Summer is getting close and it may be time to get on the road or catch a flight to start your vacation. There are some excellent smart phone apps “not to leave home without”. Here are a few, but there are many more from which to choose.
Yelp is one of the most well-known. It’s useful for finding places to eat in unfamiliar cities. National chains are usually easy to find but if you are looking for a place where the local crowd hangs out, Yelp can help. It provides reviews along with links to make reservations online where available. The travel app TripAdvisor has been growing and is another that provides valuable information not only on food establishments but also on lodging, airfare and most anything to do with travel. The “things to do” lists and reports from recent visitors will steer one away from the normal tourist traps.
Specialized lodging apps such as Hotels.com, Trivago and LastMinute are especially handy when your schedule is impulsive and find yourself needing a place to stay on short notice. You’ll find the lowest rates along with comparisons of multiple travel sites. Needing to fuel up? Bring up GasBuddy to locate the cheapest gas in the area. The Weather Channel app is very popular and when traveling it can fill you in as to what weather to expect along your path to and at your destination.
Check the forecast for chances of rain, predicted temperatures and even delays at airports. Speaking of air travel, flight trackers such as Flightaware will provide you instant data about inbound planes and connecting flights. Google “TSA Wait Times” with your departing airport to know how early you need to arrive to navigate security and make your flight. Finally, a favorite is WAZE. It not only navigates to destinations but will provide the best routes around traffic by car, walking or public transportation. One tip, as you plan your trip, program and save places in WAZE that will be needed during travel such as the airport, your destination hotel and other places you’ll visit.
And, if the worst case scenario happens and you’re stranded in an airport, bring up the site www.sleepinginairports.net to help you survive the night. Or better yet, use it to save some lodging expenses.