Tuesday Tip: Planning a Vacation…Made Easy!

By Kate Viebrock

I love traveling. Many people love traveling. I hate the planning. I’ve come to realize this recently as I plan my upcoming honeymoon to Vancouver, BC. Options are great, but how do you plan your itinerary and decide where to stay when there are 1,000+ things to do and places to eat and sleep in a city you are unfamiliar with? I pride myself on my ability to plan, but this can get stressful and out of control, quickly. Luckily, there’s an app for that! In this case, there are many apps for traveling. I’ll touch on a few which I have found to be huge time savers.

First step, book your flight. Being loyal to Delta, I use the Delta app to book flights. Using your SkyMiles account, you sign in once and it keeps track of all your booked flights and your accrued miles. In addition, you are notified 24 hours before your flight to check in, and notified of any flight or gate changes. After checking in easily on the app, you can simply use your iPhone as your boarding pass to get through security and on to your flight; no more need to print paper boarding passes.

When booking your flight, it is always important to choose the best seat for yourself and fellow travelers, especially on longer flights. Visit the website, or download the SeatGuru app. By entering the name of the airline, flight number and departure date, you’ll be able to view a seat map. You’ll see notes about good and bad seats to help make your decision easier and your flight more comfortable.

Once you start to receive your confirmed plans via email, keep them all in one place by downloading the TripIt app. After your flights and lodging are booked, you may need to rent a car, make dinner reservations or buy tickets to a baseball game, for example. For those with a Gmail account, TripIt will automatically sync with and import all your email itineraries to one place. Or, simply forward your confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and within a minute the details will be added to your itinerary on TripIt.

Once you are officially on vacation and in a new and unfamiliar city, what do you do? What if you’re in a foreign country and aren’t able to use your cell phone and have no idea where to go and what to see? You’re in luck! I wish I had known about the Wi-Fi Finder app when I was in Germany last year. With their free app, you can find fast, free Wi-Fi hotspots in the area you plan to be in and make notes about safe ones before you travel. If you upgrade to their Offline Maps version for $11.99, you can download maps of places you are traveling so you don’t need to worry about being without an internet connection. You also have the ability to see the speeds of each of the connections to help you choose the best option. Before you connect to public Wi-Fi, be sure you re-read the past Tuesday Tip about using public Wi-Fi for tips on how to protect yourself on a public network.

Now you’re ready to explore the new city! Do you need some additional recommendations of where to eat and what to do? If you have an internet connection, I recommend the Yelp app. You can search by all sorts of categories and read reviews to see if a place is worth visiting. Maybe you’re specifically seeking a happy hour nearby after a long day of meetings? Use the Happy Hour Finder app!

With a handful of new apps you’ll be adding to your phone’s homepage, go ahead and stick them in a Travel folder to keep them organized. Hopefully these apps help simplify and de-stress your planning process. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy your vacation!


Kate ViebrockKate Viebrock

With multiple years’ experience working with clients in many industries, Kate brings her skills and positive attitude to Network 1’s team, clients and partners. She strives to provide the best service and solutions to her clients so they can achieve greatness through Worry-Free IT.
kviebrock@network1consulting.com or 404.997.7653

Network 1 Consulting is a 17-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.

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