The Art of Travel Technology Part One

Have you noticed a change in the conversations you have with people when traveling? Small talk used to involve, “Where are you from?” or, “Who do you work for?” These days it seems upon first glimpse of my iPhone I am asked, “What are your favorite apps?” Then the remainder of our time together revolves around an exchange of highlights and low lights of our favorites and least favorites.

So for those of you, who like me, sometimes feel like you spend more time in the air than on the ground, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you, my fellow travelers my top ten must -have travel apps.

In order to save you some time (since you’re all as busy as I am) below are the first five:

1. Key Ring Reward Cards | Price: Free

This app single handedly reduced my wallet by an inch (I need all the extra space I can have) by allowing me to input all of my loyalty and reward program cards into my iPhone. Now, no matter where I am, a Marriott or US Airways ticketing kiosk, I have all of my loyalty account numbers accessible at the touch of a button. Key Ring supports over 1,000 loyalty programs covering most national travel programs (and the best part, it’s free)!  Really, give this one a try.

2. Flight Tracker Pro | Price: $9.99

This is the most expensive app on my list, but for good reason. It’s a true life saver for those long, multiple leg trips; Flight Tracker Pro allows real time updates on your flights including delays, cancellations and gate information for arrivals and departures. When I need to figure out my game plan for connecting flights, I check this app then make the decision to leisurely stroll around the terminal or run to my next gate.  I haven’t figured out how it knows all of this well in advance of the gate agent, but I certainly enjoy it.

3. Google Translate | Price: Free

As life becomes more “global,” I am encountering a greater need to communicate in various languages.  I do know key phrases in several languages, but being multilingual is much more than that (Google Translate is my savior). This app translates your words into one of 15 languages and then verbally articulates the sentence back to you.  It also translates text to one of 58 languages.  This is huge when finding your way back to your hotel or confirming a menu item is really chicken.

4. HiConverter | Price: 99¢

As we all know, lost luggage is not a rarity these days, and you might be in Madrid when you discover that you may not see your luggage again. A trip to the shop on the corner to buy some slacks, a shirt and something a little more formal than my flip flops worn on the transatlantic flight is in order.  One question, what size do I wear?  HIConverter is a great collection of conversions, including the basics like time and temperature, to rapidly changing currency rates and of course your clothes and shoe size when you most need it.

5. Weather+| Price: 99¢

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…  Or not? Don’t you hate the feeling when you realize you have absolutely no idea.  Weather+ gives you the current weather conditions for the worldwide location of your choosing.  You have the weather and time for an unlimited number of cities combined with the 5-day forecast for each.  And of course with a swipe of the screen you can switch from one location to the next, converting from Fahrenheit to Celsius and back again (math first thing in the morning isn’t my strong suit). This app has come in handy so I’m not shivering on the sidewalk in San Francisco because it’s 52° and pouring rain (in August of course).

With all of us having such busy schedules I didn’t want to take up too much of your day (because I’m reading your mind and I know you want to download all of these apps to check them out as you’re reading). Tune in next week for the second part of my blog detailing the rest of my top ten favorite apps while I’m traveling around the country or world.

How do you kill time when you’re stuck in the airport on a long layover? Share your ideas with our fans on our Facebook wall!

Until next week...

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