Six Great Websites / Apps To Make Traveling a Breeze
Travel Apps and Websites can be your best friend. Independent Travel can be very enjoyable and satisfying. I like the freedom and spontaneity of independent travel. Still, there are times when traveling independently can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s nice to have to have some help – help with the planning, and help during the travel. Fortunately, I love tech stuff and I find most of what I need is readily available via my desktop, laptop, iPad, or iPhone. I have to tell you, today there are so many travel related programs and Apps out there that it is truly overwhelming. Some are really great. Some show potential. And some are crap. I’m always looking into new offerings and will share winners with you when I find them. To get started I’ve put together a short listing of some websites and apps that I have found very useful in my wanderings. They work great for the independent traveler but are equally helpful for other travelers as well.
1) FareCompare – http://www.farecompare.com/ If my trip involves air travel this is where I start. The site does a great job of providing a comparison of various airfares available to my destination. But the neat feature is “FareCompare”. After you select your flight or flights you can sign up and have the FareCompare feature notify you by email when fares change. Most frequently I plan my travels far ahead and this feature allows me to watch the airfare trends for my trip. It helps me get an idea of just when to “pull the trigger” and purchase the tickets. They also have an iPhone App but it is less functional than the full website.
2) TravelAdvisor – http://www.tripadvisor.com/ This site does a nice job of presenting a variety of options for hotels and activities at my destination. (I also frequently compare across the other major sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz and more recently Kayak.) For me, TripAdvisor does a nice job of getting travelers involved. Travelers can (and do) post photos and reviews and also interact with prospective travelers who can ask questions. It’s also tied nicely into Facebook so you can keep up with the travels of your friends (if they grant permission of course.) You can even create a map showing your various past travel destinations and attach photos. There is really a lot of interactivity here. And I find the traveler reviews to be most helpful and they also have Apps for the iPhone and Ipad so I can take and use my information on the road.
3) GlobeConvert iPhone App – www.globefamilyapps.com/ International travel requires working with foreign currencies. There are lots of currency converters out there. I use this one. It’s free and it works! (Yes, it shows ads, and you can buy the “Pro”version without ads, but who cares?) I’m also experimenting with another converter – CurrencyConverter – www.mobilemultiplayerfun.de/products/currencyconvert . This iPhone App downloads about 30 supported currencies from the internet with rates updated daily and stores them for use if you are not able to connect to the net.
4)Whitenoise iPhone/iPad App – www.tmsoft.com/iphone.html/ . Sleeping can at times be challenging on a long trip. Aircraft noises, hotel noises, hostel noises – they can all be disruptive – especially if I don’t have my favorite pillow! This nifty App generates a variety of “whitenoise” sounds which can block out those uninvited auditory intrusions and help send you off to dreamland.
5) Translator With Voice App – www.beworlds.e/translatorwithvo.html/ Language can be another challenge of international travel. English works many times. Sign language can help. But there are times when you really need a bit of translation. This App works with 50 languages and will translate your typed text into your desired language and also speak the translation for you. Again – I go with the free version but paid/no ad versions are available. I’m still looking for an App that translates voice directly – there are some out there but so far most seem to be full of difficulties. I’m working on this one. It would be a big help.
6) iXpenseIt iPhone / iPad App – www.fyimobileware.com/ This is an outstanding App which allows you to set up and track expenses, income, whatever finances you want. I use it on travels to monitor and track expenses. I also use it on a daily basis when not traveling for the same reasons. I really like this App – it currently costs $4.99 and is one of the few paid Apps I have – worth every penny.
I hope your find these applications helpful. Those listed here are general types of apps – they can be used on most trips. In the future I will be sharing information about applications which you can use for specific locations.
As Always – ENJOY THE ADVENTURE!
Dr.B, The PhotoTrekker
© 2011, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.