The Travel Pack: Apps for exploring Europe

Since arriving in Paris last August, I’ve traveled through over 30 cities spread across 8 countries (with 2 new countries already booked!). Other than my tips and tricks found in “How I afford to Travel,” I’ve decided to show you guys some apps for exploring the magnificent continent of Europe (although many apps are applicable globally). This is not all inclusive, but these are the apps I use all the time to dream, plan, and execute my trips while always staying within the budget. Best part: all of these apps are FREE!

In no particular order…

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Put your hands in the air if you love saving money! (obviously I do) Dubrovnik, Croatia. October 2015.

Skyscanner: for your flights

I love this app! I use it on at least a weekly basis. You plug in your airport and where you want to go and Skyscanner will search for the cheapest flight. You can search based on the day, month, or the cheapest month of the year! You can filter arrival and departure times, as well as if you want direct or indirect. The key is to be flexible, as this app shows you how to get somewhere for the best price! My favorite trick is to search “anywhere” for the destination and Skyscanner will show you the cheapest places to go from your airport.

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Voyages-sncf: for trains to, from, and in France

Always wanted to take a TGV? Look no further. This app does have a slight drawback as it doesn’t truly work for traveling outside of France. But I’ve used it for trips and if you want to pass through France, this may be your ticket! (pun intended)

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Rail Planner: Inter-country train travel

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Fancy a trip to Cologne, Germany? April, 2016

While SNCF is perfect for in France, if your trip is a little more ambitious then download Rail Planner which will give you the timetables and connection information. It’s catered to the Eurorail pass holders but is not exclusive to them (I don’t have a Eurorail pass and I use this app)!

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

BlaBlaCar: ride shares across Europe

Similar to Skyscanner, you plug in your departure city and search for rides to your destination. Small heads up: it is not always the cheapest mode of transport and the rides are usually posted last minute. But it’s flexible as you can choose your driver, departure and price (within the rides offered).

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Flixbus: budget bus routes across Europe

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Bus to Saint Malo, France? Don’t mind if I do. January 2016.

This app is particular because the company only does their discounts/sales on the app! You can buy the same tickets online, but the discounts (when they’re offered) are only available through their app. That aside, I have an upcoming trip in March where I’ve paid $2.25 (2 Euro) ROUNDTRIP for a city that would normally cost $40 on other bus lines, $60 with a ride share, $150 by train, and $300 by plane. You do the math.

If you can’t find your desired route with Flixbus, I also recommend a French company called OuiBus! It’s a great price for what you get and they have a large network from, to and in France.

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Rome2Rio: for all the above!

This app is essential in my opinion. Rome2Rio shows you all the ways to get from point A to point B and the respective prices for transportation (air vs. bus vs. train vs. car, etc.) I always consult Rome2Rio when trying to find the cheapest routes between cities.

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android (simiar app): Here

AirBnb: for private accommodations

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View from my AirBnb balcony in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I kind of felt like a king. 😉 October 2015.

I’ve kind of become an AirBnB snob because I love it so much. I do still use hostels, but I check AirBnB first! I’ve scored some pretty awesome accommodations, all for a great price. If you’ve never used AirBnB before, sing up with this link here and get $20 travel credit!

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Uber: for the “um I’m lost and it’s getting late” moments

I recommend Uber solely for the purpose that you’re never stranded. Don’t use it for long distance travel. But if you’re in a part of a city that you don’t know and you don’t feel safe, you can “uber” your way back to your accommodations, or at least some where you feel safe. You simply pinpoint your pick up location and the uber comes to you!

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Google Translate: for basic communication

Hopefully this one is self explanatory, but it’s perfect for understanding directions, menus, or simple words (hello, thank you, etc). Update yourself on the 411 when communicating with locals when you don’t speak the local language.

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

XE Currency Coverter: for keeping yourself on budget

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Dubrovnik, Croatia. Oct. 2015

Curious how much that gyro you just bought cost in US dollars? With a quick tap the conversion is made so simple, it makes that $3 gyro taste even better. #BudgetTravel

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Like a Local: for finding those hidden gems

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Locals always know best. Soulac-sur-mer, France. April 2016

Looking for the unique, atypical spots? You know, the ones that only locals know about? Like a Local gives you the scoop, and I’m not just talking about ice cream. Explore a city authentically in all its aspects.

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

Splitwise: for the I owe you‘s

Splittr helps you to divide costs between you and your friends. It’s perfect for vacations, weekend trips, or a night out. No one feels jipped and it’s super simple!

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

been: for lowkey bragging rights FUN!

This app is honestly just for fun. You can keep tabs on all the countries (and US states! #represent) you’ve been to. It tells you what percent of that continent (and the world) you’ve been to. Hence the name, been. As of today I’m at 31% of Europe, 62% of the US, and 7% of the “world” (thanks to the USA and Russia).

Download for iPhone: Here

Download for Android: Here

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The Travel Pack
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The Travel Pack

Now that I’ve filled you guys in, I expect to hear all about your upcoming trips! 😉 Ready to take off? Check out these 5 Escapes for the Wanderluster-Stuck (Utahns). If you’re hungry for more apps, Glo over at the Blog Abroad has a post on her top 5 travel apps! The post is on her old site but you can check it out here.  Bon Voyage! 😉

 

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Originally published: February 14, 2016.

Last updated: May 4, 2016.

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