Maybe you’re killing time waiting for transportation. Maybe you’re in a boring meeting. Maybe the movie you’re watching is less than captivating. If you’re like me (and you are because you’re here) it’s time to preoccupy yourself with daydreams about your next travel adventure.
In any of these cases, there’s no question that the smartphone is the ultimate preoccupation device. Of course your first objective must be to seek out the most recent WorldWanderlusting post. But what do you do after that?
May I recommend that you install the following eight great travel apps?
1. Rick Steves Audio Europe: It’s like candy for your ears. Imagine an audio tour of ancient Britain, a discussion on Dutch culture, the greatest hits of Barcelona… they’re all at the tips of your fingers with Rick Steves Audio Europe. You can take it in in 10 minute blips, or occupy an entire 45 minute cardio workout… how is that for wanderlust fuel?
2. Awardwallet: It’s time to brag. Bragging about financial success is taboo, but bragging about all of the free frequent flyer miles you’ve accumulated is a neccesity. Telling people that I have more than 750,000 miles and points sounds like an outrageous claim until I’m able to back it up with a simple summary from www.awardwallet.com. It also comes in handy when you’ve got booking fever.
3. Google Earth: Literally hold the earth in the palm of your hands. Zoom in close enough and you’ll actually feel like you’re walking the streets of Bilbao – or any other city in the world for that matter.
4. TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is the Library of Congress for travel tips, reviews, and ideas. It becomes a little overwhelming, so sometimes it’s good to begin with something in mind. Check out the Magic Water Circuit in Lima, Peru.
5. EarthCam: Check in on webcameras from around the world. Years ago, my wife and I visited Akumal Beach, south of Cancun. A webcamera keeps a constant eye on the ocean lapping at the white sand, and a periodic visit keeps the memories fresh on my mind. If that weren’t enough, Earthcam’s database will take you virtually anywhere you’d like to go.
6. Wikipedia Mobile: Sitting in an internet cafe in the shadow of Notre Dame is cool, but add in the phone-perusal of architectural specifications, historical accounts, and a plethora of details and it becomes even cooler. Suddenly it becomes all the more interesting when it occurs to you that Napoleon I was coronated in that very location. Even if you’re not on-site, the thorough nature of Wikipedia will transmit you there.
7. Skype: Yes, everyone knows about Skype, but its power is awesome. Skype allows you to turn your phone into… get this… a phone… while overseas! I just laugh when I hear about people paying for international phone coverage when wifi is as ubiquitous as it is. On a trip to Costa Rica a few years ago, my friend had his wallet stolen and needed to make at least a dozen calls to cancel credit cards. He spent more than an hour making calls with my Skype app from the comfort our jungle paradise and, despite my pleas, insisted that he repay me the $2.32 it cost to make them.
8. Chase Ultimate Rewards Bookmark: Ok, so this isn’t an app, but bookmarking www.ultimaterewards.com is an absolute necessity for booking fever. If you don’t have at least 100k Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you obviously haven’t been WorldWanderlusting for long. These puppies are powerful elements of free-travel-exploitation, in that you can transfer them to United, Amtrak, Marriott, Southwest, and more.
We hope you enjoyed these ideas. If you’d like to see more in our series in “Eight Great” posts, please check out: Eight Great Foods to Feed the Wanderlust, Eight Great days in Costa Rica, Eight Great Youtube Travel Videos, and Eight Great Bridges Around the World.