The smoother the travel experience goes, the better. And it’s easier done when the details in place. Here are some ideas and resources to make the most of your trip:
If you are facing a long plane ride, having good reading material is essential. While books are wonderful, they are bulky and heavy to pack. Instead, consider investing in Kindle, Nook, or other e-book reader apps. The nice thing about some of these is you don’t have to buy the hardware to use them; instead, you may install the free apps on your phone or tablet and use them there. Another tip? Make sure your favorite books, etc. are pre-downloaded. That way, if you don’t have a flight with wifi, you may still use it. Some flights have wifi, but most charge by the flight, or even by the hour. Another creature comfort for the plane is to pack your favorite dry tea (just make sure it’s readily identifiable, so you don’t encounter trouble at security). Then, when you are settled on the plane, you may ask the flight attendant for hot water and enjoy your heart-warming treat.
Why worry about remembering all your itinerary details? There are several apps out there to help. TripIt puts together the confirmation emails you send to it, gives you a master itinerary, and allows you to access it on or offline. Another great helper is called Citymapper. This award-winner shows you real-time transportation departures and arrivals, routes, directions, alerts, and of course, maps. Google maps works on a larger scale, helping with the same kinds of information, but focusing more on roads and byways. Lastly, if you want to know weather conditions, but you don’t know where to go for your local weather, try the app favored by the likes of travel guide Rick Steves, called AccuWeather. Over 1.5 billion people use this service, and it’s available as an app or website. It will give you current weather, forecasts, and regional patterns.
Of course, it’s a good idea to get an overview of things to go, see, and do. But if you want to discover hidden gems, big-name sites might not be on your list. Luckily, there are apps to help. One such app is called CoolCousin. Currently, the app is only available in select cities and for use on Apple devices or the web. Here’s how it works: locals volunteer to map out where their favorite haunts are and give “personalized advice” about what’s fun and what’s not. Another one, called Sidekix, is targeted specifically to pedestrians. Instead of giving you the fastest route, it tells you the most interesting things along your way, according to your interests and what locals suggest. Discover the nuances of your new digs!