Hello my lovely readers! Today I wanted to bring you a post I wish someone had showed me before I moved to Europe. It would have saved me a lot of fear towards the metro and future adventures! I hope you enjoy this post of best apps for traveling, and please comment below if you personally use additional apps that you find helpful for being abroad/in unknown places.
This app is number one on my list, and for good reason. I cannot even begin to describe how many times this little green square has saved my life. Available for use in Paris, London, Manchester, Milan, Hamburg, Barcelona, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, Mexico and Tokyo, it’s quite simple to use. You give in a start location (or have your location as the starting point), and put in where you want to go (metro stations, names of bars, parks, etc.). The app will then provide you with a walking route (amount of time and calories burned included), biking route (time and calories), and how long a taxi ride would take. Keep scrolling to also see your route mapped out with metros, trains, busses, etc. Usually you are given a list of about ten options, each with the time included. Click on the route you want to take, and a more precise outline is given (exact train changes, how long you have to walk, everything). Please do yourself a favor and get this app if you are ever traveling, you don’t want to be stuck in Paris at 3AM with no clue how the night bus system can get you home.
While this might be a given one, I want to include it anyways. Who knows when you will need to go buy baking powder in the huge Monoprix, with not a soul around who speaks your language? Trust me.
This is a great one if you have spent the day on your feet, and want to find a nearby place to eat. Linked with Yelp, this app will tell you where things are around you, from ATMs, Coffee Shops, Concerts, Gas Stations, Pharmacies, Parking, to Hotels and Hospitals. Because no one wants to end up in a tourist trap out of hungry desperation, or unable to find a bandaid for blistered feet.
It took me quite a while to be won over by online reading. However, after spending the last half year carrying about 3 novels with me while traveling, Kindle got me. While I would never buy things such as guidebooks or cookbooks to read on my phone (or Kindle device), this is a great one for downloading paperbacks. Not only to you save space, but lots and lots of money (you can even get great classics such as Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise for free, making it even less of an expense!).
Maybe another given one, but I didn’t download the mobile version until moving to Paris this year. I have been quite impressed by the quality of it, preferring even to use it over FaceTime. The quality is much better, and it requires much less internet than the desktop or laptop version. Saved my butt last night, seeing that I currently live 3 floors above the internet box I’m using.
Even if you are not one to post much on social networks, Instagram has inspired me to do (and eat) so much in Paris. Follow bloggers from the city you are visiting, they can give you immediate and insider tips. My current favorites for Paris are parisinfourmonths (by Carin Olsson) and makingmagique (by Haleigh Walsworth). I also frequently posts my snapshots of daily life, especially when I’m too busy to sit down and write a full post.
This app is perfect, and has been saving my life since I met my German (and German cellphone number) best friend 5 years ago. Best way to stay in touch with loved ones at home, and new people that you meet among the way. I currently have conversations going in three languages!
Before writing out the description for this, I just remembered that I had a finance of my own to input. This app is a must for anyone traveling on a budget, or living in a very expensive city (cough, Paris) on a very low budget (cough, panicked one week unemployment going on). You can enter your budget or the amount of money you have on you for the trip, and will then be able to keep track of exactly where you are spending your hard earned cash. In the past 6 months I would get to the end of the week not knowing where my 90 Euros had gone, leading to some finical difficulties. Be aware, that way you’ll be more conscious (and comfortable) money wise!
And yes, last but never least, Uber. Cheaper than taxis (and you’re guaranteed your safety, just look up “Paris taxi horror stories”) and always available for direct pickup (in almost every major European city). Uber is the way home if all else fails at 4AM. Make an account before going on your adventures!
And that wraps it up! I hope you have found this post helpful, and please please please add your recommendations below!