When traveling you may not realize that your biggest enemy is time. You have a set agenda that has to be accomplished within a set number of days. You work out the details of your trip and without even trying something comes along to disrupt your plans. This is inevitable, but how you handle the issues that arise will set the tone for the rest of your trip. Wallow in self-pity and your trip has become a horror story. Meet whatever comes head on and you’ll continue your vacation as if nothing ever happened.
Thankfully with a multitude of travel apps (short for applications) available for our smart phones we are able to access the tools to tackle whatever comes our way. If you are traveling abroad a great app is the United States government’s Smart Traveler app. The app includes information on various countries and those countries current relationship with the United States. You can check to see if the U.S. has issued its citizens any travel warnings for specific countries. Additionally you might want to consider enrolling in the U.S. government’s STEP: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This program allows you to alert the local US Embassy or Consulate with which days you will be in their country. If an incident occurs while you are traveling it will be easier for you to gain help from the US Embassy or Consulate staff.
Staying informed extends not only from information on the country you are visiting but to the airline you are flying. For whichever airline you are traveling on be sure to download their specific app. With their app you will be able to get updates on flight times, gate changes, and other useful trip details. The airline’s app may even allow you to change your seat. To help you select your flight’s seat assignment use SeatGuru. With SeatGuru you enter your flight number and the app brings up a seating chart of your plane. The seating chart highlights the best seats and which seats customers have found to be uncomfortable. Additionally you can see which seats have amenities, such as an electric port for charging cables.
For getting around once you’ve reached your destination you can always use the maps app provided to you by your smart phone’s operating system or Google Maps. If you’re traveling internationally and worried that cell phone data charges will pile up you can use Genius Maps. Genius Maps allows you to download maps you can use off-line. Be sure to download the maps you need before leaving for your destination. Another useful traveling app is MetrO. By entering in two destinations the app will let you know the quickest way between the two points using public transportation. MetrO will show you how long the journey will take, which transfers there may be, and the number of stations you will pass before your stop.
Once you’ve gotten yourself to your destination, if you are traveling to a location where you are not familiar with the language Translate by Google can be useful. Select the language you wish to translate and type in the word you need translated. The app will give you the translation and you can have your device read out loud the translated word. This can come in handy when you are trying to speak to someone who doesn’t understand you. Additionally if you are too shy to use the diction feature you can display the words in bold by holding your device horizontally.
These are just a fraction of the many wonderful apps that can help you in your travels. There are many more apps available. Don’t be afraid to try other apps out before your trip. Just search through your phone’s app store and see what other apps might be useful. Read reviews by other travelers on how useful the app is to help you in choosing the best apps. Before you know it you’ll have more than enough useful tools at your disposal and you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation in no time.