This weekend, I’m going on a trip to California. It’s my first time on the West Coast, the first time I will ever see the Pacific Ocean and Redwood forests. I’m excited beyond measure, because one of the things I love to do most is travel.

And I absolutely always have my phone on me, so it made me think – how can my phone help me when I travel?

1. iFly Pro

I’m not really a roadtrip person, so I spend a lot of time navigating airports and making flight arrangements. This app can be used as a general guide, although it does have a feature where users can access their own flight information as well.

2. Free WiFi

Like I said, I always have my phone with me, but I don’t have unlimited data. And when traveling, I like to know where I can get some free wifi for my phone or iPad. And the app is free. So, free stuff helps me find free stuff. Win-win.

3. Google Translate

Remember, back in the day, international travel meant buying a little pocket translation book full of popular phrases and how to say them in a second language? Well, no more. Google Translate has turned 60 languages into one app to replace that little book. How I love technology. It’s much more streamlined.

4. WhatsApp Messenger

This little app costs $0.99, but it can save users a whole lot of money. This messenger is designed to work overseas, and circumvent those pesky international fees. This is important for places where traditional plans don’t cover texts. I’m just saying, I’d want to text my mom if I saw a lion cub or a gazelle or an elephant.

5. SOS Rescue Tools

This app is a $2.99 handheld lifesaver. No, literally. It contains many features to help travelers help give appropriate locations of accidents, emergency numbers for almost every country, and SOS flashlights. It’s good for the cautious traveler to be able to respond appropriately in case of emergency.

Other considerations

Remember, before heading out on any adventure, to check out the specifics on the phone that’s going to be used on the trip. Find out if there are any fees for making calls internationally, and find out if there is any coverage in rural areas. So for travellers looking to head out on a safari or scale a mountain, don’t expect to be able to provide live updates to instagram or to be able to respond to emails from the office. Most apps won’t work without coverage and most epic adventures, especially international ones, are in places that don’t have network coverage.

Traveling can be expensive, so it’s important to cross our P’s and Q’s on our phone bills when we’re traveling. It’s a good way to save money and have all of the access we’re accustomed to when traveling. Unless, of course, the whole point of traveling is to get away and “un-plug”. In that case, power the phone down and have fun being disconnected.

Written by Drew Hendricks