Traveling Through Apps

I just booked a very last-minute trip to Greece this summer to get back to my roots and escape for awhile. You may ask:

 

 

I’m actually 75% Greek but my father’s parents are both from the gorgeous greek islands. My grandmother came to this country when she was about 14, without knowing any English and today at 81 she owns an iPad mini and actively updates her Facebook page. How’s that for an emerging media?

But I digress… From the anticipation of this trip, it occurred to me this will be my first international trip having a smart phone and that I needed to figure out what is popular and necessary to download for travel apps.

A May 2012 Nielsen study, “Courting Today’s Mobile Consumer,” showed that in the US, travel apps were seeing the highest year-over-year growth of any industry or product-related app category, at 116%, well above the growth in overall mobile app use (84%).

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Travelers are using their phones to do more than simply complete an on-the-go booking. US travelers were often using their smartphones for mobile hotel-related searches such as finding things to do nearby or places to eat near their hotel. This is the kind of app that I could see myself using, especially when I am on my own in Athens. At the top of the “must have apps” for travel, is the classic Google Maps app which has helped me on foot in San Francisco when I found myself wandering into a not-so-great part of town while out exploring on my own. The problem is that Google Maps takes up a lot of data fees, so I also found the City Maps 2Go Offline Map that provides pre-downloaded city maps which don’t require any Wi-Fi or roaming data once you’re at your destination. Lastly, I want to try like the “Converted” app which is an ultimate all-in-one conversion app.

 

What #TravelApps do you prefer? Let me know!

 

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4 thoughts on “Traveling Through Apps

  1. Good stuff Natalie!

    FYI ,the new Google Maps update allows you to download maps for offline use.

    For points of interest I use:
    -TripAdvisor
    -Field Trip

    The possibility of needing a place to crash:
    -Couchsurfing

    -Google Translate for any translation needs.

    -Most importantly, Skype. Put a few dollars worth of credits on your account and you can make international calls for like .02$/minute; much cheaper than any phone cards you can buy abroad.

  2. HopStop was a Godsend for me. I started using it when I lived in DC, and it’s continued to be a lifesaver in New York. Having no sense of direction, a simple trip to the grocery store can be an absolute nightmare, but no more! I highly recommend it to anyone who relies on public transportation as I do. That said, I’m definitely downloading CityMaps 2 Go so I don’t have to use my data. I use HopStop and Google Maps in tandem, but I’m not always thrilled with the latter app. Can’t wait to try!

    • Thanks for suggesting HopStop, Rose, that sounds useful. I also have some issues with the Google Maps app for my iPhone, I wonder if it is just the fact that Google and Apple don’t always communicate well or not. I am also a fan of not having to use up all my data! Good luck!

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