Traveling to exotic places and discovering new things is something that never grows stale or bitter to me. Last semester, I decided to study abroad in a place that no Grove City student had chosen as a study abroad location which was Santo Domingo, RD. Reflecting upon my experience abroad as I approach the 4-month mark post-immersion, I wonder how my experience would have differed had I taken the time to research online applications that would have aided my adventures abroad.
Prior to leaving the United States, I made sure I downloaded the basics such as nifty weather apps, a currency converter, and an international messaging platform to use with my family. However, I could have maximized the potential I had for personal growth and spontaneous adventures had I reflected on some of the ways in which entrepreneurs are creating apps that make travel so much more effective and cost-efficient. Listed below are some of the best-engineered apps for traveling purposes that entrepreneurs today are expanding to maximize the travel experience for many who are either first-time travelers or are veterans in cultural competencies.
Understanding weather is such an important part of travel. WINDY, also known as Windytv, was created by Czech entrepreneur Ivo Luckacovic. It is available as a mobile app and a website and indicates (obvious) wind gusts, waves, temperature, clouds, rain, and snow. If predicting the weather isn’t your thing and you are an outdoorsy person anyway, this app also aims to give you great places to surf and snowboard based on wave and snowfall patterns. (If WINDY’s interface looks like this at some point, you should probably evacuate to a different country ASAP. This is what Hurricane Maria 2018 looked like on WINDY.)
Looking to grab some of the world’s finest wine or freshest brews with friends while in a diverse location? Untappd was created by California native Tim Mather and is a geosocial networking app that seeks to rate beers and fine wines. Untappd also gives you access to beer and wine menus at different locations around the world. If there is a specialized IPA in the area or a special brewery, Untappd will send you a notification so you can relax and have a nice drink with friends.
CDC, Can I Eat This?
Created by none other than the Center for Disease Control, this app makes it easy for people to know if it safe to eat or drink something from a country that they are traveling to. In some countries, the water is drinkable in the city and not so safe to drink in rural areas. This app enables people to still partake in food culture while remaining safe in the process. Simply indicate your location and it will tell you what is safe and unsafe to consume in the area. What a blessing it is to be able to appreciate the food of locals all while keeping it inside of your body! Yay!
Jet Lag Rooster
The Jet Lag Rooster app gives you the ability to train your body in order to prevent jet lag before traveling abroad. The entrepreneur who invented this app identified a need for people who are inconvenienced by restlessness once abroad. Jet Lag Rooster combines science with travel realities as it tells you how much time to sleep and adjust your diet prior to flying abroad. Why waste a day abroad getting adjusted to a sleep schedule when you could be enjoying your surroundings?
Have you ever overpacked because you aren’t sure about what clothing or items to bring? PackPoint is an app that helps people to pack the right clothing for the weather, occasions, and excursions. I WISH I knew about this application before I studied abroad. It would have helped me cut down costs on my luggage as I bounced in and out of the country three different times.
As you can see, traveling is becoming redefined by entrepreneurs as they develop apps to solve the nuisances of exploring. There is something refreshing about jumping into uncharted territory with nothing but a great attitude, a few bucks, and a pair of sneakers, but a wise traveler will always seek to expand their experience by testing application fluidity.