Road test: House of Travel app
Travel-related products, gadgets and gear, reviewed by our reporters on the go.
The brand House of Travel.
The products HOT Travel App for iPhone and Android devices.
The spin Those high-flying, business-travelling among you will be familiar with travel apps such as the popular Tripit for making your way around a foreign city.
For the rest of us, we have still been struggling with the fold-up map, the printed travel documents and searching for the nearest "I-site".
This phone app is the hot new local cousin to both these options. Less manual and more concise, the personal itinerary tool is designed to manage your booking details, suggest local deals and share your holiday details.
Included is a trip countdown to the day of departure (yippee!), full holiday itinerary, destination guide, activity deals, a secure locker for storing information, a photo album and journal for later bragging to your friends and a means of contacting your travel agent while away.
There are more than 1500 travel articles on worldwide destinations to choose from.
The catch is you have to book your trip via House of Travel to access the app's key itinerary function, though you can still check out the destination guide and deals.
The test The extent of my technical nous is loading a camera phone pic to Twitter or listening to music on my headphones. Other than that I'm a bit old-school, I can't be bothered with many apps. My idea of organising a holiday is casually googling a few must-do activities and then asking my husband to figure out how to get to them.
The HOT Travel App blew what few expectations I had out of the water when we embarked on a long weekend in Sydney, which was my first time there.
The verdict The first bonus came with being able to leave our flight documents and other annoying papers at home.
Our flight information was all there, conveniently locked away on my phone and we could check in easily. The second was being able to locate the city's cutest, hippest eateries with a couple of swipes of my thumb - no pre-planning required(A bonus for lazy travellers like me).
The third was finding a spot to check out the best harbour cruise deals and then book one, take off on our trip, come back and venture off again for a bit of shopping - all using location advice from the app. I relied on the app for finding hot places to eat and activities most, with each listing providing a link to the business' website along with their location and contact details.
I made a few notes in the journal but only being in Australia, I didn't find the need to use the locker, currency converter, guide or weather functions. I didn't use the photo function either, though I think it would have been great if I was on a longer trip and wanted to have something to skite to my mates with afterwards.
More information See houseoftravel.co.nz.
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