Travel Apps

Tech Tuesday :: Liftopia

[trip style = active & adventure] Head for the hills!

Liftopia, the largest e-retailer of ski lift tickets, has introduced a free app for that.

If you dream of snow and carving figure eights in "pow", browse a smorgasbord of ski hills in all the major alpine resort areas worldwide: BC, Colorado, Chile, Switzerland, Austria, etc....

Tap it {or go online} to find mountains near you, and deals and details about each resort, for example: number of green, blue, black and double-black diamond runs, amenities, stats, conditions or hours. For select resorts, you can even buy your lift ticket {and score a deal} enroute.

No, Liftopia doesn't post steals for e-v-e-r-y mountain, but it does offer advanced lift ticket purchasing from 10% - 41% off at 150 resorts+ in North America. Think of it as your digital ski bunny without the fur-lined hood and boots.

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[photo via itunes]

Tech Tuesday :: White Noise

[trip style = any] At this time of year the perfect quietness of snow covering evergreen treetops in an open country field is something that should be packaged and sold under the tree. If only. No doubt it would the gift of the year.

Now there's a way to live part of this dream in the midst of holiday madness---and the rest of life---that's recommended by the NY Times, Washington Post, Health Magazine and the iTunes staff. The White Noise App offers solace from life and travel challenges with soundscapes ranging from 'beach waves crashing' and 'tropical rain pouring' to 'oscillating fan.'

Whether you're holiday shopping and need to 'take a moment,' on a full plane with loud talkers or your urban hotel is beside a busy street, zen out and tune into your happy place: a warm beach with swaying palms, getting a massage at the spa or first tracks at Whistler.

Though "snow falling on a quiet country field" is not one of the soundscapes, you can create it yourself by mixing ambient sounds together through the app, or better yet, find a quiet country feild with snow falling and record the sound yourself!

DetailsWhite Noise Lite {10 soundscapes} is free, White Noise {40 soundscapes} is $1.99 - Works with iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Mac App Store

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[photo via itunes]

Tech Tuesday :: Virtual Shopping

[trip style = any] If you love shopping, especially finding the best deal, you'll love this app.

MyRegistry is marketed as a barcode-scanning, wishlist and registry app for moms or brides-to-be. Yet, I see its value more in the comparison shopping realm, particularly as it relates to shopping while traveling.

How It Works The app uses your iPhone as a barcode scanner, allowing you to scan anything shopping-related. Simply click scan barcode and the screen will register the product, then render a ton of online outlets {with pricing} where the item is available. I just tried the app for a teal-covered, pocket-sized HG2 Miami guidebook I had sitting on my desk. Within a second, I got pricing results from outlets like, Barnes & Noble and Target!

As long as you have a wifi connection, the app is golden. Say you're on a trip style = luxe trip in London shopping at Harrods or Harvey Nichols, and you want to buy a Hermes belt or Longchamp bag. Scan the price and see what the options are, then you'll know if you should exercise your credit card in store, or exercise yourself and hightail it out of there to buy it elsewhere.

This free app works with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

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Tech Tuesday :: FlightBoard

flight board app review [trip style = any] Aside from people watching at Heathrow, one of my favourite airport pastimes is looking up at the flight status boards that decorate and inform airports around the world. Where and when in and outbound flights are headed is like reading a page-turning book you just can't put down.

Recently, an app was launched that not only displays flight status reports for over 4000 airports and 1400 airlines worldwide, but does so mimicking the timeless design of the Charles de Gaulle airport status screen.

FlightBoard turnes your iPhone, iPad or Android into a real-time arrivals and departure screen, provided you have a data plan or access to wifi. It's not cheap, starting at $3.75, but I guess that's the relatively small price you pay to monitor flights from Seattle to the Seychelles. Don't worry, we'll get there one day.

Other Flight Status Apps In October of 2010, we wrote about a few other flight status apps, one of which is FlightTrack {$4.99}. As it turns out, FlightBoard is made by the same company. The two apps function in a very similar way; one just looks and operates like it would at Charles de Gaulle. If free apps are more your bag, casual jauntsetters will appreciate the FlightAware app.

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Travel Apps :: WindowSeat

window seat inflight tracker[trip style = any] I love planes with personal seat-back entertainment consoles. You can watch what you want when you want, play games and check the flight's status. Sadly, the information in the status area is never as comprehensive as I'd like it to be, and some planes don't even have personal screens. Quelle horreur!

Enter the WindowSeat app. Without the need for GPS or a network connection, it acts like a tour guide and pilot status report in one. Using your iPhone as a flight tracker, it shows you what's below, gathers the flight plan for your journey and maps the route.

Testing this app on a virtual flight from Seattle to Sacramento, it was easy to find and start the flight, and tap points of interest below to learn about places like the Oroville Dam {the tallest earthen dam in the US}. If the captain makes an announcement about updated time of arrival or ground speed, these settings can both be updated within the app to achieve a more accurate reading.

Right now this app only works for flights within the contiguous USA {ie - sadly not Alaska or Hawaii}, but hopefully its database will expand to include the rest of the US and more countries like Canada. For now, it's a decent download if you travel a lot within the US.


  • $2.99
  • no wifi connection required
  • available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. Android is in the realm of possibility, but not confirmed
  • Track any commercial flight throughout the U.S.
  • WindowSeat calculates your position and anticipated arrival time based on the assigned route and airtime of your flight
  • Update your position based on your flight’s actual status, and WindowSeat recalculates your time
  • View images and read descriptions about the points-of-interest you pass below
  • If your flight has wifi, let friends know where you're at in the flight

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Other Travel Apps Every Tuesday we feature a new travel app. Don’t forget to peruse the other 75+ travel apps we’ve reviewed from travel first aid, to luxury and boutique hotel finders, to border waits and trip itinerary management. Here are the most recent: