By Stuart Houghton, December 30, 2012 [See Article]

Stuart writes, “Even if you don’t plan to phone home while away on vacation, a few well-chosen apps can serve as concierge, tour guide, translator and lifeline when you need them the most. As a tech writer and (theoretically, at least) an expert on mobile apps, I’m always on the lookout for unusual new ones that think outside the box. My recent search for new travel apps that are helpful, fun and simple to use unearthed the following 10. They should erase any doubt or guilt you might have about buying an overseas data bundle.”

At #7, Stuart writes for Hearplanet, “What’s more necessary for travel than a good guidebook? How about a guide that you don’t have to carry around with you, or even read for that mater. Hearplanet grabs your location via GPS, then uses Google maps to associate useful snippets of audio description with the surrounding area. You get interesting facts about landmarks, historical sites and even public transport links in locations from San Francisco to Sevagram in India.

The app for Apple products or Androids uses audio content from Wikipedia and user submissions, with some clips provided by tourism companies. Even if you don’t want to use it as a walking tour guide, Hearplanet can give you a feel for a place before you set foot outside your hotel room.”