Smart Traveler, from the U.S. Department of State, has embassy and consulate contact information, travel warnings for a disturbingly long list of countries, and extensive country-specific information that you will be glad to have on hand. Smart Traveler is also where travelers can sign up for the department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, to let embassies and consulates know you are in-country, the better to respond if you call for help, and to send you alerts of dangers. Consulates, for example, can provide names of local doctors and lawyers or spot you a loan if your pocket’s picked.
Weather+, by International Travel Weather Calculator, comes in a free version and one for 99 cents that eliminates the banner advertising. It’s a fast-glance app that gives weather conditions in locations all over the world. Background video loops let you know if it’s sunny, raining, or snowing at your destination. In addition you see the local time in the city you are checking out.
First Aid by American Red Cross provides health information and instructions for an emergency. Of course those instructions start with strong advice to call for help, with a live link to dial 911. On the way to your exotic destination, you can check out the Red Cross notes on preparing for a landslide, tsunami, volcano or other disaster that might put a crimp in your itinerary. You can even sign up for CPR and other Red Cross training courses from the app. Another tap and you can donate to the charity via a text message.
Wi-Fi Finder, by JiWire Inc., locates hundreds of thousands of free and paid wireless hot spots in 144 countries. Filter the results to see only free or paid hot spots, or filter by venue — look just for cafes or university Wi-Fi signals, for example. Or pick your paid provider, such as AT&T or Boingo. With Wi-Fi Finder, you may download an off-line database of 545,000 free and paid locations for use when you aren’t within range of a connection.