When I sat down to write this, its was originally going to be a pretty solid list of 5 crucial apps for traveling. However, when I got going I realized that most of what these apps did could be done in no time without them. Which led me to wonder...What is the most complicated thing you have to deal with when you're traveling. The itinerary? The packing? Getting everything booked? Maybe none of those things jam you up when traveling domestically, but what about when traveling internationally? Things get more complicated for sure especially when you throw in customs, passports and inevitably trying to drive on the wrong side of the street.
Yes, there is an app to solve basically everything but which of those things is an actual insurmountable roadblock that requires some pocket genie to fix? The answer is "none." Not a single one of them could stand firm in the face of a little diligence on your part. What then is this epiphany I had that could ruin your trip if left unaddressed?
The language barrier!
That's right, good old fashioned communication. You may know everything about every aspect of the job or trip you are on but I promise you one thing. If you can't talk with the locals you are bound to struggle, or at the very least miss out on some awesome location that only they know about. Yes, there are translator apps around but really they don't do a great job most times, and trying to talk to anyone this way is just awkward.
Which brings me to my new favorite app, and something you seriously just need to download right now.
Duolingo is, in my opinion, one of not only the greatest travel prep apps around...but seriously just one of the best apps ever released. Why? Because not only is it completely free (not even micro-transactions at the time of writing this) but is also just as powerful as the over-hyped and over-priced Rosetta Stone. No, Duolingo does not offer live tutoring like some other apps do, but again...it's free and very, very good. To those of you that would cry "sponsored article," go ahead and stop, why would a free app sponsor anything, and more importantly...why the hell would they sponsor me?
The fact of the matter is this: If you are traveling out of the country, you need to at least have a basic knowledge of the language at your destination. Yes, it will take work but I promise you that it will be time well spent. Other than total immersion the "gamification" of language learning is one of the most effective ways to learn. I really think you'll be surprised at just how much you pick up.