18 July 2010

Travel made easy with Technology

A vacation to a new land that one has never travelled before but still manage to travelextensively, networking with like-minded people all the while and seeing and enjoy places thatare local highlights is now very much possible thanks to technology.
For the benefit of travelers, it is my earnest intention to make travel more exciting with tool andwebsites that tell you much more than what a local friend could do to give you good value fortravel expenses.

Planning your trip

With broad indications about the country you are to visit, try to locate the place or city in http://www.wikipedia.com/ to see the historic backdrop of the place and the important places to seein that city. If this is to your liking then the place can be marked for you travel. Being informedabout a place enables tourists to appreciate the cultural and historic backdrop of a any localeand enjoy visiting places of significance.

Maps and directions

With the city of interest marked, visit http://www.googlemaps.com/ or install the GoogleEarthapplication in your system (GoogleMaps & GoogleEarth mobile versions are also availablefor free) next. Searching for the city of your choice, do look up at nearby places of interest. Inorder to see an estimate of time to travel between any two places, you can use GoogleMaps.

But http://www.mapquest.com/ is strongly recommended for ease of use if you know the two exactplaces, because in reality the travel time estimates were found to be fairly accurate withallowances for local traffic conditions. Once the distance and time to travel between two placesis marked in Mapquest, it is possible to print and even email detailed route plans and directionsof travel.

Buying a GPS (Global Positioning System) device with local maps to the area you are to travelis a must and this is very handy to get your directions either in the interlaced downtown areaor in the interstate highways. Visit http://www.garmin.com/ for a range of devices and their features.One can pick up any hotel or fast-food restaurant address of the location in order to exactly getdirection into downtown with your GPS.

Neighborhood highlights

Using location sensitive software such as http://www.foursquare.com/, enable travelers to timestamptheir travels into electronic diary of the journey. This software also enables you to view tips leftat places by other travelers and also shout out that you are in a particular area and would like tofind friends in a new place. Most of the restaurant referrals and items are worth exploring and inreturn, you can also leave you useful tips about the places you visit or even give you commentsabout the restaurants you experimented with.

Networking on the go

A mobile phone with Internet connection can do wonders during a travel as you can takepictures and share it with friends and family almost instantly. For example at http://www.twitter.com/ orhttp://www.facebook.com/ status messages can let others know of your journey highlights along withpictures.Sending tweets asking for local tips and must-do activities receive active responses fromfollowers on twitter and several people who either live there are have been there are ready tohelp you with directions or advices. They are so personalized and timely that you find themvaluable while on your journey.

Communities on Twitter have informal gatherings during weekends all around the world andfinding about the schedule of one such in the city you visit can get chances to meet and networkwith the local twitter users.

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