The last post detailed the top music apps this week, apps that are not as expensive as many other professional music apps may be. Yet, the music apps detailed in the last post are efficient and superb for their relatively inexpensive prices. This post will detail the road trip applications that you may want to think twice about leaving on your iDevice at home.
ITravel is Apple’s newest application awarded to it by the US Patent and Trademark Office this week. ITravel will provide Apple with the opportunity to lay claim to any travel convenience that tourists will need: luggage, gas stations, fast food and restaurants, rest stops, booking and claiming reservations, identification, and baggage claims. We do not know all that Apple intends to place within its iTravel application, but winning the patent is a major victory for the company. Of course, there are more travelers in the world than Apple customers, so this should be another interesting patent infringement war that makes its way to the courts—eventually.
If you are looking for free applications that save you money while helping you book reservations, look no further than 1) Hotels.com and 2) Expedia.com. Hotels.com is free and for the iPhone only. The site provides its own reservation app that allows you to make plans for your vacation in advance. To make your reservations, just access the web browser on your smartphone, type in “hotels.com,” and you should arrive at the page. The next step in booking your hotel reservation consists of answering some questions at the hotel site about your travel, questions such as the following:
- Address, zip code, city
- When do you plan to stay at your chosen hotel?
- How many adults and children do you want to reserve space for?
You may have a certain hotel in mind if you have traveled to the same place dozens of times. If you do not have a hotel in mind, the hotels.com app allows you to search through the hotels that exist in your vacation area and decide which ones seem right for you and which ones are all wrong for you. One of the best ways to decide which hotel you plan to stay in consists of reading reviews. If there are some serious critiques of hotels in your search because of sanitary conditions, take my advice—do not stay there! Select somewhere else that may be a little more expensive but provide quality service and top-notch, sanitary conditions. Be sure to use the scale factors to the left of the page that will help you find the hotel that is most affordable, takes excellent care of its guests, and provides a safe neighborhood for you during your stay.
Expedia.com is free to all smartphones and works on them all (not just the iPhone), but provides a bundle of services in addition to hotel reservations: plane flight, car rental, activities, and cruise. If you are planning to stay away from home for a while, find some fun activities to get into while away, or would rather fly than do all the driving and tire yourself out, Expedia has what you seek. Hotels.com does provide vacation packages, but the site will provide less of an array of options as compared to Expedia. If you do not fly much or go on vacation much, the wealth of options may overwhelm you.
Fotopedia and Expedia have created a partnership, hotel-booking application for iOS users who want to “burn up the road” this summer. According to Mashable, this application allows users to see photographs of the places to which they would like to go, thus helping determine whether or not a customer wants to travel to a given city or not. Fotopedia is a company that was created by ex-Apple employees, and Expedia provides the air flights, hotel reservations, and trip activities with the in-app booking capability of the Fotopedia-Expedia app. There is such a great need for tourists to see pictures of a given location before they make hotel reservations or choose a certain destination spot for their summer adventures. It is not enough now to pick a place and hotel destination; you may be subject to all sorts of shame and embarrassment if the place is nothing like you expected.
While the above apps are for hotel reservations and flight scheduling, there are iOS apps for food and drink, highway travel, and trip planning. To plan for your trip, Appigo’s To Do creates a list by which you can always know what you need to pack before the last minute. It is not an automatic application, however; you may end up forgetting some things on the first trip, but you can always add those things when you realize you forgot them—and the app will save your list for future vacations. Urbanspoon provides a list of places to eat for iOS users on their iPhone or iPad. If you decide to cook and eat in while you are on vacation (your hotel room has a kitchen), then use the GroceryIQ app to contain a list of foods you ate while on vacation. You may decide that your grocery list could be diminished or expanded—depending on new foods and peculiar tastes that you gain over time.
There are at least 25 iOS apps you can use for your journey, but you will have to see GigaOM for more information. I highly recommend the “GigaOM” link; they have one of the best blog posts on travel apps I have seen in my Internet research. The writer of the article has far more experience in this arena than I do, so I refer you to him for vacation tips and advice. There is more iPhone 3GS jailbreak news to come.