Essential Travel Apps
Travel Tip: Your phone isn't just a camera! Downloading useful apps can save you some stress during tricky situations and enhance your touring experience.
With the rise in mobile technologies, "backpacking" has given way to "flashpacking", and those adventuring through Europe can stay better connected than ever (for better or worse). Below are some of my favorite tried and true apps that I use on my iPhone and iTouch while I travel through Europe.
TripIt is a free software that lets you organize your flight travel. Ever shown up at the airport, and they ask for some obscure booking or confirmation or reference number or code? This takes care of that. As soon as you get the confirmation email from whatever airline you book on, forward that email to them, and it automatically populates all the crucial information from terminal and airline to departure/arrival times. It even keeps track of your various rewards accounts and numbers.
Skyscanner is a global search engine that enables people to find comparisons for flights, and directly links you to the seller's website for free! Don't know where to go? You can plug in "Anywhere" into the destination bar, and find the cheapest places to fly during a certain date, or choose cheapest month to find the best time to go to a specific place!
XE Currency lets you keep track of fluctuating conversion rates throughout your semester so you know exactly how much that fancy dinner or the Italian leather purse bought on a whim equates to in US dollars.
WhatsApp allows you to utilize wifi networks to send texts, photos, videos, and gifs to your friends back at home. Free for you and free for them.
Mint.com is a great way to budget while abroad, and it also lets you keep track of your balances while on the fly.
Google Translate is one of the best apps out there! Don't know the basic phrases of a place you are visiting? Simply type the English words in and Google Translate will do the rest! There is also a cool feature which lets you talk into a microphone and take photos of text, and Google will translate it into the your desired language!
HostelWorld.com is a great place to find a cheap hostel in your desired city, and compare prices, ratings, and different locations of hostels before making a decision! There are also reviews for each hostel listed, and an inclusions section, so you have more background information before booking!
Airbnb is a great way for group of friends to rent out a nice house in a city of their choice for a great deal! Simply enter in where you want to go, how many people are coming, and the dates you will be there, and Airbnb will find you an awesome accommodation!
Huji gives your photos a cool retro disposable camera look that works well in anyone's Instagram! You can also play with the lighting and brightness to give your photos a dramatic look!
GoEuro is a great app where you can find trains and bus tickets to anywhere you want to go! You can also store these tickets on the app, so you never have to print out a paper copy again!
MORE TRAVEL TIPS:
I chose to do this rather than book my own trip in Rome - I wanted to experience one organized/sight-seeing trip rather than a relaxing vacation like many of my others had been. Two friends and I signed up for WSA Rome and don't regret a thing. We met wonderful people, were led by an awesome tour guide Rhianne, and got to see everything I wanted to see in Rome. Plus eat all the best food. There is an optional dinner on the last night that we didn't do right away, but we ended up going to it, and it was SO worth the 20 euro. I made memories and friends, and got to see a beautiful, historic city thanks to WSA!!Mallory Dirks, Simpson College ~ University of Roehampton, London, Fall 2015
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