Planning your trip the tech savvy way

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Mobile technology is making an increasingly important impact on everyday life, with the app market expanding at an incredible rate and providing more and more things to help people take business decisions, make purchases, do their banking and organize their travel arrangements as well as providing entertainment through apps delivering movies, music and games. Here are a few apps that are particularly useful when it comes to organizing trips and days out.

Augmented_GeoTravel

 

Out and about

Instead of consulting maps and working out travel distances, nowadays armed with an address or zip code it’s possible to simply program the satnav to give directions to the preferred destination, easily avoiding the major highways to find alternative, more scenic routes.

There are augmented reality apps to help navigate unfamiliar cities – ideal when visiting someplace for the first time. Perhaps the most acclaimed app is Wikitude World Browser, which uses cell phone images taken by a smartphone’s camera and overlays them with a variety of geographically relevant virtual worlds – such as labels or markers indicating where the nearest ATM machine or a specific landmark is located. Wikitude allows users access to TripAdvisor and Yelp to find hotels and other accommodations and provides the ability to ‘check in’ via Facebook.

 

Ice hockey fans seeking tickets for a Philadelphia Flyers game during a vacation canuse the ABCtickets.com Mobile Ticket App (via iTunes for iOS or Google Play for Android) and ifnew to the city can easily locate the correct stadium using Wikitude or an alternative such as Yelp Monocle. This uses a smartphone’s compass and GPS to display augmented reality labels for nearby bars, restaurants and other significant places. Augmented reality apps help find specific places easily and quickly – particularly useful when on a trip to an unfamiliar state or city.

 

Vacation ideas

There are some fantastic apps for helping with ideas for cheap family vacations. Hotels.com has a free app for Android and iPhone users that is available in 30 different languages and provides access to around 20,000 accommodation deals and up to 135,000 hotels around the world. This app uses ‘sign in once’ technology – which means after the first time signing in, there is no need to remember or repeat login and password details. As it is an extension of the original website, it’s possible tosee current deals, check out hotel reviews and book accommodations without the need to use a laptop – ideal for every trip.

When it comes time for the family to eat there are several different apps to help locate great value local restaurants – one of the best of these was originally launched in Russia and is called Gvidi. With an enormous directory of restaurants, diners and other places to eat there is a lot of choice. Better still, this app uses advanced, responsive algorithms that can be tailored to fit a budget or the family’s dining preferences. It will locate restaurants according to personalized data and make recommendations accordingly. Also, there are good discounts available in certain restaurants, negotiated by gvidi.me.

 

Image by:  GreySmallHorse via commons.wikimedia.org

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