Oh technology…how you simplify our lives with an app for everything. In preparing for our trip, we were curious if there would be any apps for our phone that would help with our travel, and we were not disappointed. There are two apps we relied on heavily during the trip that were so, so helpful in planning and navigating Paris, France in the best way to see the most in our 3 day visit.
I LOVE this app! Bonus, it’s available for many, many popular cities.
You choose your city, the duration of the visit, and then you can make your own itinerary or choose from one of the pre-made itineraries.
We started with the three day recommendations, and then customized there were some many great options to really make the itinerary your own:
- Start and end location (we used our Air BnB location),
- Start times for each day, and
- Organization and order of visits within a day
- Option to move visits to another day
- Option to add or delete visits
There were some invaluable resources available through this app, too:
- Visit time estimates are provided, you can adjust them based on wants and needs,
- Estimated travel time (and type or transport) is provided between each destination,
- Option to purchase tickets,
- Information provided in real time about whether a destination is open or not, websites, hours, etc.
- A map of the city with dots representing your sights of choice plus other popular sights nearby
On top of all of this, you can make the app available for offline use, which was amazing, since (thank you major national cellVone company) the international rates for data per day were…ridicule (ridiculous). But the topic of cell phone rates as highway robbery compared to French prices is another blog post for another day, my friend.
The offline option helped us navigate the city on more than one occasion, the map, was not as detailed as the Plan Arrondissement book that I considered packing, but having the app saved me room in my purse.
This is Paris’ public transit app – although it was not available offline, it was an indispensable resource to have.
Some great features:
- Information for buses and metro;
- Route schedules and maps to reference
- Itinerary builders
- Real-time information for each route with estimated arrival times (very handy in case of les grèves/strikes)
It was so nice to just input where we were and where we wanted to go, and have the app tell us the possible routes. Anytime that a bus route was possible, even if it meant a switch/connection or a few extra blocks of walking, we took it.
The best part of this app is the choices it provides for the itineraries input. It shows bus, metro, RER, Vélib’, etc, and give information about correspondences/changes and if any walking was involved.
Although I have much more of the romantic mindset, preferring a physical map or the arrondissement book instead of plugging into my smartphone, these apps really proved their worth, and saved me extra room and took weight out of my purse.
When you travel what is your preference to be an informed traveller – app or paper? Do you have a favorite app you use to travel? Please share in the comments section!
This is part of a mini series of stories shared from our recent trip to France. Visit my Instagram for more pictures from the trip. Previous posts include:
- A trip of firsts: First time personal and family experiences traveling to France
- Three lessons: What I learned traveling internationally with our family
- Preparing to leave: Tips I found on the internet for traveling with a young family
Do you have questions about our trip? Please email me or share in the comments section – I would love to answer them!