Keep your money and manners in mind while you travel.
Business and casual globetrotters alike can get into Travel Box (99-cents), a set of 12 tools that travelers can use to open up a world clock, convert currency and units of measurement, and look up flight information via an in-app browser and the FlightStats mobile site. There's also a tip calculator, a simple a text-only translation translator, a built-in flashlight app, and a packing list and size converter for clothes-hounds. With dark aesthetics, Travel Box has essentials for international jet-setters, though frequent business travelers may prefer a more in-depth app for managing meetings and flights.
- CNET editors' rating: 4.0 stars
If a travel app suite is overkill for you, this free converter should do the trick. Currency can compare the value of a master currency with monies from multiple countries. It's ideal for tracking international exchange rates, or for use as a calculator when gauging if that 5,000-rand safari is a good deal. The latter employment, unfortunately, takes some format finessing, and the sometimes-insensitive buttons add delays. If you can overlook those issues and the occasional crash, you'll find a free tool that makes mastering foreign money a snap.
We've had enough travel experience to know that when it comes to giving yourself a crash course in a new language, simpler is better. Coolgorilla's audio phrasebooks for Italian, French, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, and German quickly became our favorite in this crowded category. Pleasant voices slowly and clearly sound out common words and phrases that are simple enough to commit to memory after only a few repetitions. The 99-cent application may not be as polished as others, but it covers the same categories and adds another one for essential terms.
We rank Lonely Planet's phrasebooks ($9.99) a close second for including transliteration below the native spelling, and for a search bar that sifts through hundreds of phrases. They also make a strong first choice for languages that the Talking Phrasebooks don't cover, although the recorded voices tend to speed through phrases more quickly than our ears could capture, and the use of longer, more polite expressions may discourage memorization.