In this age of information I sometimes feel inundated with TMI (too much information). It seems like everyday a new “app” (Computer Application) is released to help us with everyday life. From organizing our homes to shopping lists to travel planning. The last article I read on apps said there were over 350,000, out there. Phew!
Since most of us have limited data here in Germany, I only have a few travel apps on my phone. I actually use a few websites too to help plan, prepare and keep me organized for all the travel I want to do while we are here.
These are a few of my favorite travel “must have”apps and websites:
Booking.com – the app and website are very helpful. This website is very good for helping narrow down accommodations for your travel around Europe.
Here’s why I like it:
- Most cancellation policies are great, however, check the fine print
- Filters are great, how many travelers, kind of accommodations, and map location. This makes it very nice to book your stay
- If you book several times with them and you can receive discounts
Airbnb – the app and the website are very cool. Airbnb seems to be growing everyday by adding new and exciting countries and accommodations. Whether you fancy a lighthouse in Scotland or a boat in Amsterdam or enough room for a large family, there seems to be something out there for everyone. Airbnb offers unique and interesting places to stay. I have had nothing but great experiences using this site while we have been here in Germany.
Here’s why I like like it:
- Better accommodations for my large family and group travel.
- Unique accommodations – like cottages, condo’s, and apartments
- More freedom for breakfast’s, snacks and separate spaces (I usually shop or pack our own breakfast supplies, water bottles and snacks) *kids love this
- I can use our Amex and/or points to book
- The app goes right to my reservation details, directions and contact information
- The app allows me to text and talk to our host
- The app allows me to search and surf for future trips while I’m on the road
The Trip*It App is really great for keeping my itineraries straight. This syncs with my calendar and has made it very easy to stay organized. It will even tell me when I’m overbooked or have upcoming events. It has all the itinerary details including airline information, accommodations, car rentals and tour information. What’s really cool is it recognizes when I have an e-mail that might be affiliated with the trip and ask me if I’d like to add it to the Trip itinerary. That might creep most people out, but this ADD girl loves it.
TripAdvisor is kinda the King out there for finding a lot of information in one spot. The information seems unbiased based on the reviews, but be cautious about how many and from whom they are from. It is the absolute guru for helping plan an itinerary. The website is great also
Here’s why I like it:
- Typically honest reviews for all kinds of travel adventures, hotels, accommodations, flights, etc.
- You can also research tourist attractions, organized tours and the website is easy to navigate as well as the App, you can review on the go.
- Pin-points map locations, venue address and contact information
- I have contacted the venue organizer before and have had tremendous success in developing relationships prior to our trips.
Here are a few websites I like too. Some of these websites have apps, but unfortunately I don’t have enough data to carry them all, so I do a lot of my research on my laptop before we go. Here are a few websites to fine-tune your itinerary details:
Like a local guide – I love, love, love this website. This really helps me pin-point eccentric and unique destination spots that are out-of-the-ordinary and special. With this website, I have found amazing parks, coffee shops, libraries, monuments and neighborhoods that are not on any tourist map. It seems to be all the places that are trending, hot and new and has a young vibe to the reviews. Submissions are from locals only and you can sign up to be an editor or contributor too for your area. The App is fun too, however you do have to download each major city for an additional €2-3. So I just use the website instead.
Autohof guide – one of my new favorite websites and convenient map apps. Although I use the website much more than the app, it is nice to have on the road and only uses data when you have it on. It is in German but you can add Google Translator and it helps out quite a bit.
Here’s why I like it:
- Lists all the great gas station and restaurants (auto houses) along your route.
- Indicates which gas station it is, so if you are looking for an Esso you can request that as well.
- So detailed in description, it lists showers, mechanic’s hours and if there is a garage close by! Love it!
Here is just a short list of what I use to get me started. I feel like with these they hit the main highlights but don’t overwhelm me. Then, again I could waste a lot of time within the sites just surfing.
I hope my list helps you save time and streamline your trips so that you can enjoy more time to travel and discover. Let me know if you have any questions or comment below with your favorite travel App! I may have to add it to the list.