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This chapter is from the book

Discovering What Travel Apps Can Do for You

Here’s a rundown of the different types of travel-related apps you can find listed under the Travel category of the App Store:

  • Apps, such as Travelocity, Kayak HD, or Priceline, are designed to help you find and book the best deals on airfares, hotels, and rental cars.
  • Just about every major airline (American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest, to name a few), hotel chain, and rental car company has its own proprietary app that enables you to book travel, review your reservations, make last-minute changes to your itinerary, and manage your frequent flier (or customer reward membership) points/miles.

  • As you’re making travel arrangements, use free apps, such as Trip Advisor: Hotels, Flights, Restaurants, to read detailed reviews of thousands of travel service providers, hotels, airlines, and restaurants that were written by fellow travelers. Discover the best and worst of what a particular travel destination has to offer.
  • Use apps such as FlightTrack Pro (described earlier in this chapter) to manage every aspect of your travel itinerary after you’ve booked it. For example, you can track flights in real time and have the app alert you of last-minute gate changes, flight cancellations, or other problems. If such problems occur, you can use the app to find alternative flights and notify the people expecting you if your itinerary changes via email or text message. When you land, the app directs you to the correct baggage claim conveyor belt to retrieve your checked luggage, provides a detailed map of the destination airport, and offers a multiday weather forecast for your destination city.
  • Instead of using a traditionally printed travel guide to help you navigate your way around a city, most popular travel destinations have interactive travel guide apps. These apps utilize the GPS feature of your tablet to help you navigate your way around a city, as well as share information about the best hotels, attractions, sights, and restaurants. You can also obtain apps for specific cities that contain interactive subway maps and schedules that help you utilize the city’s public transportation system.
  • The App Store includes a collection of travel-related apps that pinpoint your exact location and instantly locate a local town car, limousine, or taxi company, enabling you to schedule a pick-up in any city, at any time, with a few taps on your iPad’s screen. Call A Taxi, Taxi, or GetLimo are three such apps.
  • While traveling, there are also apps that help you find the best restaurants to dine at (such as Yelp, AroundMe, or Zagat to Go) and other apps that enable you to book your restaurant reservation directly from your iPad (such as OpenTable).
  • If you’re traveling abroad, the Skype app enables you to make voice-over-IP phone calls whenever you’re within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Many different currency conversion apps are available to help you accurately convert the U.S. dollar to other currencies and quickly figure out how much things actually cost wherever in the world you are. When choosing one of these apps, select one that does not require constant access to the Web; otherwise, you wind up paying high international wireless data roaming charges.
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