Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Top Apps and Websites for European Travel

I've been living here in Belgium for a good while, and so I think its time to give everyone my two cents on what apps and websites are best for planning trips in Europe. These are strictly my own opinions, and I am sure there are more things out there that I haven't tried. If I have found something useful but haven't tried it yet, I listed it at the bottom of the post.

Trip Advisor

My go-to research place for traveling. Once I know where I'm going I'll look for forums, planned trips, tours, etc. on what to do in the city/area. Since this has been around for a while, there are plenty of followers for it so there is a lot of advice. If there is something you specifically need to know that isn't listed, you can create a forum or ask a question. Someone always gets back to you within a couple of days or so. Just remember to be detailed in your question. If you are vague, you will get a vague answer.


Skyscanner is awesome. It is basically the Kayak of Europe and I have used it so many times when searching for cheap flights. It covers a lot of the low and high budget airlines. You can adjust it on price, departure, arrival, etc.  I use this all of the time and highly recommend it.

Google Maps

I recently discovered that Google Maps can do so much more than take you from Point A to Point B. I discovered you can save maps of cities so that when you aren't connected to the internet, you can still find your way. I also found out you can create your own map! You can save landmarks, restaurants, hotels, etc. I wrote a post about it here.

This is actually, pretty informative for a couple of places. It looks like a newer, cooler TripAdvisor. It's very detailed and gives you every thing you need, such as directions, websites, and sites. It even does some useful tips like "Avoiding the Tourist Traps" and "How to Get Along with the Locals". However, it doesn't have that many trips in there yet. It only has the big names like Paris, New York City, London, etc. I tried researching Croatia on there, and it wasn't even listed.


This is a pretty nice app actually. I haven't used the train that much but this looks pretty detailed. Since I'm leaving from the same country every time, I just use Belgium's rail website. BUT since most of you are not in my boat, I would recommend trying this app out. It allows you to look up train information no matter where you are, even when you aren't connected to wifi.


I have really wanted to try this out, but its so new and different, it makes me nervous. Here is the concept: I'm a home owner who has an extra room and I need some money. You are a traveler who wants to stay in a place that reminds you of home (aka not a hotel or a hostel). I will allow you to stay in my apartment for a couple of nights and you can pay a little bit less than a hotel. It does kind of sound sketchy, but the thing is, its all legal. It is a business arrangement and you and the owner are both rated on the website. You can also get deals where you can rent out the entire place, stay in the guest house, or stay in a adjoined room like I mentioned above. If hotels seem too expensive, try checking this website out!

Cheap Airlines

Europe has sooo many cheap airlines. There are a couple of catches but they are completely worth it. Did you know my flight to Rome, Italy was a total of €50, there and back? Thats around sixty dollars! I used the website Skyscanner above to make sure I'm getting the best deal on these guys. There are actually a ton out there, here are just a couple of them:

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Apps I haven't tried but I think are cool:

Untappd - If you are a beer connoisseur, this is the app for you. I don't drink a lot of beer, and if I do, I stick with the same kinds I like.  However, a lot of my co-workers use this app, and are obsessed. I would recommend trying it out!
Delectable - Basically the wine version of Untappd. I have looked into a bunch of wine apps like this, but they were all full of bugs. I did one quick rating, and this was really simple. It recognizes any wine from a photo and does it pretty accurately! The label in my picture was only showing 3/4 of the way but it knew what the bottle was. Then, when you find a wine you love, they will ship it to you! I can't wait to experiment with this more!
HostelWorld - Is a website that helps you search for hostels all over the world. The hostels have been rated so you know whether it is good or not. I plan on using this buddy for my Florence trip since I will probably be by myself.

Apps that aren't up to snuff:

Visit Europe- only covers 5 countries and you have to pay for the tours
TripLingo- Kind of like Google Translate. It features speaking into the phone's microphone to translate a phrase. The thing that I find cool is that you can set the level of formality on your phrase. However, it requires wifi and to get full access, you have to pay. Full access includes the formality setting it seems. I would just stick with Google Translate. 

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Related Posts

What To Do in Paris Part 1 by Happiness and Heather
What To Do in Paris Part 1
How To Use Google Maps To Plan Trips by Happiness and Heather
How To Use Google Maps To Plan Trips
Top Tips for Chile
Top Tips for Chile
European Hostel vs Hotel by Happiness and Heather
European Hostel vs Hotel

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