Written by Benjamin Brenneis, who is a Sprint Product Ambassador and an avid traveler.
Summer is winding down, which means it is the perfect time to take your last summer vacation before fall. Whether you are taking a road trip or boarding a plane to a tropical paradise, there are many mobile apps that can help you plan your vacation from start to finish.
Here are a few of my favorite travel apps:
Last year my wife and I were fortunate enough to travel to London and Paris for two weeks. This was our first time out of the country so we really had no idea what to expect. Trip Advisor was extremely helpful in finding a hotel and top attractions in each area in which we stayed. The mobile app is laid out extremely well and it’s easy to use to plan your trip or help you out during travel.
They have built one of the most extensive and trusted hotel review databases. You can search an area to see multiple hotels in an area or you can search for a specific hotel to pull up recent reviews from travelers all across the world. Many hotel owners use the site to read reviews of their property so they can make changes and improvements based off feedback. Our original hotel selection was under renovation and had lots of construction noise. If we did not look up the reviews on Trip Advisor we would never had known and it could have ruined our vacation.
In addition to hotel reviews, you are able to look up top attractions in the areas you are visiting, find and book flights, find areas of interest near your current location, and write reviews of hotels at which you have stayed. This year we are going on a road trip around the U.S. and we have already started using our Trip Advisor mobile app to help us plan.
Layar is a mobile application that uses augmented reality to display digital information right on your phone. This app is a must-have if you are traveling to a new location and want to know what to see and where to go to get the most out of your vacation. The great thing about this app is that it has real time information and uses your location to provide this information. You are able to scan advertisements to find out more about products and services, find local restaurants, explore nightlife, and get general information about your surroundings. I have used Layar to find restaurants and shopping in many cities. When you pull up the application you simply point at things around you. If Layar recognizes a location it will display it on your phone. When you click on it, the application will bring up important information about your point of interest.
One of my favorite uses of this app is to find restaurants in my area. In many tourist destinations there are a lot of great restaurants in a small area. With Layar you are able to find out where nearby restaurants are located, read reviews of each place, find out what price range the restaurant is in, book reservations from their mobile site, and leave your reviews of the restaurant for future customers.
Poynt is my go-to app to find out information on local events and gas prices. It uses the phone’s GPS to populate new information based on where you are located. If you are taking a road trip finding good gas prices is key to keeping your family within its budget. Poynt will allow you to select which grade of gas you need, display the best gas prices in your area, and allow you to pull up your GPS application to help you navigate to your destination.
The other cool feature on this application is its “events” tab. Poynt will get a list of concerts, shows, festivals and other large events in your area and will display information on your phone for each one of them. This is a really cool feature when you are traveling and even when you are just at home looking for something fun to do.
Each of these applications has many additional features that will help you make the most of your summer vacation. What are your favorite travel apps?