Travel Connections: Utilizing Google Travel Search and the Most Useful Apps
Recent tech innovations have changed the game when it comes to travel. Now, strangers in a foreign land can be buoyed by a buffet of apps and online resources that help them navigate unfamiliar places – everything from finding the way back to their hotel to finding the cheapest parking or the best hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
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Yes, traveling has a much different look and feel than it did even five years ago, and mobile applications with travel connections have had a big hand in that. There are still the traditional concerns to deal with – arranging transportation, purchasing atlas travel insurance and scouting out where to stay – but once you’re on the road, you should have an easy time enriching your experience. That is, assuming you have the right apps. Here are five mobile apps you should be using to get the most out of every vacation:
Google’s social network is chock full of resources for travel, allowing them to conduct searches to source information and expertise from other users. Google Sparks, which is a part of Google+, lets you set up searches to cover airport parking, travel-related news and other information that could prove invaluable when you are on the road. And all of this information is free as long as you set up a Google+ profile.
Most people who travel don’t like to hit the familiar hangouts that are available back home. If you’re interested in sampling the unique flavor of your destination, “Local Eats” is a great app, only offering up results of independently-owned, local eateries. No more scrolling past Applebee’s or IHOP – “Local Eats” only offers unique options and lets you search for them according to your location.
Having trouble figuring out the conversion rate for your money? Choose one of several currency apps that allow users free exchange rate information covering more than 100 different currencies. Use this at local vendors and shops to make sure you aren’t overpaying for items – the tool can help you convert local prices to figure out how much an item costs in American dollars, or whichever other currency you’re carrying.
Don’t let ignorance set you up for an embarrassing scene. “World Customs” is a free mobile app that offers information on the customs and traditions of 165 different countries. Learn about the proper greetings, local taboos, gender roles, and other traditions that can help you look less like a tourist than you probably are.
If you’re traveling on foot, “EveryTrail” might become your bible. The app uses GPS technology to chart all the walking paths, trails and other pedestrian-accessible routes in your region of exploration. Other tools, such as a compass and audio guides, can be used to help you get from one place to the next while minimizing stress. “EveryTrail” is free and has been stocked with more than 400,000 user-uploaded journeys that you can reference in your travels.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great mobile apps for travelers. But if your goal is to enrich your journey while making it simpler, these mobile apps cannot be ignored. Loading up with tech tools like these is just one way you can reduce the headaches that can accompany your travels, giving you more time to take in the sights, sounds and smells worry-free.