It’s the rare individual that goes anywhere these days without their trusty phone, tablet, or computer in tow. We use them for all sorts of things, from checking our bank balance to finding a new restaurant, and these tools can certainly be used to our advantage while traveling. Each day, someone is producing yet another app that assists travelers with all their essential needs and tasks, so downloading some of these apps before you head out on your next journey is often a wise idea.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of a handful of some of our favorite travel-related apps we think will help you and your traveling companions on your next trip to Europe. Some are more useful in particular countries than in others, but you’ll find that many are quite far reaching and more than a little helpful.
This free app allows you to put all your trip information in one spot on your cell phone. You can input flight and hotel information and all the other things you might need at a moment’s notice while traveling. You can also sync it with your calendar and send TripIt your confirmation emails and, in return, it will send you items such as flight delays, gate changes, etc. There’s also a Pro version that costs .99 that includes a few extra features. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone.
Travel + Leisure and a variety of other travel-related publications have been touting this app for quite some time, calling it one of the best airport apps available to domestic and international travelers. If you’ll be spending some down time in one airport or another, iFly Pro can offer you a lot more than the difficult-to-decipher airport maps you’ll find in the concourse. Not only can you get info on flight delays, Wifi availability, public transportation, restaurants and bars, and shops, but it will even tell you the distance between gates in case you need to sprint from one to another.
Are you a traveler that enjoys little planning and prefers to fly by the seat of your pants – even just a bit? Just use the GPS feature on the Hotel Tonight app and find a hotel that is available that night…for certain. It saves you lots of phone calls and problems with language barriers. It’s not yet available for every country but many European destinations are already part of the app including the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Download it to iTunes for free!
Rail Europe offers an iPhone app (and a mobile site) that lets you research trains and book reservations from just about anywhere, so you can do it on-the-go. It’ll even offer you snippets about attractions located where you’re going or where you are at the time. All of this means your phone functions as your travel folder, holding your tickets, receipts, maps, and everything else you’ll need for enjoying a successful rail journey or two while in Europe. You can also change your plans at just the touch of your screen, easily altering your e-tickets to reflect your new itinerary.
Rick Steves’ Audio Europe
If you’re a fan of Public Broadcasting, chances are you’ve seen at least a few of Rick Steves’ episodes on traveling through Europe. Now, Steves puts his knowledge in an iPhone and iPad app and you can download a variety of general cultural and sightseeing info as well as more specific guides, such as those related to perhaps a particular museum or maybe an historic walking tour. Maps are included with the self-guided audio tours and you don’t need a Wifi connection to listen as the app downloads and stores the audio files on your device. (You’ll obviously need a connection to download, so plan ahead.) You can delete them when you’re done so they don’t take up space on your phone. Steves adds to the app constantly so it’s always changing.