Anytime someone asks me “What’s the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?”, my answer inevitably is “My iPhone” — what I commonly refer to as my other half (and yes, I am married to an actual human being). Saying that I am obsessed with my phone isn’t an understatement, and I am seriously considering a surgical operation in order to permanently attach it to my hand.
I barely ever read guidebooks anymore — not because I don’t enjoy them, but because frankly, I cannot be bothered to go out and buy them when I can get the same insightful information for one-third of the price and one tenth of the weight at the tips of my fingers. Considering travellers can book hotels, purchase flights, look up restaurants, take and edit photographs and plan an itinerary with their phone, it’s hardly surprising that I wouldn’t travel without mine.
And while I am fully aware that the offer for travel apps is in constant evolution, here are, for the moment, my absolute favourite ones.
The 10 best Europe travel apps
My go-to app whenever I want to look up flights. I love how easy it is to customise the search to my needs, be it by date, by price, by destination, by airline or by journey-length. It’s also possible to set up email alerts for a specific flight, which comes in extremely handy as no one has time to spend 2 hours every day searching for the optimal flight. Plus they have an awesome Facebook page with lots of wanderlust-inducing photos and blog posts.
Available in over 24 European cities, Uber is the perfect app to travel safely and rapidly. Whether you need a lift from the airport or are unsure about walking to your hotel alone at night, Uber provide a reliable taxi service at the tips of your fingers and straight to your credit card, at no extra charge.
The Rail Planner App allows travellers to look up train information (e.g., seat selection, departure and arrival times, connecting platforms, city maps, nearest train station, etc.), no matter where they are, as the app is available offline. It’s also possible to book train journeys directly via the app, for on the go decisions!
Because the Eurozone doesn’t cover all of Europe and because foreign visitors rarely stick to one country, it’s important to know how much you’ll be spending in your native currency. Currency is a sleek and super simple solution to tracking currency costs when on the road in Europe. It has a built-in converter that works with over 160 currencies which tracks of international changes.
Very useful for frequent travellers, TripIt is the leading mobile travel organiser and automagically (their won words!) syncs your flight confirmations, hotel reservations and more into your calendar. Much like having an omniscient personal concierge! All your essential travel info stored into one single place.
Forget guidebooks. GuidePal is your best friend when it comes to planning Europe city getaways, from Madrid to Oslo. It offers a constantly updated selection of both touristy landmarks and approved-by-locals eateries and bars in over 27 European cities.
Back your sh*t up people. iPhone and camera photos, passport and insurance information, hotel reservations, etc. Dropbox has saved my ass more than once when I was on the road – never underestimate how essential it is. You can even set up automatic backups of your Instagram photos, for example!
I love using Airbnb when I travel because I love the feeling of being a local in a city I don’t know. Owners are always more than happy to offer their insightful advice, and who knows, they might even take you out to dinner. It’s also nice to have access to a kitchen and laundry facilities, especially if you tend to travel for more than just a few days.
Acting both as an inspirational and planning tool to traveller, this app makes it easy to discover everything that makes Europe the most popular destination, from cultural heritage to essential landmarks and outstanding landscapes (thanks to a 1000+ images gallery). The one place where all of the national tourism board’s information is listed.
Can’t understand the hell of what’s on that road sign? Just take a picture of it with Word Lens and the app will translate it for you, regardless of the language. Simple as that!
Because Rosetta Stone can only get you so far in local lingo, TripLingo allows you to get more familiar with a specific language and on different levels: slang, casual or formal.