The iPod Touch: A Splendid Travel Companion

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Mark Sigal of technology site O’Reilly celebrated his 10-year wedding anniversary with the wife by taking a trip to Europe. What made their trip a little unusual is that they brought an iPod Touch as their only communication device — no cell phone, no pager, no laptop. And guess what? They survived the trip with flying colors (and probably saved a lot of moolah)!

Here are some (free!) Apple apps that helped them:

  • Google Mobile Maps (pre-installed): visually navigate to destinations in real time and push-pin favorite destinations.
  • Yelp: search for restaurants and other businesses, then use Google Mobile Maps for directions.
  • Facebook: share vacation adventures and pics with family and friends.
  • Kindle: read your travel book on-the-go.
  • Notes (pre-installed): capture daily food and water intake and other related health data.

Additionally, Sigal shares a caveat about traveling with just the iPod Touch:

“Not having reliable connectivity in mobile contexts crippled some of the utility of Google Mobile Maps since it essentially removed the Real-Time goodness of the app. Moreover, it crimped the ability to search for nearby restaurants when on the move.”

And, in true technologist form, Sigal gives Apple a helpful recommendation for the Wi-Fi connection experience:

“… it seems that Apple could make MobileMe even more essential for iPod Touch owners by bundling into it a Boingo-like Wi-Fi Universal Pass so at least queue-level store and forward services can autonomously be negotiated for the mobility-oriented user.

I have to be honest: I couldn’t do it. But I have an unhealthy dependence on my numerous devices. What about you? Do you think you can vacation overseas with just an iPod Touch?

Read the entire article here.

About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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