1. Google Maps
I love Google Maps. It lists bus stops, subway stations and local places of interest like grocery stores, museums, etc. Directions are fairly exact and offer routes by foot, local transport, taxi and personal vehicle. If you are short on data, you can also download areas beforehand to use offline while touring the city. Just be sure to calibrate the app every so often for the most accurate results.
If you are city-hopping, Rome2Rio is super helpful in figuring out your travel options. It collects routes and fares from a variety of websites to offer you the best deal on the web.
Let's be honest. Traveling can get expensive and sometimes hotels don't offer the "local" vibe you are looking for. With Airbnb, you are just a click away from a selection of shared/private rooms and entire houses. The app is easy to navigate and I've stayed at some great places throughout Europe and the US.
Click here for $25 off your first booking!
4. Local Apps
Once you've arrived at your destination, be sure to look for local apps. Most metropolitan cities have apps for the bus system and the tourism association. Countries with active railways (think all of Europe) usually have an app which is helpful if you are traveling cross-country.
ie: National Rail (UK), Oyster (London), TMB (Barcelona), TransitApp (USA)
Even if you aren't big into sharing your life with the world, one photo at a time, Instagram is a killer way to find hidden gems in a foreign city. Search for hashtags with the city name or users in that city and you are bound to find photos of local eateries, hot spots and hideaways. I found a cove off the main drag in Mallorca via Instagram that absolutely made my trip.
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