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Beacon Senior News

6 essential apps for travelers

Jan 28, 2020 11:19AM ● By Adam Cochran

Even though it’s not yet travel season, familiarizing yourself with these technology travel apps long before you travel can help give you peace of mind on your next trip.

FlightAware and Flightradar24 (free and paid version) -

FlightAware tracks flights in real-time and provides information about each flight with a simple interface. Flightradar24 is a little more fun as it allows you to point your phone at a section of the sky to reveal information about the plane flying overhead.

Google Photos (free) -

If you have a free Gmail address, this photo app can automatically backup all the photos on your smartphone to your Google account. Unlimited storage for resized images (1024 x 768) is free. But, you can pay Google for extra storage if you want it to store your photos in full resolution.

Colorado Roads (free) -

This app is a bit of a misnomer because it’s primarily focused on the section of I-70 that runs across Colorado, but that still makes it extremely useful.

Colorado Roads relays real-time road conditions, alerts and traffic camera images from across the state. If you want to know whether there is snow at the tunnel or whether the roads are slick at Silverthorne, this app will show you everything you need to know.

Marco Polo (free) -

This is a simple social media app often used by travelers to share short video updates of their journeys. The app is essentially a video messaging app that records your messages for either live or delayed viewing. Best of all, only those you have invited can see your video, and they can respond with a reply video.

Waze (free) -

This is a GPS app on steroids. Waze combines common GPS mapping and navigation features found in most apps with live crowdsourced data that will make your drives safer and more enjoyable.

In addition to turn-by-turn directions helping you locate the nearest gas station or rest stop, Waze also allows drivers to report accidents, road hazards and even speed traps in real-time.

You can even choose to join the Waze network which allows you to connect with other Waze users as you travel so you can watch out for each other.

Google Translate (free) -

Google Translate is free and extremely powerful. This incredible app can translate written text, audio and even signs and printed material from one language to another. You can even hold a conversation with a foreign language speaker through the app.

I also recommend installing apps that are specific to the hotel you stay at, the airlines you travel and the places you like to eat. Once you have these apps installed, your phone will likely become your boarding pass, your hotel key, your credit card and your map.

Everything you need for an adventure can fit in your jean pocket.