By far, out of all of the travel tech gadgets and gizmos that are out there, the most important one is my phone. I keep everything digitally and I use many of its features to keep me organized and on top of all of my travel plans. My iPhone is a little upset with me these days. There never seems to be any downtime for the poor thing as I am constantly downloading and deleting apps to check out which ones are worth it and what I can pass on. I recently had the pleasure of listening to a great talk by someone who spends a ton of time on this very topic and I learned about a whole bunch of very interesting travel tech that could totally make your trip a better experience!
This app syncs with your e-mail and collects all of your reservation information and turns it in to one linear itinerary. It’s perfect for a weekend or for a couple of weeks. The app keeps track of everything and is organized in an easy to use manner. You can add everything from your flight info to a dinner reservation through the e-mail auto upload or manually. It works whether you are using a travel agent or you are a DIY planner. Share your plans with your traveling group and keep everyone in the know. You can try it out for free and if you really love it, you can upgrade to pro.
This app creates a VPN which enables your phone to mask itself while on public wifi’s. This is a “must-do” if you plan on going on airplane mode during your travels. One person who takes VPN and wifi safety seriously is Angel Castellanos who runs a great travel website. Read more about VPN’s and iPhone safety here.
Rick Steves’ Audio Europe
This app has extremely informative walking tours of museums, galleries, city centers and more for almost every destination in Europe. If you are looking for the nuts and bolts tour, this is your app. In Milan and want to know about the art in the Duomo? Rick’s your guy. Interested in a walking city tour of the architecture in Prague, Rick’s got you covered. Rick will walk you through the Louvre and the canals of Amsterdam. His pitch is pragmatic and no nonsense. It’s self paced and available for download to use sans wifi.
Did you know that you can order your food from a local Chick Fil A and THEY WILL BRING IT OUT TO YOU??? It’s true. If I’m on I-95 and the kids are getting cranky, we can all pass the phone and order. It will be ready 3 exits down the road. This can be a lifesaver on a road trip. In addition to the typical rewards that can be earned, you can also earn a free tour of Chick Fil A headquarters in Georgia. Just remember that you can’t order on Sundays!
I know, I know, me either! Twitter is not the world’s most user friendly site but it does have it’s perks! I was attending a travel talk with Samantha Brown and she mentioned the invaluable perks of live customer service via twitter. You can use the live conversation option (circled in the picture below) to talk to airlines, hotels, or anyone else you can follow on twitter. If I lose my suitcase in O’Hare, I’d rather text via twitter with an airline rep than stay on hold for eight hours while I’m overseas. Very helpful!
Attention road trippers! Choose your highway, search the exits, get what you need!! This easy to use app was obviously created by someone who had crying kids in the car and was desperate for a solid Wawa or Hampton Inn. Find gas, fast food, supermarkets, lodging and more exit by exit (and left or right). A bonus? They even have roadside attractions if you’ve got the time!
The State Department is the government agency that issues passports and puts out official travel alerts. To keep in touch, they’ve developed the STEP program that sends out alerts pertaining to the travel that you’ve registered with them. It’s a quick direct line to the information you need.
It’s nice to see this serious work take a break and smile a little! Follow TSA on instagram for funny posts about who’s trying to bring the most ridiculous things onto a plane and a few cameos from their faithful furry sidekicks. Then swap over to the app to see how long the lines are at any airport in the states. Very helpful!!