By Thompson Knox
Originally published in The St. Louis Women's Journal, June 1, 2012
With the summer travel season rapidly approaching and the hope of more relaxing days ahead, one thing starts to come to mind – efficiency. I know, that word doesn’t really match the sentiment of the upcoming months, but why shouldn’t it?
Think about how much time we put into planning, organizing, and executing our travel plans. Those tasks alone can be exhausting, making the vacation all that more special or perhaps just that much more frustrating. I tend to think the latter. But, however you view situation, the need for improvement and increased efficiency is definitely apparent. Thank goodness we can gather help from our mobile devices.
From tablets to smartphones, these devices were not put on the earth to take time away from families and friends. Instead, mobile devices were created to provide you and your family the opportunity to create efficiency and fun, for the most part. Sure, you can check your work email and be in constant contact with colleagues, but when you have that moment in your life to take a vacation – to get away from the world for a moment and spend precious time with your family – it’s important to ensure no time is wasted.
Take a cue from the mobile industry, use it to your advantage, and check out a few travel sites and applications that will help get those plans off the ground and onto your calendar.
Mobile travel sites and applications are designed specifically to quickly get you what you need. With limited fields and page distractions, forms and useful information will help secure your reservation in no time.
Check out Orbitz’s travel site, mobile.orbitz.com, and mobile applications in the App Store/Android Market. Another great resource is KAYAK’s mobile application, which is ready for download at kayak.com/mobile. Allowing you to compare prices and book hotel rooms, flights and cars, these applications will ensure your vacation isn’t breaking the bank. Also, the apps store all travel plans on your mobile device with the “My Trips” tab, both available on the Orbitz and KAYAK applications, making sure you don’t need to worry about writing down or losing the time of a flight or a confirmation number – it’s all accessible right on your mobile device.
As you are waiting to board that plane, take a moment to bookmark a few mobile sites you know will be handy in the upcoming days.
First, don’t forget to check out the state’s mobile site! Specifically developed for on-the-go travelers, state mobile sites are all about getting relative information to you quick and easy. Check out the Show Me State’s site on your mobile device at m.visitmo.com and see what I’m talking about – quick, easy navigation that will get you where you want to go or provide great suggestions on what might be next on the agenda. From great restaurants to upcoming events and historical sites, use these mobile sites as opportunities to further maximize your vacation, making sure you visit everything you want. After all, it’s your vacation – no need to plan every step along the way. Or if planning is more your speed, just save the item on your phone as a “Favorite” or bookmark and your set!
And when using a mobile device to help plan your next adventure while on vacation, rest assured you will have up-to-date information stored in your pocket. Sorry, bulky travel guide book – might have to leave you at home this one time.
With every vacation, memories are made. Don’t forget to capture these moments with you mobile device with an application like Trip Journal, trip-journal.com. As the #1 Travel Application awarded by Google, Trip Journal records your GPS coordinates along with photos and notes you take along the way. Once your vacation end, archive it on the map or share it with friends and family on the selected social networks.
And there you have it – a quick guide to how mobile devices can make your travel plans a bit more fun and hassle-free. And remember, it’s a vacation, so explore, relax, and make memories. After all, that’s what makes a summer vacation!
To read the original posting, please visit The St. Louis Women's Journal.