spring break beach
Planning your Spring Break trip is essential to its success. While you might be cramming for midterms and pull all-nighters for your 12-page essays, it’s okay to do a little research for your upcoming trips when you take a coffee break. During that time, get your device connected to the Internet, and download these handy apps for a seamless travel experience.

TripIt - www.tripit.com

The easiest way to keep all of your travel information in one place is TripIt. This simple free app links up with your email account, and harvests any itineraries that arrive. So when you get that confirmation email from Expedia, TripIt automatically adds all of your flight information, including times, confirmation numbers, and flight numbers, to your account, making them easily accessible from your phone, iPad, or iTouch, even when you’re offline. You can opt to upgrade to TripIt Pro, which also provides easy check in access, as well as the ability to choose your seats and pay for checked baggage all at once. Whether you’re taking a train to Portland or a plane to Cancun, TripIt is the way to go!

Currency Converters

This is essential if you’re traveling to any foreign country, even Mexico. Download the currencies and rates before you leave, and you won’t need Internet connection to use it. (Unless you want to update the conversion rates regularly, which is not normally necessary.) If you’re buying board shorts in Bali, souvenirs in Niagara Falls (Canada), or dinner in Costa Rica, this amazing converter has all of the currencies you might need. You can add them to the list, and organize them however you please.

Skype – www.Skype.com

Once Skype was simply a way to keep in touch with family members in other states and countries, but it has morphed into an essential software program for any traveler. With just a few bucks and an Internet connection, you can call anyone in the world, not just your mother. I’ve used Skype to make hotel reservations in Osaka, get directions at a 7-11 in Indonesia, report fraud on my credit card from Vietnam, and speak to my sick relative in the hospital from Peru. In many touristy cities in the world, an Internet connection is easier to find and cheaper to buy than clean water.

Kindle – Kindle.Amazon.com

As a lover of real books, I was late to the Kindle party, but it’s now my favorite device. While I do prefer the feel of a book in my hands, Kindles are easier to carry around, contain access to thousands of different books, and have the option of adding a handy App to any device. Now I don’t even need to bring my Kindle to fuel my reading addiction. Sitting on a bus? Open the Kindle App. Waiting in line at customs? Kindle App. Stuck at the airport unexpectedly? Kindle App.

Google Translate – Translate.Google.com

My only problem with this app is that you do need an Internet connection for it to work. If you’re in an area with plenty of hubs, you’re in luck, and if you’re traveling through many different languages, such as in Europe, this is handier than buying 5 different Lonely Planet Phrasebooks. You can’t always rely on the translations, so it’s not the best choice for writing that Spanish paper, but for simple communications and directions, it will get the job done.