Traveling Europe, made easy!
For many South Africans, like myself, traveling to various African (or other) countries is more difficult than for those who live in, say, Europe or Asia. This is because South Africa is geographically distanced from many other countries, and flights are expensive.
Which is why, when you find yourself in a European country, it’s an absolute luxury to visit various places for relatively cheap via plane, bus, car, or even by boat. Getting from Porto to Barcelona, Seville to Lisbon, or Geneva to Lyon, for example, is easy as pie!
So if you find yourself in Europe, and are keen to country-hop, here are my top 10 travel apps in 2018 that have helped me immensely on my travels throughout this rad continent.
GoEuro is cool because it offers you different transport methods (train, coach, flight) for your chosen route, along with the price. If you find one you like, it will give you the option to purchase said-route via the appropriate website. Have a gander and compare this with the other super efficient transport apps!
Skyscanner is a favourite for many, because it is believed to show the cheapest flights available. And while I do scan this app when looking for flights (and have purchased on a few occasions), I find that Momondo tends to be the cheapest. Sure, many may disagree with me, but this has been my experience thus far, which is why it can’t hurt to check it out.
As mentioned, this has proven to be my favourite app when looking for flights across various airlines. I have managed to find some amazing deals on Momondo, and it has an easy-to-use interface that makes planning a trip that much easier and more fun!
If you’re looking for an even cheaper way to get around, BlaBlaCar is kind to your wallet, and gives you the opportunity to meet new people. How does it work? When someone is traveling somewhere, they’ll offer the empty space in their car for those hoping to do the same journey. You can pay for a seat in this person’s car, and thus – everyone wins!
Sure, I could mention Uber here – but I’m pretty certain that by now everyone knows about this app, and in actuality I’ve decided to ditch Uber and go for a different taxi service, Cabify,
Cabify can be used in only two European countries thus far—Spain and Portugal. It’s more popular in South and North America however, readily available in various cities in Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Panama.
So why do I choose Cabify? They’ve got free wifi, free bottles of water, and the drivers are super friendly. They sometimes offer you candy, always ask you what music you’d like to hear, usually have phone chargers, and ask you whether you’re happy with the temperature. I’ve always had excellent service from them, and highly recommend this service.
5. Google Translate
If you’re traveling in a country that doesn’t speak your language, Google Translate is a real win! But bear in mind that if you want to translate full paragraphs or complicated sentences, the app usually spews out something that makes absolutely no sense. For a few words however, it’s an excellent resource to get what you need. Additionally, a simple Google image search works perfectly most of the time, too!
As far as budget airlines go, RyanAir is at the top of the list in Europe. Of course, you won’t receive the royal treatment, but you will get from A to B without breaking the bank. I’ve relied on this airline many a time to take impromptu trips around Europe!
You may have heard this before, but take it from a regular traveler—don’t try to convert your purchases into your home currency whilst on vacation…unless you’re in a country that’s cheaper than your own! Regardless, XE is a great tool to do currency conversions, should you need to! I use this app regularly, as I work for companies in different countries.
In my opinion, Booking.com has been one of the best apps for hotel searches, along with Agoda. I have purposely left out Airbnb, as I feel that it tends to exploit travelers these days because it’s risen so rapidly into the mainstream.
1. Google Maps
This is a no-brainer. Long are the days where one stands awkwardly in a foreign country with a large map, trying to figure out where they are, or where they’re going! And now, transport apps are integrated into Google Maps, making it near impossible to get lost! My advice? Delve deep into the lesser-known spots, and figure out your route back when you start to panic!
With that, enjoy Europe—it’s a fantastic continent filled with great architecture, amazing sights, natural beauty, and all kinds of fun!
Image credit: YouTube