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Taking a Road Trip? 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey

Taking a Road Trip? 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey

Modern technology has completely revolutionized the way we travel. Can you remember the last time you printed driving directions, stopped at an information center for a local map, or called a travel agent? We’ve grown accustomed to the many benefits of technology to the point where we can’t imagine traveling without it.

In recent years, the rise of mobile devices has completely revolutionized the travel industry yet again.

These days, we spend almost as much time getting our phones ready as we do preparing for the trip itself. We delete photos to free space, spend hours crafting music playlists, download our favorite apps, check our data usage, and more. Unfortunately, much of the exciting content and data that is collected on mobile is confined to mobile. Your check-ins, restaurant reviews, swipes, scrolls, favorites — these are often exclusive to the medium on which they happen: mobile apps. While some things occasionally get transferred to desktop, most of your content never leaves the mobile platform on which it was created.

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This means there is a hidden world of mobile-content that will never be surfaced. Mobile tech company Branch seeks to tackle this. They build tools that search unique mobile content, making it easier to discover and share information that would otherwise be forever lost in the mobile abyss. Through their app content discovery engine, we’ve uncovered new and engaging content from various travel apps that transcend the options traditionally limited to the desktop or conventional search engine.

In light of the holidays, we compiled 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey. Why are they secret? The pieces of content on this list would have typically been challenging to find over the web, but were easily unearthed using Branch’s various app discovery tools. Follow our cross-country journey through curated pieces of content that were previously hidden inside mobile apps to make your next trip more memorable.

Note: Highly recommended that you view this article on your mobile phone for an optimal reading experience.

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mobile travel apps

    1. Start Your Trip

    Once you’ve selected your starting and ending destinations, you’ll need a little help connecting the dots. The app Roadtrippers offers city guides for your stops along the way. Roadtrippers integrates travel preferences like fuel-cost and personal interests to create a custom starter map like this.

    While starting out in San Francisco, we pulled up Headout to see recent, highly booked events and tours. We saw that Beach Blanket Babylon was booked 11 times in the last 3 hours, and decided to check it out for ourselves. Headout offers real-time updates so even as a tourist, you don’t miss out on the latest events around you.

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    2. Crowdsource Recommendations from Locals

    Driving through Salt Lake City, we consulted Localeur, an app that crowdsources recommendations exclusively from locals. We searched for dinner recommendations through Utahan Caroline’s list, and we appreciated that her list was devoid of the tourist traps that fill other commercialized travel guides.

    Mobile-Travel-Apps

      3. Browse Local Rentals

      On our way through the south, we decided to stop and get a convenient, yet comfortable, rental through Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) in one of the most popular rental areas in their app, the Texas Gulf coast. Options varied from a luxury oceanfront beach house to a cozy seaside cottage perfect for the family.

      4. Plan Your Stay with Your Host

      On day 10 of our road trip, we drove through Atlanta where we found a top trending place on Airbnb’s app, a Secluded Intown Treehouse. With Airbnb, you can make reservations and communicate with hosts straight from their mobile app.

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      5. Browse Trending Adventures

      According to a popular article from the Culture Trip app, our next stop, Charleston, is popularly regarded as one of the 10 most beautiful cities in the US. The app finds trending places and fun adventures around the world.

      Mobile-Travel-Apps-2

        6. Find Truly Local Experiences

        When our 3,500 mile road trip came to a halt in New York City, we pulled up Facet, an app that shows hyper-local inspirational travel videos from adventurers like us. We discovered an off-the-beaten-path art gallery, our new favorite bakery, and if you’re up for a truly local experience, check out one of the popular dive bars from Localeur. NYC offers something for every type of traveler.

        7. Book Easy Flights

        Finally, if you are tired of driving after traversing the entire country, you can use Hopper to book a flight back from NYC to SF, one of their most popular routes.

        (As for your car, we haven’t quite figured out how to transport that along with you, but we’re sure there’s an app for that.)

        Featured photo credit: Canva via shutterstock.com

        More by this author

        Shannon Wu

        Founder, Mr.Progress

        mobile-travel-apps Taking a Road Trip? 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey 9 Traits Early Startups Should Look For in a Marketing Hire 5 Email Marketing Hacks to Triple Your Response Rate

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        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

        Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

        Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

        So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

        Joe’s Goals

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          Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

          Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

          Daytum

            Daytum

            is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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            Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

            Excel or Numbers

              If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

              What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

              Evernote

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                I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                Access or Bento

                  If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                  Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                  You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                  Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                  All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                  Conclusion

                  I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                  What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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