Travel apps can be used to make your planning easier, to have fun with, to learn from, or to keep everyone entertained. Without further ado, here are the ones that will not be leaving my phone anytime soon.
Lonely Planet Guides
This is rapidly becoming my go to source for information on cities. So far, any city I have searched for has an easy to use, scaled down, electronic version of Lonely Planet’s guidebook. It also has downloadable offline maps for those of you concerned about roaming data fees. (Free)
Booking.com is heads and tails above the competition for booking accommodations a little more complicated than one room with a double bed. They also return a lot of options for apartments, BnB’s, and family rooms. When you are travelling with 3 kids including 2 babies like we do, we never fit into a cookie cutter hotel room and Booking.com is the best service I have found for quickly finding something that will fit our needs.
Even as more places are looking to ban short term rentals, AirBnB is the industry standard for apartment rentals. AirBnB changed the way we travelled. At first I was sceptical but we have never had a bad host, in fact most have been spectacular. An apartment not only gives you a lot more space than your average hotel but also allows one to save a few $ on meals because you can find a place with a kitchen. (Free)
If you don’t know about Skyscanner by now, where have you been? It is the easiest way to find cheap flights and you can even pick a destination of “everywhere” if you really just want a cheap flight to explore just about anywhere on earth. (Free)
Rick Steves Audio Europe
This one contains podcasts broken down by country and city as well as useful information from the guidebook series. The biggest reason we will love it though is for the audio guides. The Louvre, Versailles, The Sistine Chapel, and The British Museum are some of my personal favourites. The British Museum audio guide, in my opinion, is vastly superior to the one offered by the actual museum. Rick Steves also has free guided tours of different neighbourhoods and monuments throughout Europe’s grandest cities. (Free)
Little Baby Bum
This one is for the inevitable moment that I am never proud of where my two year olds are driving us crazy waiting in a restaurant or in the airport and I shove my phone at them in desperation. For a small price it has a great kids balloon game and videos that are less annoying than most. (£1.99)
A child (and adult!) friendly way to either learn a few words, a few phrases, or enough vocabulary to have a basic conversation in plenty of popular languages. It is bright, colourful and engaging. Duolingo is also like a video game, and whose kids don’t love those, that require the user to pass levels before advancing. (Free)
Do you have any favourites I have missed?
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Happy and safe travels!