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Consumer trends and news curated by Tourism Australia
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Beat jet lag

Beat jet lag | The Insight Files | Scoop.it
A pair of mathematicians have crunched the numbers to come up with what they believe is the quickest way to beat jetlag.
Tourism Australia 's insight:

There's an app for everything these days - even for long-haul travellers struggling with jet lag.

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The Concierge Network LLC's curator insight, October 7, 2014 5:25 PM

We sure are getting to be savvy travelers alright!  Check out this app to beat jet lag! 

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Travel Apps: How to Make Your Smartphone a Smarter Travel Companion

Travel Apps: How to Make Your Smartphone a Smarter Travel Companion | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

The days of the unplugged vacation are long gone; more than ever, travelers of all ages pack their smartphones when they hit the road.


At least that's what analyst
Peter Yesawich of MMGY Global found in his annual survey of frequent travelers. More than half of the Americans interviewed, all from households with an income over $50,000, brought smartphones with them on trips, he says, and 21 percent brought several devices. His conclusion? The group he calls the digital elite appears to be growing.

Even so, not everyone needs a smartphone overseas. If you are taking a tour or cruise where most of your itinerary is already planned, you might feel more relaxed if you leave your phone at home. But for travelers taking a more independent path, there are advantages to having your smartphone by your side (just make sure you will have Wi-Fi or an international data plan that fits your budget). We've outlined a few useful apps below.

Booking
Most popular travel websites, such as TripAdvisor, Priceline, Hotels.com and Kayak, have free smartphone apps and mobile-enabled websites. The HotelTonight app sells heavily discounted rooms that, as the name suggests, are available that night; you have to wait until noon to use it.

Airbnb and Couchsurfing-services that allow you to rent rooms in people's homes-also have smartphone apps. Keep in mind that you're working with a person, not a company, so give yourself a few days for back-and-forth emails before you need the room.

Checking in
The free apps offered by airlines are becoming more sophisticated all the time. Most allow you to check in, access a mobile boarding pass, keep track of your baggage and view your mileage account. United even allows elite flyers to monitor the upgrade list.


Other aviation apps include FlightTrack, which shows you when flights are coming in (both free and paid versions are available); Next Flight ($2.99, Apple; $3.99, Android), which brings up all of the flights that are available that day on your route (very handy if you
experience delays or you want to take an earlier flight); and Skyscanner (free), which shows you timetables for all flight routes.

Organizing
Remember when travel meant carrying printouts of all your confirmation numbers? If you're still shuffling through sheaves of paper, consider downloading the TripIt app, which keeps all your travel plans in one place. When you receive a confirmation email for your flight or hotel, you forward it to the company, which organizes it on your account. Frequent travelers won't leave home without it (free, with ads or $3.99).

Finding destinations
Another space saver, the best mobile destination guidebooks have offline maps so you can use them without getting charged for data. Oh, Ranger! helps its users find federal, state and local parks, while Swim Guide locates pools, lakes and nearby recreation areas. Yelp boasts bar and restaurant reviews in almost every city, from a younger (and snarkier) point of view. OpenTable allows you to make reservations on the fly.

 
Keeping in touch
Even though you have your smartphone with you, there's no reason to use it to make a pricey international call. A web/WiFi app such as Skype or FaceTime can be the cheapest way to callhome. Skype calls are free when you are contacting other Skype users, and it's inexpensive to call a non-Skype number. FaceTime is a good choice for a family of Apple users.

Using social media
In Yesawich's survey, he found that nearly half of travelers in their 30s or younger say they post photos on Facebook and other social networks to "make friends jealous." For the social media butterfly, apps for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are nonnegotiable.

Staying on budget
Bills keep coming, even when you're away from home. Many banks and credit card companies have their own apps, so you can check your balance, transfer funds and pay bills. Other apps can help find deals and low prices as you're traveling. GasBuddy, for example, tracks gasoline prices.

Miscellaneous
Some smartphone apps don't fit into a specific category but are useful nonetheless: Daylight, an app that shows sunrise and sunset times for wherever you are; Night Sky, an astronomy app; and Tides (predictions for tides and currents). Read menus in low light with Flashlight. And Tipster not only calculates tips and bill splitting, it offers tipping guidelines for different countries.

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95% of air travelers don't use mobile for check in, booking, or other services

95% of air travelers don't use mobile for check in, booking, or other services | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

It’s rare to see a mobile usage survey that’s based on a representative sample of global travelers, but the annual SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey is precisely that — a statistically valid representation of the 299 million passengers who pass through the world’s half-dozen largest airports.

This year’s survey finds that airlines and airports still aren’t seeing a payoff in mobile services. Three out of every four passengers carry a smartphone, yet fewer than 5% of them use mobile devices to access check-in, booking, and other air travel services, says SITA (Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques), the industry consortium.

Airlines and airports might be better off investing in information services via mobile devices, given that 63% of global travelers say they would use their mobile for flight search and 58% to check flight status.

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Andrea Rossi's curator insight, October 21, 2013 4:00 PM

Three out of every four passengers carry a smartphone, yet fewer than 5% of them use mobile devices to access check-in, booking, and other air travel services, says SITA (Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques), the industry consortium.