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Fodor’s Mobile Apps for Travel

I stumbled upon these apps after buying a Fodor’s guidebook and was pleasantly surprised to discover how information-packed they are.

The Paris app, which is the one I tested, offers suggestions for what’s closest to your current position, as well as descriptions of a dozen city neighborhoods and advice on attractions, eating, shopping and hotels. There are also city-specific travel tips, including things like Paris etiquette (“offer a hearty bonjour when walking into a shop or cafe and an au revoir when leaving, even if nobody seems to be listening”); a subway map; and the ability to download maps for offline use. (I didn’t use the maps since I had some great paper ones and storage space was an issue once I started downloading vacation photos to my iPad.)

Attractions are plotted on a map within the app so you can see what’s near you or figure out whether you can easily visit several sites in one neighborhood. Plus, the attractions include detailed enough write-ups to help you decide whether you want to go. “Fodor’s choice” top attractions are noted, just as they are in Fodor’s guidebooks, and you can sort by category, rating and location.

Fodor’s travel apps are available for Barcelona, London, New York City, Paris, Prague, Rome and San Francisco.

Bottom line

Fodor’s travel apps are well designed and filled with useful information. I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to download one before heading to one of the cities where an app has been published. Highly recommended.