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You know, today’s tablet PCs and smartphones can easily be considered a traveller’s best friend. Besides providing hours of entertainment (games and movies for when your flight is delayed or if you’re stuck in your hotel room on a rainy day) and helping you keep in touch with friends and family (Facebook, Twitter, et.al.), an iOS or Android gadget can easily help you make your vacation as stress-free as possible using a number of really nifty apps. Below are a few that I’ve tried and can now heartily recommend…

TripAdvisor Offline City Guides
(available for iOS and Android)
An easy way to look for hotels, restaurants, and tourist attraction, plus reviews from fellow travellers. It’s free and can be used offline, so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges, bad reception, or Wi-Fi availability.

TripIt – Travel Organizer
(available for iOS and Android)
Just feed this little app all your trip details, and it will create a full itinerary for you. Very, very handy if you have to juggle several reservations and bookings…

Splid
(available for iOS)
Now, your phone or tablet’s camera can be really useful during a trip abroad—and not just for taking pictures of your lunch. Taking pictures of your rented car, for example, can be useful if the rental agency tries to claim that you somehow dented the car. Splid will support your counter-claim by providing strong photographic evidence. Photos taken with this app cannot be edited, so nobody can simply shout, “Pffft… That’s Photoshopped!”

minube
(available for iOS and Android)
This small app is packed with recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and more from more than half a million travellers covering more than 200 countries.

Visual Currency Converter
(available on Android)
There a lot of currency converters available on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store, but this one can make puzzling out foreign bills so much easier.

Waze
(available for iOS and Android)
This one needs to grow more before it becomes really useful, but the idea behind it (a social GPS app where users can share traffic info, gas prices, traffic jam reports, etc.) is awesome.

Find My iPhone/Phone
(available for iOS and Android)
This is one app you should really consider installing before going abroad. Actually, you should install this even if you’re not going anywhere. Oh, and some manufacturers have their own ‘find a lost phone’ services, such as Samsung’s Find my mobile.

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