~ It’s time for the App of the Week! ~
And this week we have several of them to help make your Vacation Easier!
When we were on our way home from my sisters wedding in VA (back in February), we started driving, hoping to make it 600-700 miles in the first day of the trip. We were not really sure where we would stay for the night, and not sure how far we would get (usually we have a few ‘pit stops’ along the way). So we tried to use the GPS in my car (but it has not been updated in 5 years, so it didn’t have the correct phone numbers for hotels). Then I hooked my phone up to my laptop and did a Swagbuck search for “hotels along I-95” and then we tried to search specific hotel chains (like Hampton Inn) for hotels, but we didn’t know the ZIP CODE for where we wanted to stay!!! Needless to say, it was quite aggravating and we ended up just calling one Hotel and asking them to tell us the phone number for a hotel a couple hours south…we ended up in an excellent hotel with an indoor pool!! (That is because God always knows where you are going to stay, it is not a surprise to Him right?). Well…if this “spontaneity” makes your insides curl, then we have a couple apps to help make your vacation must less stressful!
Available for iPhone, Android, NOKIA and Palm
I never ever stay in a hotel without checking its ranking and reviews by other travelers at Trip Advisor. While you can search for hotels by city or zip code, TripAdvisor also lets you find ones that are closest to your current location. It pulls up the highest ranking hotels first, lets you check rates and tells you how many miles away they are or shows them on a map relative to your location.
Available for iPhone and Android (FREE for Android for a limited time)
You have to be on an interstate to use this one. Let’s say it’s lunchtime and your kids want to eat at Sonic. iExit will tell you which of the upcoming exits has one. If it’s too far up the road, you can also find out which exits have restaurants offering special deals.
iPhone (**NO LONGER AVAILABLE**), Android, Palm, Windows Phone and BlackBerry
Finding nearby restaurants or businesses, is a snap with Where. It uses your current location to make suggestions in these categories: Eat, Drink, Play (think aquariums, arcades and art galleries), Guides (which are insider tips from CitySearch), Best Bets (which provides custom suggestions) and Local Info (such as nearest ATMs, coupons and gas stations). Before you leave on your trip, you can also bump your iPhone with a friend’s to swap preferences and find places you’ll both like.
This app does exactly what it says it does. It pulls up a map showing the public spots closest to your current location that have paid or free Wi-Fi available. (I’m partial to the FREE spots!) Why use up your data plan when you can get it for FREE, right?
Available for iPhone, Android ($0.99 for Android) and NOKIA
If you’ve ever taken a trip and wished people at home could see what you were experiencing, this in-depth app is a good bet. Using GPS, it can track and save all your way points, geotag your photos and videos, and archive all your trips in a film-reel interface for viewing later. With the Trip Journal Facebook app, friends and family can see your route, locations visited, photos and videos, comments and blog entries.
A word of caution here…be careful about posting your trip on Facebook, especially if you have “Facebook friends” that are beyond your closest friends. Facebook settings are tricky and you wouldn’t want just anyone to know that your house is unoccupied for a long period of time.
And in the famous words of ‘ole Willie Nelson…On the Road Again…
Smartphones are everywhere!
Every Saturday morning we feature an App of the Week!
You can share your favorite apps with us that could be featured on True Couponing!
Send your favorite app to [email protected] with “App of the Week” in the subject line.