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orange bulletBest Smartphone Apps For Easy Travelling

Checking the weather at your destination, finding currency exchange rates, looking up emergency phone numbers in a foreign country, checking up on flight schedules and check-in times, checking the fine print in your travel insurance policy. These are just a small example of what modern travel apps can do for you.... if you have them loaded on your phone!

But with the proliferation of phone manufacturers and more importantly, different operating platforms, finding the right apps for your needs can be a bit daunting if you are not a smartphone junkie.

We'd like to introduce a collection of what we believe to be the best FREE mainstream travel apps currently available. So go ahead... check them out and add a few to your swag of travel tools.

bullet wideXE Currency Converter
Function: This app allows you to see live currency exchange rates for all but the most obscure countries. It is highly recommended for all travellers as it allows you to quickly compare any foreign currency expenses with your own home currency. [Availability: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows and Firefox OS]

bullet wideViber
Function: An alternative to using your phone's credit. This app uses your internet connection to send messages, make calls, take photos or send video messages. It's the new way to chat for free on your phone, plus it's great for getting in touch with your friends and family at home who have Viber. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

bullet wideSkyScanner
Function: One of the most popular travel apps with over 20 million downloads. This app compares flight times and prices across every airline to any destination. It includes thousands of airlines around the world. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

bullet wideFlying
Function: This flight-tracking app will keep you updated on your flights and check in times. You can compete against your friends and family with flight points, get awards when you achieve flight milestones and can share it all on social media. [Availability: Exclusive to iPhones]

bullet wideDuolingo
Function: An app that helps when some of the local language is called for. Learn Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian with this easy to use and enjoyable app. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

bullet wideTravelSmart
Function: An app that gives you access to local hospitals, emergency numbers and information about foreign medicine and health advice in the event you need emergency help overseas. Perhaps not the most exciting app here, but it could save your life. It's also sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

bullet wideEvernote Food
Function: This app is for foodies to upload and share their photos, recipes and restaurant info with other foodies. It allows you to record all the details of any new taste sensations you discover on your travels. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

bullet widePack the Bag
Function: Forget checklists of what to pack when you travel. This app lets you quickly create manageable checklists chosen from 26 categories and select items that you want to take overseas. The app has a built-in reminder capability. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

bullet wideImageIt
Function: An app similar to Pictionary that allows you draw and select images of what you are trying to say. It can be used where you aren't overly familiar with the local language and also makes a fun game with your overseas friends. [Availability: iPhone and Android]

Travel apps for iPhones and iPads are available from the Apple iTunes App Store. Android apps can be downloaded from the Google PlayStore.