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As new technology continues to be introduced and used throughout the world, travelers are more connected than ever before.
Travel apps continue to soar in popularity and become more and more innovative, whether travelers are trying to get from the airport to the city center quickly, attempting to translate Chinese text or exploring the great outdoors seamlessly.
Of course, travel agents and professionals are also reaping the benefits of being mobile-friendly. One app is doing some rather transformative things in terms of how clients can interact and communicate with agents.
Here's the latest edition of TravelPulse's must-have travel apps.
Airport Transportation Guide (free; iPhone)
As a frequent flyer for more than 25 years, Airport Transportation Guide founder Michael Gentle has introduced an app that is designed to give travelers all the information they need to get from the airport to the city center in the most cost-effective way possible.
The Airport Transportation Guide gives travelers train, bus, and taxi information from 160 airports around the world … right at their fingertips. That includes cost, estimated travel time, and preferred currency.
Travelers can book transportation right from the app, which provides conversion information for multiple currencies and is available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Chinese.
Axus (iPhone, coming soon to Android)
Back in November, Agent@Home magazine highlighted Axus as a top app for travel agents.
But Axus continues to grow tremendously, and an update is warranted just a few months later.
Axus, developed by a former travel agent and agency owner, uses emails and notifications to make it easy for agents and clients to communicate in real time before, during and after a trip.
Now, Axus has partnered with wholesaler Classic Vacations. When an agent creates an itinerary, he/she can simply import the itinerary straight into the app by entering the Classic Vacations booking number.
Axus is also integrating Signature Travel Network's handy Travel42 content (hotel reviews and destination guides from around the globe).
Other notable additions to the app: Axus can now parse rental car and rail confirmations, Virtuoso hotel address and amenities info will now auto-complete for Virtuoso advisors when manually creating hotel bookings, message badge notifications have been added, and more tutorial videos have been added for additional support.
Axus is also mobile-friendly: In fact, the founder of Axus told TravelPulse that Classic Vacations was attracted to the app specifically because it followed the "three-click rule." That is, reservations could be easily made by agents with just three clicks on their mobile device.
Coming soon: flight tracking, flight information notifications, an improved visual experience and Android compatibility.
Beyonder (free; iPhone, Android)
Beyonder is designed to encourage people to get out and explore the great outdoors.
The app provides planning information such as weather forecasts, sunrise/sunset times and custom packing lists.
When you are ready to hit the trails, the "Being Yonder" feature allows you to post an automatic message on your Facebook and/or Twitter account that tells your followers that you will be unplugged until a specified amount of time.
There's even a section called "Yonder Wisdom," which includes quotes about the great outdoors, plant and animal identifiers, and handy information like how to tie different types of knots.
Beyonder was created by Publicis Seattle, a creative ad agency nestled in the Great Pacific Northwest.
MapMyHike (free; iPhone, Android, Blackberry)
There are a lot of fitness and hiking trackers out there, but MapMyHike separates itself with its design and a number of distinguishable features.
First of all, it monitors your route and activity on a map in real time using the built-in GPS of your mobile device.
Second of all, you can connect and import data from more than 400 tracking devices, including Jawbone, Misfit, Fitbit, Garmin, Withings, Bluetooth Smart and ANT+.
Third, MapMyHike provides more than 600 fitness activities and more than 70 million routes, if you don't want to create your own.
Fourth, the app's Gear Tracker feature allows you to enter what type of shoes you are wearing so you can be notified when it's time for a new pair based on the shoe model and the mileage it has accrued.
Fifth, you can log your food intake to easily monitor calorie consumption.
Oh yeah, and if you're a premium member, you get access to special features like heart rate analysis, personal training plans, audio coaching and more…without all the ads.
WayGo (free; iPhone, Android)
Asia-particularly China-is a central focus for the travel industry right now, based on some developments in wealth and visa restrictions.
Waygo is well positioned to capitalize on that focus.
Waygo is a visual translation app that translates Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Kanji and Korean text you pick up on your phone into English.
Just point your phone at the text you want to translate, center the text using your viewfinder, and watch as it is translated on your phone's screen.
So, whether you are trying to find the proper accommodation or looking at a foreign restaurant menu, you will be well equipped to understand what the heck it all means.
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. Graduated from San Diego State with a B.A. in journalism. Worked for Bleacher...
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