It’s one of those days at the office again when all systems are down and all we can do is to wait until someone somewhere gets them back up and running again. What a perfect excuse to start planning my next vacation!
When planning and booking a trip abroad I tend to rely on a bunch of apps that have faithfully carried me through several travels along the years. With these apps you can take care of everything: from booking the trip to surviving and finding your way around at the destination:
My travel plans always start with booking flights. Everything else comes after, but first I need to find cheap and easy flights. For this I tend to use
It is the trivago of flights, which means that it compares different airlines’ flight schedules and prices according to your wishes. You can choose whether you’d prefer a flight with a straight connection or whether you’d like to avoid airlines that charge extra for big suitcases. Using this app makes your life so much easier! No more jumping around from one airline’s page to the next comparing their prices.
Or if you’re one for a proper bargain you should definitely check out
This app keeps track of your chosen airlines’ updates and sends you push notifications when flights are at their lowest prices.
Hopper also provides Hop Alerts about possible weather phenomena that might be impacting, for example, flights. For someone who has been stuck on pretty much every airport in Western Europe due to snow storms and erupting volcanoes, I think this is a brilliant addition to the app!
Step no.2 is, of course, all about where you’re going to stay. My go-to option is always
There you can filter the results according to price, location, amount of stars, or whether you’d like the place to have breakfast included, etc. The filter options are endless and I have never been disappointed even with the lower price-range accommodations that I’ve booked through this site.
But as we know, there are risks involved when travelling. And those risks are all about schedules that might be wrecked by a flight being cancelled or a train being delayed. There goes your check-in time and possibly also your accommodation.
Fret not! For
is the answer in such situations! There you can find and make last minute reservations when need be. The app finds, for example, recent cancellations which you can then claim instead.
You can always opt for a taxi; for example Uber is available worldwide and in Europe Taxify is my preferred choice. But for longer distances or for those who prefer using public transport I have couple options to recommend.
Discover (Car Hire)
works with the same idea as Hotels.com and Skyscanner: they compare prices and other specifics according to your wishes and suggests cars to hire. I discovered this at a perfect time, in fact; we’re currently planning our trip to Tatra Mountains in Slovakia at the end of October and we will need to hire a car to get to the mountains. So, no more time-consuming comparing for me!
For those who like to venture around using public transport I can recommend
It’s a really easy app where you can find up-to-date info on which vehicles and lines go from where to where + their schedules. The application locates you immediately when you open it.
You all are probably aware that
has pretty much everything you might need when travelling: when you browse the map of your chosen location you will see little icons of restaurants, bars, hotels, sights, absolutely everything right there. And by clicking the little icons Google will show you the images and reviews of the place.
on the other hand is for when you are looking for more specific information on, for example, restaurants. I tend to use this app specifically to find the best restaurants, and for everything else I rely on Google apps.
Covering the basics
In Europe it makes traveling easier when a lot of the countries have the same currency. But there are still a lot of countries that have kept their own currencies and they are usually so much weaker than the Euro, that my mathematical skills cannot comprehend the formulas for counting what something actually costs.
is an app that I use a lot when traveling in countries where I do not understand the prices. Especially in Hungary this app got a lot of action because the currency there is so weak and weird that I couldn’t have coped otherwise.
Another app that gets a lot of practice on my phone even at home in Estonia is
I live right in the center along the busiest street in the city so every other week I bump into lost tourists when leaving the house. And a lot of tourists here don’t speak any English, for some reason. So we use Google Translate to figure out what it is that they are looking for and how I can direct them there. And on holidays it may help you to order a beer in the local language, which is obviously super important!
Basically, Google is my absolute best friend when traveling; I can always rely on it if I get lost, if I don’t know something or if I need to book a table somewhere. And now Google has taken one step even further:
Google’s Touring Bird will plan your next trip for you. Entirely!
Just insert you destination to the app and it will provide you with an array of activities, sights and recommendations with the possibility to book/buy tickets right there and then.
This will save a lot of time and energy otherwise spent on browsing maps and travel blogs looking for recommendations and experiences. The app’s suggestions are based on travellers’ recommendations, so you already know it’s all good to go.
I haven’t tried this yet, and the destinations included in the app are at the moment limited, but I hope they will add, for example, Vienna there soon because then I could try it in the very near future ;)
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