Technology Can Ease Holiday Travel

Maribeth WardTech Tips0 Comments

Are you traveling this holiday season? You may want to take advantage of technology to ease your stress a little. From alerts telling you your plane is delayed to hotels that will lend you an iPhone charger for free, there are apps that make your life easier amid the hustle and bustle. Download some good travel ones before you head out of town. Having them at your fingertips can reduce the unpredictability of traveling especially during the holiday season.

For example, Gate Guru lets you add a flight and receive full flight tracking, airport information and wait time. It will also help you find the best food in an airport, look at wait times at checkpoints and see airport maps. It is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare for real time status updates and has tie-ins to KAYAK and Tripit for flight details. You can book a ride with Lyft while you plane is still taxiing. And, you can use Lyft’s new Lyft Line which will team you up with other consumers going the same direction for a split fare.

WiFi In The Sky
Take advantage of Inflight Internet services. Gogo Internet, is now available on 2,000 flights. They recently released Gogo Vision which lets you stream content right to your tablet or phone while in the sky. It’s an in-air entertainment service that offers nearly 150 movies and TV shows starting at $1.99 for most TV and $3.99 for most movies. This is handy because it doesn’t take up memory or storage on your tablet from downloading movies before you travel. The company also just made a deal with T-Mobile so customers can now take advantage of free in-flight texting and voicemail.

If you are traveling by car, you need information on traffic, directions and good places to stop–all things that are tough to plan. But, with a few apps, you can get all kinds of information. Check out some of these:

This app tells you what services are available at upcoming highway exits. Using your location, iExit looks ahead and gives you a list of restaurants, hotels, gas stations, rest areas and more. If you have a favorite chain restaurant or gas station, you can mark it as a favorite and iExit will tell you if it’s coming up anytime soon on your route.

This is another essential app for road trips. It tells you how much different service stations are charging for fuel, giving you immediate insight into whether it’s worthwhile to fill up now or wait until you’re farther down the road. This is a great little app to keep on your phone all the time because you can always get up to minute gas prices.

Gogobot is a social travel app that helps you find places to stay, eat, and play. Gogobot’s community of users upload photos, information and ratings for the sites. They also tag them based on different interests, such as family, foodie, local, outdoor, budget, and adventure. You can explore an area ahead of time and save points of interest to a list in the app. Photos taken by other users help you get a better sense of what you might find at different places of interest.

Driving through the desert or deep into mountains, you can’t be sure you’ll have Internet access. Triposo puts offline maps and travel guides onto your phone so you can use them even in dead zones. Before you download maps and guides for any destination, Triposo tells you how much space they will take up on your phone, too. When you pull up a destination on Triposo, it offers sightseeing suggestions, a weather forecast and more ways to explore the destination.

Tell Roadtrippers your starting location and destination, dates of travel, and what kinds of things you’re interested in finding along the way, and this app will plot your journey for you. Roadtrippers can find offbeat attractions, restaurants, museums, amusement parks, campsites, and more. When you find a site you like, just add it to your trip, and Roadtrippers will redraw your travel map accordingly.

Waze is a community-driven app for traffic and other information about the road, including police speed traps, potholes, and accidents. While Google Maps tells you about major reported road problems, Waze knows the nitty-gritty. You can even see the speeds at which cars are traveling in congestion. In cities, it’s popular among taxi and car service drivers, but it’s equally useful on highways. Beware, though: Waze needs to use your location information all the time, even in the background, which will take a toll on your battery.

These are all just suggestions, there are all kinds of apps out there. To find the ones that work best for you go to your app store and look at the reviews.

If you have any questions about how to download or use your iPhone apps, give us a call. At WynWay, we provide technology services to clients across the country while being locally owned and operated in Greencastle, Indiana. Feel free to stop into our office between 2:30 and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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