There are countless articles on the web claiming they have identified the best travel apps. But it can be overwhelming just to decide which articles to trust, much less to make a decision on which apps are really worthwhile. The latest and greatest apps change constantly, so the best app last month might be outdated today. New apps come out all the time and developers stop updating older apps. As a consequence, I add & delete apps on a regular basis.
These are the apps that are currently on MY iPhone. We use these apps all the time, sometimes daily, in Europe.
Travel Apps for Europe:
Getting Around Town
Pocket Earth PRO Offline Maps – My husband is the navigator of the family, and he is obsessed with this app. We have the paid pro version. My step-dad downloaded the free version during his recent visit, but we noticed things didn’t always load on his app like they did on ours. Pocket Earth has helped us find places that we never would have been able to navigate with a standard map. The app also shows restrooms, potable water, points of interest and restaurants. And the best part is, you can use it offline, like the title says. You need neither cellular or wireless connectivity to use.
Free version or $2.99 Pro version
Rome2rio – Another navigation app that my husband couldn’t live without is Rome2rio. He uses this app to plot our trips and to find the best travel routes. Is it faster to travel by train, plane or car? The app also provides approximate costs for each mode of transportation.
Rail Planner – Offline Timetable for Eurail and Interrail Passes – We used this app for the first time during our trip to Italy. The offline timetable made it easy to explore Bordighera then hop back on the train without wasting our day hanging around the station.
DB Navigator – Deutsche Bahn – Although this is a German train app, it has train schedules throughout Europe.
Flight Tracker – Easy to search flight status.
LoungeBuddy – I recently download this app, and haven’t had a chance to use it. I’m looking forward to trying it on our trip in a couple of weeks.
Skyscanner – Perfect for searching cheap flights on the smaller airlines in Europe.
Wanderlog – Great to explore and plan future trips. The app scrapes the web and makes awesome suggestions for top places to visit all around Europe. The best part is that I can share an itinerary with my husband and plan together.
Michelin Travel – We like this app to get ideas of places to visit in our surrounding area. The rating system is useful, but we never pick trips based solely on ratings from such apps. It’s a great reference tool. There is also a navigation app, but it’s not one that we typically use.
Instagram – Okay this a social media app, but it’s awesome for sharing your travels and learning about new places to visit. Planning to visit France? Just type in the hashtag and start looking for new places to discover. It’s fantastic for learning tips and finding restaurant or hotel recommendations. Follow me on Instagram!
Google Translate – I use this app all the time to translate French words into English. It’s great for translating the Menu du Jour boards at restaurants to learn the dish of the day.
Quizlet – Flashcards & Study Tools – We have French vocab & LuLu’s multiplication facts saved. It’s an easy way to practice when on the go.
Duolingo – My kids prefer this app over the other language apps we have downloaded.
Keeping in Touch
I did have WhatsApp Messenger & Viber installed on my phone, but most of my friends and family have an iPhone. We can iMessage for free or I just use Skype Messenger (there is an app) or Facebook Messenger (I KNOW you all have the Facebook app!) I also use Facetime for video chatting.
If you don’t have an iPhone, both of these apps were useful. Just make sure everyone you want to communicate with has the app installed.
Relax Melodies – I’ve tried other sound apps but this is my favorite. There is even a fan sound which we love. Now if it would actually create a breeze – that would be awesome!
Kindle – I prefer to read on my iPad, but if I’m lounging on the beach or we’re taking a break while out with the kids, I can access my books straight from my phone.
Wi-Fi Finder – Leaving my unlimited data plan behind in the US was a huge source of unease. I was connected 24/7 with no overage worries. Now, my SIM card gives me 1MB each time I load 20€ for making phone calls. Ouch! You can’t do much with that!
Now, I only turn my data on for brief periods such as to look up a location or to do a quick translation. That’s why finding wi-fi is a must.
XE Currency – Since the Euro to the Dollar is so close right now, I don’t have to worry about the exchange rate as much. However, it’s handy for traveling in other areas.
Express VPN – Protect your data while browsing over WiFi. The service also allows you to watch your favorite shows, regardless of your location. In France, most of the US TV shows are blocked. We even have different Netflix shows. This app provides security and saves me from purchasing TV shows through Amazon.
$12.95 per month or less with a 6 month or 1 year subscription. Get 30 days FREE when you use this link.
Most companies that we use regularly such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, and SPG have apps. The list is endless. For me, researching on my computer is preferable to using my iPhone. If you’d rather use your phone or don’t travel with a computer, download these apps for convenient browsing.
You should also look for apps specific to your area of travel. I’m still testing out Nice, France apps. I’ll add any I think are worthwhile soon.
There you have it. My favorite travel apps for Europe. What apps are a must have on your phone?