A few months ago I wrote a post about How Travel Blogs will Take Over Guide Books. We are travelling now without a guide book and I will admit, I am eating my words. A guide book is very helpful for those times when you first arrive at a location.
We have gotten off the bus and been completely lost without have our trusty Lonely Planet in Hand to tell us where to catch a public bus, how much a taxi should cost and what part of town we should stay in.
We have been doing a lot of legwork online and things like google maps on our iPhone has helped a lot. While I am taking back my words that guide books will be replaced in the future by blogs, I do feel that guidebooks will instead evolve with technology.
Apps for tablets and smartphones will become more the norm and we will download sections of guidebooks as we go rather than carrying around our cumbersome and heavy South East Asia on a shoestring.
With technology evolving, that leaves room for more companies to break into the market and offer travellers a choice to get around during their travels. We were given an app to try out while we were in Shanghai by MTrip and we found it to be a big help when deciding what to do with ourselves.
Carrying around information about the city in the palm of our hand we could make our way to a restaurant or bar, tourist attraction or hotel with a simple touch of the screen. All we had to do was click a destination and our mTrip app would tell us the location, address and subway stop.
One thing I liked was the attractions menu. We could touch attractions and see what there was to do around the city. Once I clicked on the attraction, it woud give a little synopsis as to what it was, tell me what time it was open, give us a rating and review and how to get there.
It breaks everything down in different menus to suit your needs. If you are looking for Asian Cuisine you can click on the menu and it will break down the restaurants listed by price and area. If you are in the mood to see museums only, click on that. It will break everything into tidy menus for you to sort through only what you are interested in.
We didn’t take advantage of the automated trip planning but it looks like an interesting feature. You can punch in your date of travel, where you are staying and you can either manually build your itinerary or let mTrip’s genius plan it for you. All you have to do is specify the types of attractions you are interested in and the pace that you want to see them in.
Once you know the attractions you want to see all you have to do is use the map like a gps to find your way. The map finds you automatically and tells you the best route by food or subway and how long it will take to get there. The best news, there are no roaming fees or cellular charges.
You then decide where you want to go by choosing attractions nearby, by popularity or location. It is so easy.
There aren’t a lot of destinations available yet with the majority of them being in Europe, a few cities in Asia and a few in The United States but more are coming.
I am looking forward to more cities coming and will use them regularly. I can search for a hotel in a new city that I arrive in by price – economy, moderate or all the way to superior. All I have to do is find an economy hotel in the menu,(That’s my budget I’m afraid) click on it and press locate and navigate and it will give me all the information I need to get there.
With the mTrip travel guide in conjunction with a little legwork on the Internet before your holiday, this could be all you need when visiting a new city around the world.