There’s no denying that a good arsenal of travel apps can relieve the usual stress that builds up on holidays or business trips. But with thousands of them on the market, it can be tricky to find the useful few. Here are our top five apps for taking the trauma out of translation and the boredom out of booking – with a focus on the progressive and forward-thinking.

World Lens

We’ll start with World Lens, the very app that defines ‘cutting edge’ itself. The app will translate any printed text that you take a photo of. Point your camera to a Polish street sign and watch it get translated into English in real-time (and on the same background) as if by magic! Google Goggles does something similar, but it’s not nearly as developed and you need to be connected to the internet. Free to try and £6.99 to buy, Word Lens is certainly a must if you travel to foreign-speaking countries often.

HotelClub

Most leading accommodation websites have an accompanying app that takes the strain out of the booking process. But what makes HotelClub our favourite is its user-friendliness. With the amount of features this little gem has, it’s surprising how easy to use it actually is. Surf through thousands of hotels across the world and filter them according to your needs. It’s especially good for finding deals in popular locations such as London.

Touchnote

In today’s world of travel tweeting and constant Facebook status updates from your trip, the good old postcard can seem a little out-dated. But Touchnote combines old school snail mail with a techy twist to let you send custom-made postcards straight from your iPhone. Just upload an image of your choice, write a personal message and Touchnote will do the rest for you. A physical postcard can be sent anywhere in the world for only £1.49, which will save you the effort of finding a stamp and dropping it into a post box.

JetLag Genie

The last thing you want before an important international business conference is a debilitating bout of jet lag. Luckily, JetLag Genie understands this issue and provides an app to combat everyone’s number one drawback of long-haul flights. JetLag Genie helps you adjust your sleep schedule to allow your body to adapt to your destination’s time zone. It will also advise you when to take melatonin and sets an alarm by itself. I always like to have a precautionary espresso just in case it’s all a placebo effect, though.

Foodspotting

You can always Google search a restaurant’s website and read the reviews on there, but can they always be trusted? Getting other people’s recommendations and reviews, and seeing the bigger picture, gives you an affirmation like no other. This is essentially what Foodspotting does, helping you to find the best restaurants in your area. Users can snap a picture of their dish and upload it to the app’s review section instantly. Definitely a must for foodies who love to travel.

About the Author

Matt Lindley is a travel and technology blogger who has previously written for the likes of Huffington Post, Londonist, Cool Places and Driftwood Journals.