Apps That Help Take the Stress Out of Travel
Air travelers, for example, face unpredictable waits at most points in their journey, from check-in, through security, to boarding. Those traveling by car might hit traffic jams on the interstate or other delays. Once you arrive at your destination, your stress levels might not drop until you’re safely checked into the comfort of your hotel room.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can use your mobile connection to better manage the demands of travel. Your phone or mobile device can help reduce — or even eliminate — the regular stresses associated with modern travel.
Here are six mobile applications to help you navigate the airport, train station or rental car counter and safely — and efficiently — reach the comfort of your hotel room:
In theory, your airline should be able to notify you of any delays affecting your itinerary. But in practice, their efforts often fall short. Flightaware is an app that uses real-time data from the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic control systems to pinpoint your aircraft’s exact location. It will even identify your aircraft’s original departure point, so that you can anticipate possible delays long before the airline notifies you.
Do you stress out about missing your flight or other crucial appointments because of road traffic? Waze, which relies on real-time information for its users, will tell you the current traffic conditions, and how long it will really take to reach your destination. Waze planned drives will also alert you when you need to leave to make it to your destination on-time, taking into account both current traffic conditions and recent traffic history.
3. Mobile Passport from US Customs and Border Patrol
Arriving from an international flight and having to navigate the lines at immigration and customs can stress out even the most savvy traveler. After landing in the United States, for example, you must go through an immigration checkpoint, which can sometimes have very long lines.
Mobile Passport is a free app provided by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol that lets you fill out the necessary forms electronically, including passport information and your photo. You can submit these forms as soon as you land, and you’ll receive an electronic receipt that you can quickly show to an officer in a dedicated lane. This allows you to avoid the hassle of filling out paper forms, as well as the potentially long lines at Customs. The Mobile App service is currently available at 24 major U.S. international airports and at the Port Everglades sea port.
Awardwallet is a central place to store your airline, hotel and rental car company loyalty program information, including account numbers, user names and passwords. Awardwallet helps track loyalty program’s account balances and expiration dates, and will even log you into a selected loyalty program’s website or app.
5. XE Currency
When traveling abroad, few things are as difficult as trying to quickly figure out what the price of something would be in your home currency. The XE Currency app lets you view live exchange rates for every currency and calculate prices on your smartphone or tablet.
6. IHG app
The IHG app offers you a single place to manage your stays at over 5,000 IHG properties around the world including Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts. You can plan your trip using booking tools, guest reviews and access to special IHG offers and discounts.
Once you arrive, you can view your current charges, conveniently check-out and receive an emailed copy of your bill. Finally, you can view your past stays, see how many IHG Rewards Club points you earned and redeem your points for Reward Nights.