Apps have become a traveler’s best friend. While in the past it was necessary to go through a lot of planning before a trip, smartphone apps now make it possible to travel anywhere without weeks of preparation. There are apps to help with spending, traveling, communicating and everything in between. Below are a few of the apps you might find most useful if you plan on visiting Europe. Best of all, these apps are all free.
XE Currency (Android, iOS)
Spending money in a foreign country can be a nightmare. I’ll never forget ordering a drink in a Spanish restaurant, only to learn at the end that I’d spent $13.50 on a Coke! There’s enough to take in during a trip to a foreign land without constantly having to convert between currencies. That’s why there’s XE Currency, which lets you:
- Calculate prices between different currencies.
- View fluctuations in exchange rates.
- Support for every world currency.
With these features and more, XE Currency is a must-have app for anyone traveling in Europe. You’ll never have to worry about overpaying for something because you didn’t understand how much the Euro was worth compared to the USD. Just load up XE Currency and you’re good to go.
Google Translate (Android, iOS)
Next to spending knowledgeably, communicating with locals might be the most difficult part of traveling in Europe or elsewhere. This obviously doesn’t apply in countries where English is spoken, and it’s also not as much of an issue if you stick to tourist-friendly areas. Travel beyond the ports on your cruise or the normal tourist destinations, though, and you might find communicating with the locals to be more difficult than you anticipated. That’s where Google Translate comes in. With Google Translate, you can:
- Translate between 63 languages.
- Use voice-to-text input for more than 15.
- View dictionary entries for any word.
With all of these features and more, Google Translate is all you need. Instead of carrying a pocket dictionary or taking crash courses to learn a language before traveling, just take Google Translate with you. The app’s Conversation Mode even provides real-time translations for a conversation in two languages.
Google Maps (Android, iOS)
Another Google product, but just as essential. Maps are cumbersome and can be hard for some people to follow. They also lack detailed information beyond the names of roads and large landmarks. Google Maps removes these limitations and adds a number of features, including:
- Uses your phone’s GPS to track your location.
- Search for locations by address, name or description.
- Contact a business by tapping it on the map and pressing the phone icon.
Google Maps also includes different layers, such as 3D cities and satellite imagery, so that you know exactly where you are. It doesn’t include every country in Europe, but it does have data for most of the more popular destinations. If Google Maps is available for the region you’re visiting, you won’t even need a physical map.
There’s no shortage of apps to help you with your travel in Europe. Other apps, such as Tube Map and NAVIGON Europe can help you plan trips on London’s public transport system or have GPS functionality in Europe. With these three, though, you’ll be covered in all the basic aspects. You won’t spend too much money, you won’t get lost, and you won’t find yourself unable to communicate. Download these free apps and enjoy your travels!