Whether you’re splurging on a dream trip to Paris or planning for cheap holidays in Benidorm this summer, take the time to download a few of the awesome smartphone apps out there that can help make your European trip smoother – and more fun for you and your loved ones at home who enjoy your adventures from afar.

There are, of course, a lot of smartphone travel apps that help you choose nearby accommodations according to your budget and preferences, but there are also some that are far cooler and offer varying services.

Many, many travel apps offer fun, useful tools to enhance your vacations. (While many are cross-platform, be sure to see if the ones you want are available for your phone’s OS, or just search for their “other-phone” counterparts.)

Postagram 
Who doesn’t love getting postcards in the mail? Especially these days when so much written communication has gone digital. This clever app lets you take a photo with your smartphone camera, type in a postcard-length message, enter the recipients’ address, and imagine their faces when they get your one-of-a-kind card in the mail. It’s 99¢ for U.S. delivery, $1.99 for international – not a lot more expensive than postal rates. The app itself is free.

Travel App Box
Billed as the Swiss Army knife of travel apps, it converts currency, tracks flights, translates, calculates tips, and much more. Travel App Box also has offline maps (including public transportation layouts in 40 cities worldwide) – very helpful if you’ve forgotten your foldout.

Weather Apps
Once again, there are a lot to choose from here. Download the best you find and take advantage of being able to plan your trip on the fly around good beach days and rainy museum ones.

aMetro
One hundred and eighty of the world’s major transit maps consolidated in one place. This app is gold.

Tipping Bird
This one’s a good one to have, traveling or not. Tipping Bird lets you select a country and tells you how they tip in various scenarios. You can also convert currency to your own so you have a sense of how much you’re spending – and how well (or not!) the service industry makes out in the countries you visit.

Trip Splitter
If you’re traveling with friends, this app is another great find. It keeps track of who’s paid what, so you don’t have to work things out all over again at the table, market, or the bar.

So have fun with these super helpful apps and check out the many others that are out there – heck, think of one of your own to invent. (But when you’re on the road be sure to spend more time looking up and around than at your phone!

This post was contributed by Natasha Simons. Natasha is currently trying to visit as many countries as possible while writing about her experiences to support her journey.

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