Road Trip: 7 Mobile Apps For Travelers
The road trip is an American way of life – so much so that Europeans come over here just to experience its grandeur. Whether you’re a 20-something speeding down the highway yelling, “VEGAS!!!” or a family man packing the kids into the mini-van for a camping trip, we all face the same challenges – planning, getting there, dealing with payments, and finding some way to remember what just happened. Thankfully another American way of life (for the last couple of decades at least) is innovating digital solutions to life’s most mundane challenges – enter the app world. Below I laid out a few of the best apps I’ve used recently to turn the mundane into the sublime.
Step #1: Planning
This can be the most tedious part of any trip. Thankfully there are plenty of nice ways to make life a bit easier.
Evernote – Cross-platform note taking app
There are a couple great free apps out there to pull your list together and share it across multiple devices. One of the best is Evernote. The web-based interface is almost as good as the mobile version and your list is always available to you – in a store, at home, at work, in the security line at the airport…
Clear – The simplified list app at its best
Another beautiful list app (for iPhone only I’m afraid) is Clear. Simplicity is the best thing about Clear. A few simple touch gestures is all you need to add and remove items from your lists and everything is always easy to scan.
Google Keep – Keeping it simple and multi-platform
For the Android folks, Google Keep is another great way to keep everything in one place and accessible on multiple devices.
RushOrderTees.com – Treat your friends
It’s easy to remember to pick up beer and ice, but how about custom t-shirts delivered to your destination? If you want to turn up the awesome on your next bro-cation or bachelorette party you should consider RushOrderTees.com. They have a ton of artwork, fonts, and t-shirt styles to choose from and can deliver next-day for those of us who leave these things until the last minute. I used them to create customized logo tees printed on moisture wicking material for a fishing trip to the Gulf of Mexico – big win.
Step #2: Getting Around
Traveling is becoming both easier and harder at the same time right now. While airlines are cutting back on leg room, food & beverage services, and charging for baggage – they are also investing in digital technology. Checking-in, boarding, and checking flight status has never been easier. One of the best examples of this is the Jet Blue mobile app. The app is really easy to use and has some real heavy-hitter features to take you right through the experience like book a flight, check flight-status, check-in, and digital boarding pass. Other airlines have similar apps, but they aren’t up to the level of Jet Blue yet.
Step #3: Pay me!
Novelty shot glasses, cover charges, bar tabs, travel snacks, ATV rentals, and hotel rooms all seem to be magically paid for by the trip fairy, but somebody had to foot that bill and now – once the revelry is over and the hangover begins – comes the bill… The easiest way I’ve found to get money to your friends once everybody has gone back to their home corners of the country is Venmo. This app allows you to send and receive money from your friends not unlike PayPal, but there is no fee – yes, $0 spent. SWEET!
Step #4: What just happened???
There’s usually one journalist on the trip in charge of cataloguing all the ridiculousness. Make sure that person has a Flickr account. Flickr is the easiest way to share photos with friends and allows you to download and print full-sized versions of any photo you are looking at. It’s also free and they give you 1 Terabyte (yes, 1000 Gigabytes!) of storage.