Hooray, it’s summer! For many people, this means it is finally time to pack those bags and go on that long-awaited vacation. Year after year, European cities are among the most popular destinations for American tourists. Who wouldn’t enjoy strolling the streets of Paris, exploring medieval castles in Dublin or munching on a real Italian pizza in Rome?
However great this may sound, traveling can also pose some challenges, especially when you go to a foreign country and don’t know your way around. How lucky we are to live in times where our mobile devices can give us easy solutions to our globetrotter problems! Whether we want to find the nicest sights, the best restaurants, or good rates for a hotel – you can bet there is an app for any of these things.
We’ve got five helpful apps for you that you should definitely download before embarking on your overseas journey.
1. Get around with SPOTTED BY LOCALS
This app has already been out there for over a decade, but it is still the best digital travel guide that you can find. It covers 71 cities worldwide and is definitely worth the $3.99 you pay for each place. Unlike regular tourist guides, they are entirely written by locals who share with you their insights and hidden gems in the city.
You can also find restaurants, bars, cafÃ©s, local stores and sights visited and reviewed by residents. It can help you avoid the regular tourist traps and find nice places you would probably never stumble upon by accident. Spotted by Locals is updated on a regular basis to ensure that you always get the newest information. The best thing about it is that the app runs entirely offline which means that you don’t need a Wi-Fi connection or pay hefty roaming charges to use it.
2. Sleep well with HOTELTONIGHT
Also not a new contender on our list, but one that has been around since 2010. HotelTonight finds you good last-minute deals on fabulous hotels. The more spontaneous you decide to be, the higher the discount rate, since hotels use this as a way to avoid vacancies and revenue cuts. If you’re lucky, you may even get a room in a nice boutique hotel in a highly frequented and popular area for half the price.
But note that taxes are not included. Depending on the country or city, they can be quite high, so make sure to add them to the listed price.
3. Be safe with PREY ANTI-THEFT
What could be worse than having your valuables stolen on your trip abroad? Yes, probably quite a few things, but spending your days at a police station, reporting a theft and trying to get a hold of your credit card or phone company at home to cancel your accounts is not exactly a traveler’s idea of an ideal trip.
But, guess what – we got an app for that as well! Prey Anti-Theft is a free service that, once installed on your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop, will allow you to track your device as soon as you notice it was stolen. Simply access the nearest computer and track the device’s movements on a map. In order for the application to work, the stolen item must be switched on and connected to the internet. You can also equip your device with an alarm, lock it down, retrieve files or wipe it clean if need be.
4. Eat green with HAPPY COW
Putting your business on the map of food apps is crucial these days. If you are a business owner of a London-based restaurant, for instance, local online marketing via a provider such as 1&1 can help you promote your business by making sure it’s noticeable when tourists search for restaurants on the internet.
Say you are a hungry vegan visitor to the meat-loving Czech Republic and you don’t know where to find the right type of food? No problem! With an app called Happy Cow, you are never more than just a few blocks away from a delicious green and dairy-free meal. As this app operates almost in any major European city, it is a must-have if you are on a plant-based diet.
Happy Cow will let you filter for vegetarian and vegan places as well as restaurants that provide vegetarian options on their menu. You can also read and add reviews or contact places directly through the app.
5. Be connected with WIFI-FINDER
Have you ever traveled abroad and realized how much you actually depend on the internet in your everyday life? Unfortunately, we only start noticing these things once they aren’t available to us. With roaming fees so high they make your knees weak, nothing feels greater than finding a free Wi-Fi connection to finally send those photos and messages or use your mobile apps.
The app Wi-Fi Finder (which obviously works offline) tells you exactly where to find the nearest accessible network by locating it on your street map. Make sure you download this app before you switch continents, because you never know when you might need to hop online during your trip.