Travel Apps????

Hello Everyone! :-) Can anyone recommend great travel apps for going abroad? I will be going to Italy, Spain, Paris, Amsterdam, and London. I was particularly interested in ones for Walking Directions and Tube/Metro times... Thanks!!
Jen :-)

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

There is a free app called World Metro. It has all (most?) of the metro maps in the world, as the name implies. It doesn't show the times, but I don't remember ever getting a map in a metro that did. Usually you just go to the track and see when the next train is.

Posted by Ed
7976 posts

Before you get too excited, you might want to use the Search feature to see what's happened recently on the same subject. You'll find that people swore by apps, but when somebody else tried it, it didn't work. You'll find that some apps require cellular data access, which is expensive. You'll find that London is on a rampage of having phones stolen (and CNN reported this morning that 1.6 million smartphones were stolen in the US last year). Some, on the other hand, have been pretty neat. The truth is that subways operate every ten minutes or so and you can't pace yourself to get to a platform that accurately, and that diagrams are all over the stations in an easier to read size. Nothing beats a paper map for walking directions, and you're out chump change if you loose it, and it's easier to read. Stand by for the deluge.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

I'm with Ed. I love apps - in the US. Use of them abroad can be complicated, as he said. I will confess to carrying a handheld GPS with street maps, but that is really for geocaching. It just happens to come in handy for walking around. If I didn't have that, I would rely on paper maps.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

I just spent 30 days traveling in Europe - all over. I kept my phone on all the time - including data. I think I ended up paying about $200 for the data roaming - $25 increments every 4 days or so from Verizon. That being said...I LOVED Google Maps! The walking directions were great. We never had a need for a paper map and navigated our way through 13 cities with ease. We even figured out a long way home in Venice when the street was flooded with 20" of water! I also downloaded a couple of translators - one from bing uses the phones camera to translate whole paragraphs of text at a time - very handy in museums. I also used Wiki tours at certain places as well. Trip Advisor has Android or Kindle apps for many cities that work offline. the maps are OK but not as detailed as Google maps. There is a lot out there - browse through the app store - it costs nothing to look. :)

Posted by Lee
898 posts

Aside from maps, here's what I have on my iPhone for travel that we use: Skype - for cheap calls anywhere if good wifi British Airways - for flight info and checkin (probably each airline has this so pick the ones you fly) Flightview - for flight info for any airline Night Light - turns the phone's camera flash into a flashlight (actually haven't needed this yet) Noisebox - white noise blurs background noises in hotels (warning it's addictive) On my wife's iPhone:
Collins French-English dictionary - very handy in restaurants and museums Michelin Restaurants - we have it for France, but it is also available for all of Europe. It is especially useful for finding good places to eat when on the move. Offline maps and the iPhones GPS show how to get to a restaurant. As for tubes and metros, we've never felt the need for an app. For getting around cities we use paper maps unless driving when we use a GPS unit or the TomTom app in the UK.

Posted by Frank
Oxford, MS, United States
26 posts

I'm glad I read this thread. I downloaded a Metro map app after reading about it. I have an app called Maps With Me. You can download all of the maps you need in advance. If your smartphone will work without a sim card, you can remove the card but still take advantage of your phone's gps. I found it very helpful.

Posted by Ed
7976 posts

If you remove the card, you've just got something to loose. Turning off cellular data accomplished the same thing and still leaves you a phone, wifi, etc.