AROUND THE WORLD BY SHIP
Before any major trip, it is a good idea to consider the travel apps we might bring along for the ride. If it has been a while since your last dance, new apps might be available. Specific destinations, travel mode, safekeeping and other concerns necessitate different travel app needs. Even savvy road warriors schedule a periodic review to be armed with the best, most efficient apps at all times. In advance of an upcoming river cruise, I took another look at relevant river cruise travel apps with some surprising results.
In June, we travel again with Viking River Cruises on a Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. Using that trip to check off the boxes, the base apps to bring along and position prominently on our Apple devices:
- Airport Apps for all airports our flight plan will take us to, going there and coming back. And don’t just add them, use them in advance of travel so you’re not fumbling with buttons on location. This is not a good look for anyone.
- Trip Planning App to organize travel plans all in one place. I use TripIt, there are others. Your travel agent may like TripCase, TripAdvisor or WorldMate. All are good. Pick one and stay with it. Your personal travel history is all in there and switching later risks losing it.
- My TSA brings the latest information on what is required of us to get through security checkpoints as well as crowd-sourced TSA security checkpoints wait times at the airport of your choice. Flashing it in line will not move you forward any faster however. Get Global Entry for that and get it over with.
- Mobile Passport- If you want to be stubborn and not get Global Entry, Mobile Passport is a good choice. The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at over 20 major U.S. airports. Also good for when disembarking your ocean cruise ship in Port Everglades, a little tidbit of information that has absolutely no place in this river cruise travel apps post.
- Smart Traveler is the U.S. Department of State app I always bring along but have never used. I hope I never do. This app provides access to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). which enables the State Department to assist us in emergencies (disasters, terrorist attacks, or lost/stolen passports).
Also worth a review; apps themed for your specific interest, the part of a trip you like best. That might be the photography element. An app that shows methods and examples of how others have captured images of an iconic landmark might be helpful. If history is your passion, there are a number of travel apps that tackle that subject. Individuals qualified in a subject and history oriented institutions come to mind. You get the idea: bring the right tools for the job.
River Cruise Travel Apps
Interestingly, just a few years ago there were no river cruise travel apps. Zero. Zilch. Now there are a few, the field of which is dominated by Viking River Cruises, as one might imagine. Let’s take a look at river cruise travel apps that might be helpful along the 1,100 miles of river we will cover.
Regardless of the international trip, reviewing travel apps is a good idea if for no other reason than to be sure you are fully prepared. Going to the grocery store? Probably not a required process.