Thursday, November 17 12:01 PM
To be (green), or not to be, that is the question. When it comes to traveling, the answer is usually "not." But website HootRoot, which has just won a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency award, aims to change all that.
Plug in your start and end points (say, Boston and New York City), and HootRoot cleverly scans Google Maps and HopStop for routes, travel times, and carbon dioxide emissions for various modes of transport. For the Boston-New York City trip, for example, flying takes only 29 minutes (minus airport time) but emits a whopping 428.9 pounds of CO2, while driving clocks in at four hours and 238.84 pounds. Transit, which takes just minutes longer than a car trip, whittles one's carbon footprint to just 18.07 pounds. Consider it ready ammo for making green decisions--and saving a bundle on offset credits.
Photo: Courtesy of HootRoot
Friday, November 11 10:00 AM
When Gogobot, a mashup of Facebook and Yelp for travelers, appeared on the scene last year, we were charmed. And with the introduction of the Gogobot app, you've now got this excellent planning tool to go.
Gogobot crowdsources recommendations and filters what's hot and what's not through your social network. The app loads your travel plans, pulling up what else is nearby, contact info, and maps at a tap. Snap a photo and turn it into an Instagram-like postcard to tweet or send to your mates (for jealousy now) or turn into an on-the-fly review (for helpfulness later). Everything is collected online in your digital Passport, a scrapbook of spoils to annotate and share. Perhaps it's time you took some friendly advice.
Available from iTunes for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Android version coming early 2012.
Photo: Courtesy of Gogobot
Thursday, August 04 07:00 AM
Just because you're always on the road doesn't mean you're any good at packing. Somehow, the cab is always honking outside as you hurriedly shove things into a carry-on. Thankfully, there's a new app to help whip your suitcase into shape.
Meet Saving Grace, your own personal trip organizer. Created by the folks at Grace Hotels, this helpful (and free) app asks what kind of trip you're taking and suggests specialized, thematic packing lists. You can adjust them, add or subtract categories such as baby stuff or videography, check things off as they go into your bag, and save lists for future use. Grace also looks after your other pretrip chores, by suggesting that you clean out your fridge and stop your mail before heading out. And you don't even have to send her a postcard!
Photo: Courtesy of Grace Hotels
Wednesday, May 25 12:04 PM
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many tweets can you get for video footage? Viddy, a new, free app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad allows you to shoot, stylize, and share your vacation videos with friends and followers. You know, just in case they're not envious enough that you're off traveling, this little gizmo can really rub their noses in it...real time.
Viddy makes it easy to share your travel experiences on Twitter, Facebook, and your Viddy profile (see footage of England's Stonehenge and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge courtesy of two budding Viddyographers). And if it gives you the filmmaking bug, you can add visual effects and a soundtrack to your mini masterpiece, too. Phone, camera, action!
Download the Viddy app for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad (Android app coming soon)
Photo: Courtesy of Viddy
Tuesday, March 29 07:16 PM
There's nothing quite like eavesdropping on an interesting story. Electric Literature's new Broadcastr app plugs you into some really juicy tales, making it both socially acceptable and useful to "listen in" while traveling.
The free app uses a geolocator to find and play stories about your location, anywhere in the world. Some come from famous writers and comedians such as Michael Showalter, some from oral history organizations, including the project run by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. But most are insights from local folks who really know the neighborhood you're in. And if you have a good tale to tell, you can submit it, too.
It's like having a tour guide, a friend, and a window into all the little heartbreaks and triumphs that make up the life of a destination.
Photo: Courtesy of Broadcastr
Monday, December 13 11:33 AM
A lot can happen in a New York minute. Broadway theater tickets can be available at a 50 percent discount one minute then sell out the next. Which is why, if you're visiting NYC and planning to catch a show, you should download the Theatre Development Fund's new TKTS iPhone app (free through March 2011).
Check the app for real-time listings of all Broadway and Off-Broadway shows for which discounted same-day tickets are available at TKTS booths. (The big one under the red glass steps in Times Square is hard to miss, but there's another in Lower Manhattan at South Street Seaport and a third at 1 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn.) The app also provides show descriptions, performance schedules, theater locations, and accessibility info.
Now give yourself a round of applause for saving time and money.
Download the TKTS iPhone App at the iTunes app store or TDF.org.
Photo: Gary Burke, Flickr