The Tech Trek

The Tech Trek: Applying apps to travel and maps.

Remember the old days of traveling, when people would spend hours planning their trips and marking their route on a huge map? Well, I don’t. While some may get nostalgic when they look at giant maps spread across a table, it makes me a bit nervous. I prefer the comfort and ease of being able to type in a destination and being told exactly how to get there and how long it will take. We have the technology to produce what used to take hours of tedious planning, in just a few seconds.

Every week I will test a new app geared towards travel and see how it applies to the real world. Whether it’s a restaurant app, a hiking app or just a general “where to go?” app; I’ll try them all. I’ll be reviewing everything from apps for tech wizards or advanced travelers, to apps designed just to grab a quick bite down the street. We have the technology to make adventures stronger, better and faster. Or slower. Whatever you like.

As a product of growing up in the Technology Age, I learned to type before I learned to write. If you don’t believe me I could show you some writing samples of mine from kindergarten and today, you’ll notice my handwriting has yet to improve.

Not even a little bit...

Technology is something that my generation just considers a given. Of course my phone can tell me the closest place to get a cortadito and then tell me exactly how much caffeine I’m consuming. Why wouldn’t it?

They're starting earlier and earlier. (Insert megabyte pun)

I must admit however, that before I got a smartphone I was skeptical of them. Why did I need my phone to be a computer when I already had a computer? Things changed when a friend (an Apple aficionado) and I decided to go out and try a new restaurant together. Myself being the type not to make plans, I decided to hit the road with just a general idea of where we were going and meet her there. One hour and 300 wrong turns later I made an oath to never talk down to the smartphone or its glorious GPS again. Using her phone my friend discovered me sitting at a gas station two blocks from our destination using only my description of “some gas station by a bakery and oh my god this weird guy is staring at me please come now!”

Now, I never head out on an excursion without my trusty smartphone. It takes the place of a compass, schedule, calendar, map and even tour guide. So join me as I apply apps to all of my adventures. Follow me on Twitter (@BeckyMerola) and read my guest column on TheTravelBite.com.

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