Guest blogger Jason Hall is an author and Brand Manager for Budget Rent a Car in Australia.
For those of you who enjoy avoiding the well-worn tourist path when you're traveling, and instead strive to experience new places like a local, following are some invaluable tools to help you with your quest. Unless you have friends or acquaintances that can guide you at your destination, the task of trying to authentically replicate local living is never easy. However, the job is becoming more manageable now thanks to the advent of the smartphone and mobile apps. Here are five resourceful and useful apps that can give you the appearance of a local.
- Not For Tourists. NFT is a spiffy app, loaded with features written by local writers, editors, map makers and urban adventurers in dozens of cities. For now the app mostly focuses on a network of American cities however, they have also included London, Paris and Amsterdam. The app enables users to locate those hard to find secret spots from the most elusive dive bars to the most upscale restaurants. The site offers maps, subscriptions, PDF downloads and an iPhone app (requires iTunes). The NFT City Guides for travel is free. The NFT guides for food & drink in all cities costs $8.
- Local Eats. Local Eats is the perfect resource to find local, mom and pop restaurants. All the eateries listed are independently owned, and you will find no generic, corporate chain restaurants. You will find restaurants listed by city and neighborhood. Local Eats currently provides listings for roughly 50 American cities as well as 50 international cities. Some of the app's innovative features include searching for deals, seeing menus for over 70 percent of restaurants, the ability to make reservations, and the capacity to arrange for a cab ride. The app costs $0.99 and requires iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad with iOS 3.13 or later.
- Spotted by Locals. Spotted by Locals is an app that is written by natives in 44 European cities that gives you the inside scoop on each city. The app offers blogs, mobile PDF city guides and the latest and most accurate travel tips provided by the local contributors. Places to go are categorized by activity. For example you can browse by music, restaurants, relaxing, shopping and many more. The app is available for Android and iOS. iOS requires 3.0 or later as well as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Cost is $0.99.
- Foodict Food Dictionary. Foodict is a compendium of over 2,100 foreign food terms and words. Never again will you be befuddled when you are looking at a French menu for dinner. The dictionary also covers local and international food expressions. You won't have to freak out any longer about potentially choosing the wrong thing to eat. The app requires iOS 2.2.1 or later, as well as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. The cost is $1.99.
- Road Ninja When you're stuck in the middle of nowhere, and don't have a clue where anything is at, Road Ninja will find whatever you need. Road Ninja gives you various business listings within three miles of your highway exit. Whether you are looking for hotels, restaurants, gas stations, bars, etc. Road Ninja will locate it. Road Ninja requires iOS 4.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. The cost is free.
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