Technology Tools for Traveling


2015-08-26 19.38.13Technology and travel go hand in hand, but few of us take full advantage of the free tech tools that can help us plan and organize our travel.

Text Your Travel Agent

HelloGbye
Textable Travel Agent Bot

Pana
Travel Agent Bot with Human Backup

Lola
Personal Travel Service for Hotels, Flights and More

In the new world order, we’re able to do more and more by texting back and forth with really smart computers. HelloGbye and Pana are subscription-based travel assistants that you can text to make travel plans. Message these tools with a travel request such as, “I need to fly to Denver on the 14th,” and the bots will do the research for you and come back with options. Both allow you to coordinate plans with fellow travelers, and you have options to get help when travel plans go awry.

Lola gets a thumbs up from NerdHerder Carolyn Rauch, who says, “Pana is good, but Lola is absolutely incredibly amazing for booking hotel rooms. And it’s free! I’ve had them spend days looking for the right hotels for me, and my reservation have always been solid.”

Organize Your Travel Plans

TripIt
Effortless Travel Organizer

TripCase
In Case You Hate TripIt

Traveling in the age of the smartphone is more complicated than ever. Because we’re tethered to both home and office via email, text and social media, we’re expected to be able to respond in an airport just as quickly as if we were sitting on our couch.

Luckily technology can help us keep our travel plans organized so we can multitask on the go, no matter how far we’re going.

The first time you use TripIt, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. The concept is simple — just forward all your travel confirmations to plans@tripit.com, which is connected to the email address you use to forward. TripIt absorbs your confirmation and makes all the plans available on your mobile device.

Besides the effortless transfer of travel details, TripIt links parts of your trip together, combining your flight, car rental and hotel under one trip. The modestly priced Pro version adds features such as real-time flight alerts plus fare watches. I’ve received more in fare refunds than I’ve spent on the yearly membership.

TripCase does just about the same things as TripIt – and it’s free. The only paid option is the ability to track expenses by snapping pictures of receipts – just $5.99 a year.

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2 Responses


  • Eileen Murray // // Reply

    Thanks for the great tip on Lola – just used it for a multiday, complicated set of plans for a week in Spain and they were amazing – figured out how I could do everything I wanted to do (6 cities by train connections), found great hotel options each place – all in one morning, stuff that would have taken me hours of searching, comparing and muddling about on my own.

  • Liz // // Reply

    Check out Sygic! they have a number of apps, but I’m talking about the travel one with the suitcase logo. It helps you plan a route and activities for each day, suggesting top options for the city you’re traveling to and letting you add your own custom destinations. And if you get the premium ($10 one time fee) you can download city maps and then use them offline–which means you can walk to all your planned destinations with GPS tracking offline, without incurring international data fees. We were able to stroll through the neighborhoods of Paris feeling like locals, and we never got lost or had to ask for directions.

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