Useful travel guides
When you travel, you want to have fun. Of course, you will find a lot of information and nice pictures on this blog to get you in the mood but these travel guides are also worthwhile thanks to their beautiful illustrations and images:
Eyewitness Travel Guides
DK, the publisher, has published guides for more than 200 destinations, from handy pocket-sized city guides to comprehensive country guides. The beautifully detailed maps and photographs make them a pleasure to read.
Insight Guides. This publisher has 250 guides for more than 70 destinations in all continents. These guides also excel in their beautiful photographs.
In addition, the Lonely Planet Guides are of course famous for the detailed and practical descriptions of almost all countries in the world. They are mainly informative and much less about beautiful images, which are very limited. The advantage is that the guides can be downloaded as E-books. They are therefore useful to take with you on your E-reader or Tablet when you travel. Especially if you want to visit many countries this is much more practical than taking actual books with you.
Of course, there are also fun magazines that inspire you to go on special trips. We highlight a few, because these are our favourite magazines:
National Geographic Traveler
Through personal travel stories, practical travel information and breathtaking photography, National Geographic Traveler inspires you to travel off the beaten track. Traveler helps you get to know new cultures and discover the most beautiful places on earth.
Lonely Planet Magazine
The monthly Lonely Planet Magazine brings the best destinations to your doormat. In addition to the ins & outs of the tourist attractions that you get from Lonely Planet, you also receive an alternative plan with hidden places and routes. These places and routes are for every type of traveller.
Wanderlust is the UK’s leading independent travel magazine, delivering inspiration and advice to travellers seeking unique and enriching travel experiences.
Useful apps for travelling
With our smartphone or tablet, we now have the opportunity to prepare our trip well with the help of various apps. Also abroad, some very handy apps can make your trip a lot easier. There are so many of them though, you can hardly see the forest through the trees. That’s why we’ve listed a number of useful apps, divided into various categories.
To book flights, you can use two handy apps.
We ourselves are big fans of the Momondo app. In almost all cases this app offers the best flights at the best prices. The app is also very user-friendly. In addition, you can use the app to book hotels.
This app also helps you book flights and hotels. More or less the same as Momondo but we don’t always find the lowest prices through Skyscanner.
With Flio you can’t book flights, but the app does give you a lot of information about airports all over the world. You will find arrival and departure times of aircraft, WiFi locations at the airport, maps and other useful information.
Health & Safety
When travelling, you don’t want anything to happen to you. You don’t want to get sick for example, or travel to a dangerous area. These apps are useful:
This app is the official State Department app for U.S. travellers. This safety app invites you to see the world with easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more. The Department of State smart phone apps are free to download and are available for both iPhone and Android.
We like the CDC TravWell App, which helps you plan for safe and healthy international travel. Get destination-specific vaccine recommendations, a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for travel, and a customizable healthy travel-packing list. The app also lets you store travel documents, keep a record of your medications and immunizations, and set reminders to get vaccine booster doses or take medicines while you’re traveling.
What should you take with you on a trip? This can be stressful for many people. Fortunately, there are handy apps for this too, which help you pack the right things.
In this app, you can create a packing list by first answering a number of questions. The app wants to know where you are going, how long your stay will last and how to get to your destination. Once you have filled in everything, the app will create a packing list, which costs €2.29 in the appstore.
This app provides a great way to manage your to-do list and packing list. Add items from a collection of more than 800 items to the list, and hide the categories if the list becomes too long and confusing. This app costs €3.49 in the appstore.
Not only is it useful to book a room in advance for the first night(s) in your holiday country, but also for the period after. That gives certainty and therefore peace of mind. Nowadays you can do this very quickly via a few apps.
Booking.com is the best known reservation site for an overnight stay. The app works just as easily as the website. If you use Booking.com a lot, you can quickly build up a “genius discount”.
This app is less known but also useful. Although in particular backpackers use it, you can also reserve an ordinary double room with bathroom. You can also specifically select hotels instead of hostels.
This app claims to have an overview of room rates at various providers, such as Booking.com, Expedia, hotels.com and so on. This lets you see at a glance who has the lowest price for a room.
What to do/where to eat?
In a big, new city you want to know what to do and where to have a drink or a meal. Nowadays, that is not very difficult anymore.
Through the reviews on Tripadvisor, you can see at a glance what the best restaurants are and what attractions you really must see in a city. Tripadvisor can also provide information on hotels and flights.
Spotted by locals
This was set up by two people from Amsterdam. Now, there are apps for more than 70 cities containing the “hidden gems”, described by local spotters. The disadvantage is that you have to buy each city guide separately for an amount of about €4.00. Currently only Europe, the Middle East and North America are covered. Nonetheless, if you really want tips on the special places, which you cannot find in standard travel guides, this is a good app.
Time to momo
This is a bit similar to the app described above. Describing over 42 cities, with an emphasis on Europe, the app provides beautiful hiking trails and an overview of great sights. The app takes you to special places, selected by connoisseurs of the city in question. All cities are also available with guide format, which we also find very practical.
Have you ever walked around looking for an ATM in a strange city? With the aroundme app you immediately know where the ATM is. You can search by numerous categories (restaurants, shops, cafés, banks, etc.), so you can quickly find your target.
Finding your way around a foreign country is not always easy. However, with the help of the following apps you will always find your way around! We also meet a lot of people who travel using “maps.me”. We ourselves didn’t always find it very reliable. This app is too often a bit out as far as the right route is concerned. ANWB also found the same thing in a test of navigation apps in 2017. The good ones, though, are:
This probably doesn’t need an introduction. The most famous navigation app you can imagine. The advantage is that Google Maps worldwide has up-to-date and reliable maps.
In the already mentioned ANWB test from 2017, Waze came out well, just like Google Maps. They considered it the smartest and most up-to-date navigation app. The disadvantage is that it can “only” be used in 60 countries around the world.
You are at the reception of a hotel in a foreign country and ask in your best English if a room is available. The lady laughs at you in a friendly manner, but doesn’t understand. How can you solve this?
Google Translate is the most popular translation machine. The translation machine has more than 90 languages in its database and is even able to translate texts from photos (the latter is not possible in all languages).
Like Google Translate, iTranslate includes support for more than 90 languages. The app is a bit simpler than Google Translate. To translate longer sentences and make the app advertising free, you need to buy the full version, which costs €4.99.
When you walk around with your large stack of Laotian Kip banknotes, you feel enormously rich. But how much money do you actually have in your pocket? And what does that nice souvenir really cost?
With this app you can not only convert currencies extensively and reliably, but you can also see the currency rates.
This app offers the exchange rates of 150 different currencies. You decide which one you want to see and which ones you don’t in your app.
On your holiday you want to take the most beautiful photos. Two apps are very handy to use here. Moreover, there’s also a super handy app to store your photos safely.
Some times are perfect for capturing landscapes. With the Blautime app, you know exactly when the best time for your photos is. For example, you know when “golden hour” is at your location (the times just after sunrise and just before sunset).
Snapseed is an app for photo editing. It is a clear, user-friendly app. You can easily edit photos in many ways, adjusting the saturation and applying filters.
If you take a lot of photos, you may have problems with storage. The Stack app makes it possible to store as many as 1TB for free in the cloud. That’s a lot of photos! From your mobile or tablet you can easily upload all the photos and then they are safe in the cloud. You can upload manually or automatically. It is possible to create folders, so that your photos are easy to find. You can also share them with others.
Share your experiences with your family and friends
You will of course want to share all the beautiful photos with your family and friends. Especially if you spend a long time travelling, a blog is a good way to keep in touch with the home front. You only make them green with envy with your stories and the beautiful pictures, but that’s another matter!
This app lets you automatically capture your route and share it with family and friends. Thanks to the “Travel Book” extension, you can now quickly generate a photo album even after your journey. This tells you your travel story with many details about your trip, such as route, travel statistics, weather and altitude information.
With these tips we hope to be able to help you prepare for and enjoy your trip in the best possible way. There are many more apps but we always use the ones mentioned above ourselves and we like them. If you have any suggestions for fun and useful apps, you can let us know on our Facebook page.