It is so convenient nowadays to access internet wherever you may be. It can be a good and bad thing cause first work never gets left behind and second, well you ARE on a holiday (so leave that work behind but please don’t tell your boss that I said that ;))
In Europe, it is so accessible for you to get wifi at most places, such as restaurants, cafe, shopping centres phone booth and even hotspot areas. Thus you need to do a bit of exploratory business so that you do not have to purposely buy a drink to seat in the cafe to use their wifi.
You can also buy a prepaid data card since we always need to keep in touch with our loved ones via watsapp or Line, making calls using the prepaid cards are also much cheaper than using data roaming.
Nonetheless, preparation is always key! So get all the needed information that you need from the internet while you are in the hostel/hotel and get on the road.
After we have established those internet issues, get on the road but then again things do change, the information may be outdated. You may meet new challenges such as getting lost, change of venue, etc, etc, etc. Here I have 3 of my favourite apps which I used so often while in Europe.
1) City Mapper (iOS and Google Play)
The reviews was raving about this map online, and you would have thought it was just another travel app which you can do without. Stick to the Google Map if you are really familiar with the place and the costs but this City Mapper works like a bombshell it is.
Apart from mapping out what is near you, where you are exactly and also how to share your location if you are meeting someone. City Mapper covers it all.
You can also choose a destination and the City Mapper will show you the available route plus…wait for it…the cost of taking the various routes (bus fare or train/metro/rail fare as such)
It was such a joyful time using this app as it does not waste a lot of your time trying to figure out the maps half of the journey.
Trick to using this app, similar to Google Map. Save your desired destination in advance and open the map of the city you are at when you have Wifi. After that while you are on the move and there is no wifi or data plan, your Location Services will be able to guide you according to the map and do not worry cause Location Services works using the GPS roaming inside your phone. It does not use your data plan. To be safe just check again to ensure that your data roaming is turned off.
As of now, it was useful when in Paris, London, Barcelona and Italy. Hopefully it will choose to open up into Asia soon and it will definitely benefit more tourists.
As for now, I will give this app 5 flight stars (***** out of 5)
2) ParkRight (for iphone and android and windows)
For those who drive or plan to drive when moving about in central London, parking is really expensive (just saying) but well if you have that car and you plan to find parking. Here is an easy way. Download the app into your phone from the Apple Store or Google Play or Windows Store. Register online with RingGo
(just follow the simple instructions to input your details, card details and car plate number).
Open the ParkRight app, login with your RingGo account and then choose the area which you want to park your car. You can do this as you walk away from the car after you have locked it. In the event if you need to extend the parking, you can do it from the comfort of your own timing via the app.
The app is also able to schedule a reminder via text messages when it is going to be due (bear in mind however, international sms charges will apply if you select this). What I did was simple put a reminder in my phone if I am really afraid of overlooking the due time.
Payment will be done via card online so it is a cashless and seamless process altogether. You can register more than one for the account if the case is that you would be renting car during the trip.
I will give this app 4 flight stars (out of 5). I am sad that parking is so expensive in London, I will not complain about Singapore parking ever again.
3) GoogleMap (for iphone and android and windows)
How can I not talk about google maps. This was the basic map which I depended on apart from Apple maps. I will not even go there. As a general outline of Europe when planning for the trip, google map have been a great help. As a plus, before we went on the road for the trip, another website, Rome2Rio have been a great help! You can play around the website here
Apart from that, looking for cheaper alternatives to travel around have to be researched well upfront. But this website and google map will be a great help for you to decide how and where to plan your routes.
Cheaper alternatives like MegaBus (my FAVOURITE and I can talk about it all day, if you want me to;P) is not included in this site as a recommended transport. So I do see that as one of the shortcoming of the site but nonetheless homework has to be done so that you can have a fun and enjoyable trip.
I will give this couple 4 stars (out of 5)
4) TimeOut (available from Apple Store, Google Play and Windows store)
As much as I like to read up about a place that people would recommend me to visit, I like them compiled and presented in a very nice way- such as an app. So TimeOut have been a great help recommending things to see, things to eat and places to be there. They even categorised places like “top 20 things to do for free when in London” or “top 10 things to do when in Barcelona. Wherever you are, just select the city or country and TimeOut will pop out with all the relevant information that you need to know: monuments, attractions, restaurants, shopping, and many more.
Using this app basically its for you to read up as a guide to popular places in that area. I do notice that many travellers which I met during the trip are using TimeOut as well. So places that are being recommended are in fact full of tourist. However the write-ups make up for it and will be good for you to assist you to decide whether you want to go or not.
One setback of this app is that, as an Iphone user, i upgraded my iOS 8 and the app is not so advanced yet when I was on my holiday. It crashed on me a couple of times that it was kind of irritating. I had to read up using my macbook when I am back in the hostel, I can’t really use the app when I am out an about
I will give this app 3 flight stars (out of 5)
There you have it, have fun on your holiday and if you have any other apps which you highly recommend as it saved your life one way or another, do share them with me!
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