Turn your smart phone into a travel center - Curt Yeomans

You do so much on cell phones these days, such as checking e-mails, surfing the Internet, and getting driving directions.

So, why not do your travel planning on your smart phone as well? Or, at least, make sure you can access travel information on your phone (or iPod Touch, in my case).

I have access to what seems like just about every travel application available on my iPod.

I have applications for several airlines, such as Delta, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa. I also have apps for multiple online travel reservations companies, including Hotels.com, Expedia.com, Kayak.com, Travelocity.com, and Priceline.com. When you activate that app, it sings the “Price-Line Ne-Go-Ti-Ator” theme song and William Shatner then punches his way through the “screen.”

I would recommend restraining use of those apps to when you’re on American soil, such as in between trips to the grocery store and yoga studio, or in between business meetings.

Unless you know how to use wi-fi on your phone, rather than a phone line, you’re going to have to pay steep roaming charges, if you use your phone to access phone lines while overseas.

There are actually quite a few travel-related apps out there for you to use on your trips around the world. They aren’t limited to just the travel reservations web sites. There are a plethora of apps available that can be specific to the city to which you are going.

I mean, heck, I have an app that shows me a map of the entire London Underground system.

Other web sites offer recommendations on must-see sites to visit, and (for those of you who are going to a foreign country that doesn’t speak English) useful foreign language phrases.

Might I personally recommend the immensely helpful “Lonely Planet” apps, from the authors of the “Lonely Planet” travel guides and magazine?

The thing about the these apps, which separates them from the reservations apps, is that they do not always need Internet access to be used. Some of these apps download the info onto your phone (as part of the app’s software), so you can still access them without going online.

And, the best part is that many of these apps are totally free. You don’t have to pay anything to get access to this information.

Now, if that isn’t smart travel planning –– I don’t know what is.

Curt Yeomans covers government and politics for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.