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Heavy Travel Expected Beginning Thursday

May 25th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

With Memorial Day weekend kicking off Thursday, AAA Mid Atlantic reports, more than 38 million* families and friends are packing their bags to kick off the summer travel season. This year, users are putting wireless devices to work to simplify their journey and keep on schedule. In fact, using smartphones and tablets for travel purposes is on the rise. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 76 percent¹ of smartphone owners used their phone to assist them while traveling in 2015, up from 68 percent in 2014.

 

“People can manage transportation, lodging, adventures and meals from the palm of their hand,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Mid-South, “U.S. Cellular provides access to high-quality networks that keeps people connected in their backyard and across the country, while giving them up-to-the-minute knowledge to make more informed decisions and avoid travel hassles.”

 

Although inconveniences like traffic jams, flight delays and road construction are unavoidable, using these free apps can help make travel less cumbersome for the upcoming holiday:

 

 

  • GateGuru:  While passengers report record wait times at airport security this app covers over 204 airports across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.  View and post airport security wait times and see a list of reviews, tips and photos from travelers.

 

  • WAZE: Waze is the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic & road info to save time, gas money through collaboration. You can also actively report accidents and other hazards you see on the road.

 

  • Md 511.org: As the official source of traffic information from the Maryland Department of Transportation, this mobile website allows visitors to register on the site to get updates on traffic and road updates, weather conditions and more based on personal preferences that are self selected.
  • iExit: Ready for that much needed highway break? This app tells you what's at upcoming exits when you're on the highway. It uses your device's location to determine where you are on the highway, and then displays upcoming exits in real time.

 

 

U.S. Cellular also recommends these five free travel apps to help plan and enhance vacations:

 

  • TripIt: By forwarding confirmation emails from airlines, hotels and restaurants, TripIt creates a detailed itinerary in one place. Users can access their plans on any device. The app also links to Google Maps to provide directions.

 

  • Uber: Users can avoid taxi lines and get a reliable ride in minutes from Uber. The app connects to a phone’s GPS signal to find a driver near its location and provides a fare estimate. Users also can watch their driver arrive and leave anonymous feedback for future customers.
  • Currency Converter: Traveling outside the United States can present a different set of travel challenges, including determining the exchange rate. This app contains more than 190 currencies and updates exchange rates frequently. Users also can set favorites used most often for quick access.

 

  • OpenTable: New food and restaurants are often highlights of any trip and finding the best options in a new city can be difficult. With this app, travelers can read reviews, look at menus and make reservations. If plans change, travelers can make adjustments through the app.

 

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