I wrote a post a few months ago about apps for travel and received several more suggestions from some loyal readers! So I decided to road test a few and I have several to pass onto you. I don’t want to recommend what I haven’t tried out myself. Some of the apps I was already using and it took a nudge from a reader that it was an appropriate travel app. Actually, I kind of hit my forehead and said, duh, of course you have to have the Uber app.
Since my last post on travel, my husband has been using Waze and has been using it every day on his drive to and from work. They have updated the app to send ETAs to others on the app. I have to say it is fantastic to receive the ETA on my phone and know that he’ll be home in 22 minutes, shows the route he is on and will update the ETA when he stops as a gas station or is delayed in some other way. If I had a child in high school behind the wheel of a car, I would mandate the use of this app. No texting or calling while behind the wheel is necessary!
So here are my additional 6 (or 7) Must Have apps:
1. Uber. This is like a personal chauffeur service that is amazing and usually inexpensive. When you open the app it will get you a quote on how much it will cost to ride from your current location (say a hotel) to another location (perhaps a restaurant). If you decide the rate is acceptable, it gives you an ETA for the car to arrive, a description of the car and photo of the driver and follows the car as it comes to your location. The other amazing thing is that it automatically charges a credit card on file, so you don’t have to mess with swiping your credit card when you arrive at your destination. I love Uber but there has been some recent press and controversy over competition with taxis. I was recently in San Antonio and it was banned. So verify it’s available in the city you are traveling too.
2. GasBuddy. Have you ever been in the middle of eastern Georgia on Interstate 20 looking for a gas station? This is the app to have. It shows both by price and distance where the closest or cheapest gas station is. You can also update prices if you pass a gas station that has the incorrect price in the app and sort by type of gas you need such as diesel or premium. So if I’m low on gas I can check if I should wait and fill up in the next town and save 20 cents or stop at the next station. As a woman traveling alone in a car, this is a must have app.
3. Fly Delta. I’m not sure how long this app has been available but a passenger on a recent flight told me about it. Delta previously just had an app that showed flight status, arrival and departure gates. This new app is amazing. Now you can check in, have your boarding pass and find out your flight status. The minute you land it notifies you of your arrival gate and departure gate when making a connection. It also tracks your bag (you can rest easy that it’s on the same plane as you!) and lets you know the local weather. Phenomenal. That’s a lot of flight info packed into an app!
4. WebMD Allergy. I am allergic to dust, grass, and trees. I was suffering badly before a recent trip and found out this was going to be a really bad allergy season on the East coast because of the exceptionally cold winter. I searched for an allergy app and this one is terrific. It notifies me first thing in the morning if tree pollen is high and gives tips on what to do. You can search the city you are traveling to and find out whether there are any allergy issues there. I was relieved when I went to San Antonio because they had less allergens.
5. HHonors. This is Hiltons app which includes a whole host of hotels from Hampton Inns to Waldorf Astoria. This app has recently been improved because you can now check in using the app. You can even select which floor and room you want to have. In addition, at some hotels you can make requests for upgrades or items for your arrival. This app is invaluable if you ever get delayed beyond your control. I have booked a room after midnight on the DC beltway and used my honors points to pay for it.
6. Red Herring and 7 Little Words. These are just fun apps to play while on an airplane or at the airport. They start with 50 free games but you will have to pay for additional games eventually (because these games are addictive). Red Herring is about grouping 16 words into 3 groups while leaving aside 4 “Red Herring” words. It’s nice because you can set the difficulty. So if you are brain dead you can select “easy” and feel very superior by our grouping prowess. 7 Little Words is a cross between word find and crossword puzzles. The best part of this game is the smiley face when you put together all 7 little words.
Ok. So there you have it. 6 (actually 7) more apps to try out on your next trip across the country or across town. What apps do you travel with?