Green Travel: There is an App for that, really.
If you have heard the phrase, “There is an App for that,” you have certainly wondered if there really is an App for everything. Having recently updated a flip phone to a smart phone, I have been sucked into App searching and have spent the last week in cyberspace on my phone. It has been an eye opening week and while I am happy to be able to return to the real world, there is something wonderful about the world of Apps. As a green traveler I have searched high and low for any thing that would help make being green easier and to help me be a smarter green traveler. Here is what I have discovered and downloaded into my phone.
The important thing when traveling is to keep healthy and the best place to keep up to date on disease outbreaks and vaccination requirements is the Center for Disease Control. And yes, the CDC has an App for just this purpose. It is easy to use and right there in your pocket. There you can see what you need to know about the flu, how to deal with certain health issues, and even sign up to get text messages regarding emergencies.
Safety is also important and the State Department’s Travel advisories are also available as an App known as Smart Traveler. Here you can search different regions and countries and find out what you need to know before you go, backgrounds of the country and, in case you get into trouble, the location of the Embassies and consulates in a given country.
And we have all had a run in with TSA at some point in the past 10 years. No surprise, they too have an App. This one is actually rather helpful in that you can see all the delays in all the airports across the country and even the weather of your local airport. There is even a handy “Can I Bring?” section which allows you to enter an item to see if you can bring it with you. And of course, the ever handy guide to all things TSA, from how to dress and what forms of ID you can use to get through security checkpoints. Handy and right there in your pocket as you stand in line wondering why the line through the checkpoint that isn’t actually moving. Maybe if the guy at the head of the line had this App you would be moving along.
Of course you also need to know all about your airlines, right? By now you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the majority of airlines have an App where you can book flights, check the status of a flight, and in some cases even check-in using your smart phone. And if that weren’t enough, most airports also have an App that helps you get in and out in some semblance of order. Now you have to like the attempt, right? And since you are also going to be spending a great deal of time I the airport, why not download an App that helps you find the food available in your given terminal. A traveler has to eat. If you have to stay over before heading out for your final destination, there are apps to help you find a nearby hotel, a cab to get there, and directions to local attractions if you have time to kill.
App for travel guides are available by the dozens. It depends on what you are interested in and where you are headed. I have found guides relating to food, walking guides, and even bar hopping guides for almost everywhere in the world. Keep searching and you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for. And what better way to not only be green but to also have your guide with you at all times – if it’s in your phone you can’t loose it and you can even use GPS to figure out how to get there, even if you can’t speak the language. So much for the universal pantomime of trying to find the local hot spots.
It is possible to spend an entire week searching through App lists in search of the perfect Apps for everything in your life, and not just one either. I have found an average of at least 4 for just about everything. Crazy and fantastic rolled into one. The best part is trying them all out and finding the ones that work for you the best. Granted, you can’t really expect there to be multiple “official” apps for airports, airlines, and the like, but everything else, knock yourself out. And when you figure them all out, add the App that helps you keep track of it all and you are set. Yes, there is an app for that too. Of course.
Travel green. Pass it on.