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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.

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        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

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        Shannon Wu

        Founder, Mr.Progress

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        Last Updated on May 14, 2019

        8 Replacements for Google Notebook

        8 Replacements for Google Notebook

        Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

        1. Zoho Notebook
          If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
        2. Evernote
          The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
        3. Net Notes
          If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
        4. i-Lighter
          You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
        5. Clipmarks
          For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
        6. UberNote
          If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
        7. iLeonardo
          iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
        8. Zotero
          Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

        I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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        In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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