Travel apps offer handy help for the savvy traveler.
By: Kim Bridger
I can remember when we relied on landline telephones to make reservations with an airline. It didn’t seem too cumbersome at the time. You’d wait a bit to get someone on the phone. They would ask you for your departure and destination cities and your flight dates, and then would go over the list of times for you to consider. Once you picked your itinerary, you could make the reservation and get your total, and they would hold it for 24 hours. During that 24-hour period, you could call back and pay with a credit card or drive to your nearest airport and purchase your ticket at the ticket counter.
Oh my, how times have changed. I stopped making airline reservations by phone a long time ago. But I have not always been quick to conform to using technology in all the ways it was meant to be used. Actually, that is probably an understatement. Even with these shortcomings, I can’t help but be curious about all of the travel apps that are out there today. Many of them have been around for years, and in the beginning, were used only by the most savvy of travelers.
I don’t qualify for the “savvy” category, but doing some research on them leaves me thinking that travel apps might make the travel experience a whole lot more predictable, less stressful and maybe even less expensive. If these apps can help us save time and money, it might be time to check them out. Let’s hope some of you have used these and can share your experiences with us:
• Airfarewatchdog promises to help you before you start planning your trip by alerting you to cheap airfare from the airport you use to the destinations you are interested in visiting. I have actually used Airfarewatchdog in my day-to-day work at Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA) monitoring airfare trends, although I have not messed around with the app. What I do know about this one is that it will send you email alerts when it finds a cheap deal for you. You simply subscribe and set up your preferred airports and destinations. At CCIA, we have an Airfarewatchdog feed on our website showing the best available fares to some of the most popular destinations.
• Hopper Airfare Predictor promises to help guide you to the cheapest time of year, time of week and time of day to schedule your next trip. All you have to do is tell it where you want to go.
• TripAdvisor promises to help you find the best hotels, restaurants and activities at your destination by showing you reviews and ratings entered by other travelers. I Googled it and got a pop-up saying that 60 of my friends are already using it. Once again, I am way behind.
• Tripit promises to help you organize, into one central place, all of your airline and hotel reservations, pre-arranged shuttles and transportation and things to do while traveling. In some cases, it will pull the details from your computer and even send them to your calendar. And all of this time, I have been printing email confirmations and ending up with a stack of papers that I constantly fumble through while moving through airports and hotels.
If you’ve used one of these or any other travel apps and have the time to share your experiences with us, please feel free to post it on CCIA’s Facebook page. It’s time for some of us to get with the program – and maybe I’m not the only out there who is still a little “old school” about new-age technology.
Kim Bridger is the marketing manager at Corpus Christi International Airport. For more information, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.