I’m going to go on ahead and say that the semester is over. It isn’t, and there is still so much to do, but for the duration of my writing this blog post my semester is officially over. Turning now toward the wide expanse of summer that is stretched before me, I begin to think about travel. I then become overwhelmed. I’ve been too busy this semester to make plans, I’m not sure where to go or what to do when I get there. I don’t know what to pack. What if I travel to a location where I don’t speak the language? What if I don’t have the right kind of money and don’t know the exchange rate. In short, I have no idea what I am doing. All that I know is that I’m going somewhere to do something.
It is likely that I will choose a location and make travel and hotel arrangements on the Internet. But time waits for no woman and the day of the trip comes before I know it and I’ve made no plans. I haven’t even packed.
My best friends are now an arsenal of travel apps.
First, I need to get packed. Packing Pro ($2.99) is an app for iOS. It will help me to create a list of items to pack using a template or a list of my own devising. There are also helpful reminders of things I don’t want to forget to do before leaving, such as turning down the heat or air conditioning and throwing out the old takeout in my fridge.
Next, I need to get my trip information organized. TripIt (free!) is an app that is available for Android, Blackberry, Windows or iOS. It will organize information pertaining to my trip that it finds in my email account. All confirmation numbers for my flight and hotel, as well as any restaurant reservations that I have made will be pulled into this app and organized by day.
Before I leave my home wifi bubble, I will use City Guides, Offline Maps from Stay.com (free!), for Android and iOS, to create a basic itinerary of things I want to do and where I want to eat when I get to my destination. The maps that I download will be accessible without needing a wifi connection, so it won’t eat up my data plan.
If I travel to a different country, I will use Converted Ideon ($2.99), available for iOS, for all of my conversion needs: currency, metric, Fahrenheit-Celsius are all included.
When deciding on specific things I want to do on my trip I will use Gogobot (free!). It offers information on many cities and gives suggestions for different types of travelers including families, nature lovers, site-seers, shoppers and, of course, people who want to eat. This app will also allow me to search for things that are near my current location. It is available for Android or iOS.
Viator (free!) will allow me to find any deals and discounts that are available nearby. Also offering discounts, the Entertainer app (free!), available for iOS, Android and Blackberry, covers a small number of cities, and provides coupons to a wide range of different types of businesses including spas and restaurants.
Once I am where I want to be, Wikitude (free!) is an augmented reality browser that uses the camera on my phone to scan my surroundings and label locations of interest as I pan in different directions. It syncs to restaurant reviews from TripAdvisor and Yelp. It is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and the Windows phone.
With my phone fully loaded with apps I will be sure to have a great trip!
Now my blog entry is completed, and I am forced to return to the reality of the end of the semester with the hope that my vacation plans go more smoothly than my finals.
By Jackie Coffey Scott