5 Free Apps to Keep You Out of Jail on Vacation

Christine Sarkis, June 13, 2014
Fares from Washington DC:

    On vacation, it's always better to save your money for souvenirs, not bail. But in a new place, it's easy for even the most law-abiding citizen of the world to inadvertently cross a few legal boundaries. Here are five handy and free apps to help keep you out of trouble.

    My TSA

    Keeps You Out of Jail by: Reminding you what you can and can't legally bring onboard when you fly. The My TSA app's "Can I Bring" tool allows you to type in an item and quickly assess whether or not it can be brought through the security check-point in your carry-on.

    You'll Also Want it to: Keep current on airport delays and alerts.

    Get it: iOS and Android

    Google Translate

    Keeps You Out of Jail by: Saving you from disastrous miscommunications with foreign police by helping you translate on the fly. Speak into the app to get your sentence translated, or have someone else speak and the app will translate it for you. You can make the app speak the language in which you're trying to communicate.

    You'll Also Want it to: Translate verbal exchanges at shops, ticket windows, and any other time you need to communicate but can't.

    Get it: Android and iOS

    HotelTonight

    Keeps You Out of Jail by: Sparing you the vagrancy charge from sleeping on a park bench when your flight is cancelled and you find yourself unexpectedly stuck in a city overnight. The app focuses specifically on last-minute hotel openings, so it's particularly handy when you need to find a hotel room, STAT.  

    You'll Also Want it to: Not only does the app focus specifically on last-minute hotel openings, but it offers them up at a discount. Everyone wins!

    Get it: iOS, Android, and Windows

    TripAdvisor

    Keeps You Out of Jail by: Giving you the scoop about hotels before you reserve so you don't accidentally book a room at a bordello. With zillions of traveler reviews for hotels around the world, if there's something you need to know about a property, this is the place to find it.

    You'll Also Want it to: Find activities and restaurants when you're traveling.

    Get it:  Mobile (iOS, Android, Windows, Nokia) and tablet

    Skype

    Keeps You Out of Jail by: Sparing you bankruptcy and a spot in debtors' prison after running up your phone bill on international calling charges. Skype offers both (paid) phone service and free video calls via WiFi.

    You'll Also Want it to: Stay in touch with friends and family when they travel (or live) abroad.

    Get it: iOS, Android, Windows, Nokia, Blackberry

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    This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title Five Free Apps to Keep You Out of Jail on Vacation.

    Follow Christine Sarkis on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

    (Lead Photo: Scared Woman via Shutterstock)

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