According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the amount of travel done by Americans during the 6-day Thanks giving travel period increases by 56%. Whether you’re hopping on a plane or loading up the car, traveling during any holiday season is never easy. In 2013, 43.4 Americans were en route to their Thanksgiving destinations (protrav.com). With so many people eagerly trying to get to their relatives houses as soon as possible, things can get a little hectic. Luckily there are plenty of gadgets and apps to help make the Thanksgiving trek as painless as possible.
When it comes to holiday traffic, this can be car, airplane, train, and especially foot traffic in between. According to protrav.com, 24.6 million people will travel by plane during the thanksgiving travel period and the heaviest day of travel will be Sunday November 30th and Wednesday November 26th with the lightest travel day being Thanksgiving Day, November 27th. If traveling on the high volume days is unavoidable, there are notable apps out there to help assist you in traffic management to make sure you arrive on time.
Waze Traffic App
Waze is an up-to-date, accurate, traffic map app that keeps information concurrent with state highway patrol date and even uses sensors for accurate readings. You are able to zoom in on maps, click on different areas, and it can estimate your travel time based on the traffic readings. This is an essential app for anyone traveling by car this season and the best part-it’s free!
INRIX Traffic App
INRIX XD Traffic Maps, Routes, & Alerts is another accurate, up-to-date traffic map app complete with color coded roads for various volumes of traffic as well as estimated travel time. This app is powered by INRIX, Inc. and can be purchased in the iTunes app store for FREE!
Long hours in a car or an airplane can take a toll on anyone traveling for the holiday season. What’s worse than sitting next to a screaming baby or a chatty Cathy? Not being able to bury yourself in your laptop or phone because your battery died. Luckily, in the technology-based generation we live in today, there are plenty of gadgets to help keep your electronics good and charged for as long as you need the distraction.
Mophie Juice Pack Air $99.95
Nothing is worse than a dead cell phone. Whether you’re trying to get ahold of relatives, confirming your flight time, or just browsing the web to distract yourself during the long car ride, a powered up phone is essential to traveling. The Mophie charging phone case is a great accessory to have for the avid travelers. With a battery life of 130% more than the iPhone battery alone, this phone case can provide double the talk time in an impact-resistant, dual-injected, hard-shell design. The Mophie case comes in the juice pack air, juice pack plus, and the juice pack helium. This gadget is a little pricey, but what is the price of a constantly charged phone?
TP Link TL-WR7 Wireless Mini Pocket Router $30
Particularly for those travelers who need to stay connected to the Internet for work, it can be hard to find good Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels or even relative’s homes, especially in high volume areas. The TP Link wireless router is perfect for plugging it up and creating your own Wi-Fi network. All you need is the hardwire Ethernet cable and this little guy and you will have high-speed Internet that is reliable and free.
myCharge Power Bank USB Portable Charger $59.99
Want to have a back up charge for your phone without the bulkiness of a case? This portable USB charger is perfect to slip into your carry on. Compatible with most smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and e-readers, this gadget is perfect to make sure you’re always reachable during your holiday travels.
If holiday travel is a must, you might as well make your travels comfortable. There are lots of gadgets out there to help make traveling a little less painful.
Able Planet Linx Fusion Noise-Canceling Headphones $350
For anyone traveling a long distance or just for early flights or car rides, noise-canceling headphones can make all the difference in the world. Enjoy your favorite music without any of the background noise or simply turn them on a low static and slip away into a relaxing slumber. While these particular headphones are a little pricey, the quality and a volume that is 70 decibels lower than standard headphones, reducing the risk of ear damage, it may be well worth the pretty penny.
Sony MDR-NC200D Noise-Canceling Headphones $165.99
If you don’t want to shell out too much money for some good quality headphones, these Sony headphones are about half the cost and very good quality.
No matter how far you are going, staying organized while traveling can be a hassle. Between booking emails, confirmation emails, landing/taking off times, etc., any kind of organization help is good. The app store has plenty of apps perfect for organizing your trip and making sure you have everything in line to ensure a stress-free trip.
This app is ideal for managing your confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, car rentals, or booking services. The easy to use interface makes your itinerary clear and simple to use. You can forward your emails to the app and even share your itinerary with family and friends so they can be prepared for your Christmas Day arrival!
Similar to TripIt, TripCase is an app dedicated to keeping your itinerary and confirmation emails organized and easily accessed. This app includes tabs that you can fill out such as flight, hotel, restaurants, etc. Though reviews say the use is not quite as smooth as TripIt, this app does include unique features such as a “timeline view” and an “action view” to show where you are going.
Awesome Note (3.99)
For all the list makers out there, this app is for you! While this is a productivity app and not a travel app, this is ideal for travelers who rely better on notes and lists rather than emails. Folders are available to customize with your own icons and colors as well as a folder that allows you to document your travel experience with photos and art in addition to just writing. The best part is that this app syncs with Google Drive and Evernote so you can always have your notes on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
From organization apps to comfort gadgets, don’t let the fear of hassle stop you from traveling during the holiday season!