Traveling in the modern age is made so much easier with the technology available to match our every need. From figuring out a bus route to your hostel in Florence, translating the menu in Portugal, or ordering tickets online to see Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia, the world is literally at your fingertips. Here are eight travel apps that are absolutely essential to download before you next hit the road.
This app is a lifesaver if you are traveling in Europe. It searches trains, flights, and bus options between almost any European country, offering up the cheapest and fastest routes. Booking will be a breeze when you can see exactly where you can go and often for how little, inspiring you to keep adding destinations to your “to do” list. Plus, you can buy your tickets straight off the app once you have made your selection.
Hostels are hands down the best way to travel. Hostelworld pulls up all the available hostels for your dates giving you pictures, prices, and even reviews. You can book right through the app which makes it safe and easy. There are few things more exciting than scrolling through a list of potential places to stay, debating between the fun looking party hostel or remote room with a full kitchen and lake view. Decide away and then get going to meet new friends and incredible adventures.
3. Google Translate
This may seem obvious, but Google Translate really is as good as everyone says. It might not be perfect, but it’s a pretty safe bet if you need to translate a sign or ask for directions. The best feature is the camera option which live translates a picture. There’s no better feeling than the relief of being able to translate a completely foreign menu and knowing you ordered the chicken and not the pig’s feet.
There’s no better way to get to know a city than to walk its streets, getting lost in the aromas, sights, ad spontaneous commotions of any given place. Sidekix helps you do just that. The navigation app forgoes the shortest and fastest route philosophy to send you on the most interesting route (within reason). You customize your interests, and Sidekix develops a route to help you see more of just that.
Some kind of online map is essential to traveling in a foreign city. Waze is a great choice if you really want to beat the traffic and take the scenic route to your destination. It will definitely take you on some unconventional paths, but if you’re in a rental car and are a fairly confident driver, it will be worth the adventure.
If you are planning on visiting noncapital cities, download Airbnb for amazing accommodation options. You don’t have to spill out on a fancy hotel or suffer the horrors of a cheap one. Stay in a nice room in someone’s home or even rent an entire house with thousands of options for varying price points. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it — you might just find a host or location you fall in love with.
Even if you’re planning on visiting a walkable city or making the most of affordable public transportation, having Uber downloaded and ready to go can be a lifesaver. Not knowing the ins-and-outs of a city can be a recipe for disaster. Whether you get carried away on a night out and discover the metro stops running after midnight or simply slept too late and need to get to the airport ASAP, you don’t want to have to worry about downloading the app and inputting your credit card information in the middle of a crisis, or having to call a local taxi and spend a fortune. Set Uber up before you go, and sleep easy before your trip.
Planning for a trip entails more than just booking a room and buying plane tickets. Weather can impact what you do, when you can do it, and even what you pack. Switch from your basic weather app to a more thorough option like Accuweather to get up to 15-day forecasts that are specific to your exact GPS location. Plus, the app works internationally, so it’s perfect for tourists.