Traveling this summer? Here’s some helpful technology

When it comes to travel, like most other things these days “there’s an app for that.”  Recent articles in the ABA Journal’s online Tech edition and other publications prompted us to do our own research for apps/sites/services that might be of use to us as we begin or continue our summer travels.

This list is by no means comprehensive; it merely reflects apps that we thought we’d use, or that we wish we’d had during previous travels – either for business or leisure.  In no particular order, (and without endorsement) here’s some of what we found:

Tired of wedging yourself into an unusually narrow seat, or one that seems mere millimeters away from the seat in front of you? Seat Guru lets you check the seat width and pitch on major (and some not-so-major) airlines. (free)

Upside Travel Co. (started by the founder of Priceline) promises to revolutionize your business travel. They book your travel and lodging in a single-priced package for 5 – 10% off regular rates and give you a retail gift card to boot.  Once you enter your arrival and departure dates and the kind of hotel you want (2 star to 5 star), Upside offers a package and one or more alternatives that may better fit your wishes. (free)

If grabbing a meal or snack during a layover is part of your travel routine, try Grab.  Grab shows you what is available in the airport, the menu, and (where available) allows you to order your food on your mobile device.  Then when you land, grab your meal and head off again. (free)

Are you vegan or vegetarian?  Happy Cow lists vegetarian and vegan restaurants in North America and offers recipes for when you get back home. (free)

Want to find bargain flights?  Skiplagged finds flights other travel search engines don’t, including some from “hidden cities.”  What’s a “hidden city?” It’s the city in which a longer flight has a layover – you can sometimes book the second leg of that flight for a reduced price vs. a direct flight between the two cities. (free)

Sidekix provides “interest based routing.”  Like art galleries, or maybe coffee shops, or boutiques.  Tell Sidekix what you like, and your starting and ending points and it will plan a personalized walking route for you based on your interests.  Streetography overlays maps with curated photos to let you see what is along your route.  You can filter by recency and photographer and offer your own photos for posting. (both free)

Finally, a more luxurious option for frequent business travelers.  Do you wish you could just have your “work clothes” clean and ready for you when you get to your destination?  You may want to check out DUFL.  Once you register with DUFL (yes, this one costs), they send you a suitcase to fill with the clothes you usually use for business travel.  DUFL then inventories, photographs and cleans the items you send.  When you have business travel ahead, you click on the photos of the items you want and DUFL delivers them to your hotel.  When you are done, they pick up the clothes, clean and store them for next time.  There is a cost for this convenience ($9.95 a month for storage and $99 per each round-trip) but if you spend more time on the road than at home, think of the trips to the dry cleaner and packing time you’ll save.


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