My Favorite Travel Apps

7:00:00 AM

Hello again!

Here we are and it is June of 2015. Which  means, ladies and gentlemen, that travel season is upon us. And one cool thing about living in this modern world is the current state of travel tech. There are so many amazing travel apps available now. It's super awesome to have such handy mobile resources to take advantage of! Here are my favorites:

AirbnbI cannot say enough good things about Airbnb. I used it almost exclusively when booking our big trip to Europe and had a good experience everywhere we stayed. We even stayed on a sailboat in France! And a "rock palace" with 5 turtles in Dubrovnik! I love this app & site because I can choose how much space or privacy I want and filter places by amenities, which for us was always "has a washing machine." It's also great to be hosted by a local who can answer your questions and give you suggestions.

[Sidenote: always ask your host how to use said washing machine. They all function differently and can be surprisingly difficult to understand, whether or not you are familiar with the language. I learned this the hard way. See?]

ViatorViator was the easiest way for us to browse and book a variety of tours and activities. I think I used Viator in every city we visited to book everything from walking and biking tours to cooking classes and day trips.

AfarAfar is an excellent resource and travel guide for finding both on and off the beaten path restaurants, attractions or areas to explore. The app features little write ups that you can view in list or map format and save to an itinerary that you can then download locally to your phone for offline use. This was a very handy feature in Europe that led us to discover many hidden gems.

Hotel TonightOne of my best friends, who might just be the best-traveled gal I know, turned me on to this app. Perfect for the spontaneous traveler, Hotel Tonight allows you to book same day hotel rooms at a nicely discounted rate. For those looking for a more controlled style of chaos than same-day booking, Hotel Tonight also allows you to book several days in advance, still at that discounted rate. The app itself is elegant, easy to navigate and categorizes each hotel into such fields as basic, solid, or trendy.

TaxibeatI did not discover Taxibeat until our last stop in Europe, Athens, when our Airbnb host urged us to download it for immediate use. Athens was by far the most taxi-heavy city on our itinerary, and this app completely removed the anxiety that comes with using taxis in unfamiliar places where you don't speak the language. Taxibeat allows you to filter for drivers that speak a language you speak, and allows you to plug in destination, etc. You can also choose to pay via credit card through the app (a la Uber) but we stuck to cash payment.

Trip AdvisorThere is a whole lot of information on Trip Advisor, which is great... but also means you have to dig. Here's how I used it: for a general overview of what each city has to offer. I found it especially useful for discovering outdoor activities and sometimes restaurants.

Wiki TravelAlthough it's not currently available in app format, this website is still a helpful resource. Plain and simple, use this for a brief overview of culture or etiquette and to learn about potential safety concerns.

1 comment:

  1. Another great find. Nice of you to test-drive all these, too. Makes for some very reliable advice.