design: 5/5 Innovation: 5/5

Onavo

Local data plans can get expensive; international data plans, even more so. Once the app is opened, Onavo saves your data by making your phone its most efficient self. How does it save data you ask? Not only does it load images as you scroll so you’re not using data unnecessarily, but provides reports as well that break down how you’re using data.

Cost: Free

Rating: Usability: 5/5 Design: 5/5 Innovation: 5/5

Do you have a favorite international travel app that wasn't included? Get in touch with us at @Sparkloft and let us know!