Almost every person has a smartphone and a mobile App they use every day. Many travelers use their phones no matter the destination. But now, more than ever, travelers take advantage of mobile Apps to help them through the travel process. Whether planning a trip or getting help during a trip, some Apps can help you save time and money and make the travel journey much less stressful. Here are three Apps I think every traveler should have.
Airline Apps have significantly improved over the past few years. While they are not often used to purchase tickets, they are most assuredly used to enhance the travel experience. Airline Apps allow you to see your travel itinerary and essential information such as booking codes and ticket numbers. This information is often overlooked but can be crucial when discussing your travel with ticketing agents. The airline app will also allow you to check in for your flight, change seats or select meal preferences. In addition, the App will have up-to-date travel information, sometimes even before it displays on airport information screens. Travelers can also opt-in for travel alerts to notify them of flight delays, gate changes, or flight cancellations. Some airline Apps even allow you to watch airline entertainment from your mobile device. These are just a few of the advantages of having the airline App when traveling. So, if you plan to travel, check if the airline you plan to travel on has an App and download it before you go.
Flight booking Apps.
Plenty of flight booking Apps are available that all claim to help you find the best trip at the best price. The best perk of a flight booking App is that it compares many flight options all in one place. The best flight booking App depends on the travelers’ preferences and priorities. Some Apps will help you with the best time to book and purchase a ticket. Some are better if you want a guaranteed refund in the event of delay or cancellation. Most importantly, travelers can set alerts for price drops and can take advantage of flight bargains when available. Like airline Apps, flight booking Apps also keep all your flight information in one location, even previous booking information. In addition, many flight booking Apps will also provide options for hotel or rental car information and suggest tourist trips or destination information. Whether you have precise flight booking needs or flexibility with your travel dates or destination, a flight booking App is a great place to start.
Hotel Apps allow travelers to create a more customized experience and a convenient way to discuss their hotel needs with the hotel. Many hotel Apps now have a mobile check-in and check-out process and mobile key cards for hotel room access. With some hotel Apps, hotel guests no longer have to interact with front desk personnel or stand in line for check-in or request a room upgrade. The hotel App may also link other hotel services such as ordering room service, booking dining reservations, making spa appointments, or requesting your car from the valet. Like the airline and flight booking Apps, hotel Apps allow guests to have all their booking information in one location. If you plan a hotel stay, see if your hotel has an App, and take advantage of the many benefits it may provide.
These are just a few of the available travel Apps and I did not name any specifically because I think preference is personal. If you want a more customized travel experience, travel Apps may help you realize a better service experience. Do you use any travel apps? Comment below and let me know.
For travelers with pets, considerations must be made when making travel plans. For many, pets are a part of the family, and traveling decisions are made around the pet’s needs. Can the pet be taken on the trip? Will they have to board the pet? How long can they make a trip? How will the pet travel? These and many more concerns need to be well thought out. Here are a few thoughts for travelers with pets.
Traveling with a pet.
Traveling with a pet locally is not as cost prohibitive as traveling with a pet internationally. Most small pets can travel with the owner in an approved pet carrier when traveling domestically for a small fee. For larger breeds, travel must be in the cargo area and will require a specially designated approved pet crate. Some pets can also fly at no charge if they are fully trained service animals. When traveling internationally, your pet needs to have a health certificate to prove that they are in good health and free from parasites or any contagious diseases. In addition, based on the country’s destination, other paperwork, including a picture of your pet, microchip information, as well as health and vaccination records, are required.
Pet owners should ensure their pets have a sturdy leash and collar with current identification. In addition to having a recent picture of your pet and copies of your pet’s health and vaccination records. It is prudent to have your pet microchipped and access to that information with you when you travel. It is not uncommon for pets to become alarmed and run off when in unfamiliar surroundings.
The average cost of boarding a pet in the US averages $30 to $50 per night. Rates can vary based on the size of your pet, the length of stay, or boarding accommodations. Depending on your dog’s age, other special considerations and needs will have to be addressed, and if you want your pet to socialize daily, this may also add to the boarding costs. In addition, the pet must be current on vaccinations as they will be exposed to other dogs.
Not all hotels have pet accommodations, so travelers must ensure that their hotel will allow them to have their pets on the premises. Like when traveling with babies or toddlers, pet owners should ensure the hotel is free from any hazards that could harm the pet. In addition, consideration must be made on whether the pet can stay in the room without supervision or if it needs to be always with the owner to prevent costly damages to the room.
Travelers need to take many other travel considerations, including your pets’ food and water, potty breaks, exercise, and even travel sickness. In addition, any delay or cancellation of your travel plans will also affect any accommodations you have made or will have to make for your pet. If you plan to travel with your pet, I hope you think it through as much as you do for yourself and your family. For me, pets are like family too.
Most hotel rooms are standard, but you don’t have to see your holiday stay as a sterile place. Incorporating personal touches into your hotel room can enhance the vacation experience. Here are five ways I try to add my personal touch to a room when I travel.
I try to unpack whether it’s for the weekend or the week. I hang up my clothing, spread out my toiletries in the bathroom, put my shoes out and my suitcase away. I like my hotel room to feel like it’s my own. I usually walk with my journal, so I leave it on the bedside table and put away all the hotel brochures. I unpack my electronics and plug them in using one area of the room, so I won’t overlook any when I leave.
Candles are a lovely way to fill a room with your favorite scent. I walk with a candle warmer and place my candle on it when I unpack. In a few hours, the smell will fill your room with a beautiful aroma instead of a sterile hotel smell. Be cautious; however, never light candles and leave them, just as you would not do so at home. I like to use small sample candles. The trick is to remember to turn off your candle warmer the night before you leave, as your candle will have time to become firm for packing. Once firm, it can stay in your suitcase for use repeatedly.
A small speaker.
If you require more volume than your device gives, then a tiny speaker does the trick. There are so many options on the market that are tiny but pack an incredible punch for noise output. You will listen to your music and get into the mood you desire with your music. Please remember your neighbors and keep the volume down, especially late at night.
For a luxurious feel, travel with your pillowcase. For EbonyTravelers, this can be especially helpful for hair care and maintenance. In my opinion, choosing a satin or silk pillowcase is a personal preference. Silk is a more expensive option, but the less expensive satin is also a great choice. Only you will know what is best for your hair type and sleeping style. The benefit of having your pillowcase is you can use it to store your dirty clothes when you are ready to pack for leaving.
Handicap accessible room.
If possible, request a handicap-accessible room when checking in. These rooms are typically larger in size because they are designed for wheelchair access, so doors are wider. Outlets are more accessible, and best of all, it is illegal to charge more for an accessible room, so you’ll get more space at the same price. Please always be considerate of those with genuine needs and know that your request may not always be honored.
Do you like to feel at home when on vacation, or do you prefer to know that you are away from home? Please let me know in the comment section below.