6. Find local Wi-Fi
Many hotels, restaurants and cafés offer free or cheap Wi-Fi access. To help locate your nearest network, grab JiWire’s free Wi-Fi Finder app, which will find free and paid-for Wi-Fi networks worldwide. Before you leave home, open the app and tap More > Offline database available. Flick the switch to On. This will download the most up-to-date list of networks.
Wi-Fi Finder offers a worldwide list of networks, enabling you to find free or paid-for internet when abroad
7. Name that word
You can’t always be sure the places you’ll visit will have English versions of menus, tourist or transport information available. A search of the App Store will bring up countless free translation apps, but the vast majority of these require an internet connection.
Lonely Planet’s Offline Translator apps are a good option because they don’t require the internet. There’s a range of languages available costing between £5.49 and £6.99, and each app will translate both ways between English and your language of choice. The apps will accept text as well as voice input.
Word Lens is a clever option: it enables you to point your iPhone camera up at words, which it translates in real time. It only does English to French or Spanish and vice versa, and each language pack costs £6.99.
When there’s no English available, Lonely Planet’s range of translator apps can help you work out foreign phrases
8. Download maps
Brilliant though it is, the iPhone’s Maps app has one big drawback when it comes to use abroad: it doesn’t store any maps on your phone, meaning it can’t come to your rescue when you get hopelessly lost in a strange city where you haven’t got internet access.
Fear not, though, because there are easy and cheap ways to get full foreign maps on your iPhone that will work anywhere, whether you have a data connection or not. Our favourite is the remarkably well-polished City Maps 2Go, which costs £1.49 and keeps its maps on your phone. You’ll need to download the maps you want on a Wi-Fi or 3G connection before you leave home. Open the app up and allow it access to your current location. Then browse through to decide which maps you want, and download them.
With City Maps 2Go on your iPhone, you’ll never get lost while travelling. It’ll also suggest places of interest to visit
9. Get a sat-nav and car mount
Driving abroad can be bewildering at the best of times, let alone when you get lost. Make things easier by installing a sat-nav on your iPhone. The majority of these apps store their maps on your phone, meaning you’ll be able to use them for free abroad. This is because your iPhone pinpoints its location anywhere in the world using the GPS, which is free.
Price-wise, you’ve got plenty of choice: the big players such as TomTom, Garmin and CoPilot all offer good apps, but many of these cost between £20 and £80, depending on the country or region you want.
At the other end of the scale are the likes of Navmii GPS Live (which uses professionally created maps and costs a few pounds per country) and Navfree, which uses crowd-sourced maps from OpenStreetMap and won’t cost a thing. It’s worth launching the app before you go abroad, because some require an internet connection for initial activation.
Lastly, unless you’ve got a willing passenger to hold your iPhone as you drive, get yourself a proper car mount: TomTom’s £80 Car Kit for iPhone is superb, while iLuv’s iCC796 is a functional option at £11.
10. Install some guide books
Rather than lug around a weighty tome, load a guide book on to your iPhone. Your best bet is to search the App Store by typing in the name of the country or city you’re going to, followed by ‘guide book’. Some publishers have released actual apps, such as Lonely Planet and DK, but don’t forget to look in the Books category too, where you’ll find further guides that you can download and read in iBooks.
Forget lugging around a heavy guidebook – install this app on your iPhone to have all the info you need to hand