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Summer Travels? The Apps You Need Before You Leave!

The summer travel season is finally upon us! Whether you have plans for a family-fun road trip or an amazing European getaway (with the euro’s recent decline, now’s the perfect time!), there are plenty of great travel apps out there to help make your vacation even better.

The view of Mount Vesuvius from our kitchen window at the Airbnb apartment we booked in Naples.

In May, my husband and I spent 10 days on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Throughout the planning and preparation process, we used several travel apps to help determine where to stay, where to eat, what to see, and important Italian phrases to know. Using Airbnb, we were able to locate an apartment for rent in the Spanish Quarter of the city with incredible views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. From entire castles to simply someone’s couch, this site has listings for every type of traveler.

Once our accommodations were booked, we set off to find the best places to eat. While I highly recommend getting the inside scoop on food joints from locals (your cab driver, Airbnb host, or hotel concierge), it doesn’t hurt to consult TripAdvisor and find some restaurants with great reviews near where you’re staying. One of the most authentic restaurants we ate at during our trip was a place in Naples that we came across while browsing restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor. Although the place, tucked away down a dark, narrow street, was a bit hard to find (something we had already learned from the TripAdvisor reviews), the extra time spent looking was well worth it. There was no menu. The waiters did not speak English. But, our pasta dishes, the table wine, and the atmosphere were beyond compare. It was a meal – an experience – we won’t soon forget.

TripAdvisor led us to several other incredible food finds in Sorrento and Rome. At many of these restaurants, the Italian that we practiced before we left was extremely useful. Trust me, it is very important to know how to order “red wine” in Italian when you’re in Italy! Duolingo is a free language app that we downloaded to our smartphones for some basic Italian practice before the trip. It’s a great app with many different languages to choose from and reminders if you miss your daily lesson. It lets you select words to fill in blanks, type phrases, and speak the language you’re practicing. Don’t forget, with your Deerfield Library card, you also have access to Mango Languages, interactive language learning software that you can use to learn one or more of over 50 languages!

While we primarily used travel apps to prepare for our trip before we left, there are SO many more options out there that can be used during your trip to help with flights, hotels, translation, finding things to do, and more! The three that I have listed here only touch the surface on all of the great mobile-friendly travel resources out there. That’s why the Library is offering a new Travel Apps class on Tuesday, June 23 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Register today to learn more about your options and to set yourself up for a successful travel season!

Check out our calendar to see what other programs and classes we’re offering this summer!

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