We’ve seen a few winter storms crippling regions this season – the latest moving from the south to the northwest today. Weather can easily disrupt travel plans – remember all the stranded passengers over Christmas trying to get in and out of Europe? So what can you do?
Here are some great websites and apps to help:
1)Next Flight app, available in the App store.
A friend of mine was supposed to go to London for Christmas break, but was delayed, and almost had to cancel, because she had problems rebooking her trip. One time her cell phone buzzed at 1 AM – yes AM – it was her airline canceling yet another flight due to weather. She immediately tried to rebook, but was on hold until 3AM, and finally gave up. Crazy, right?
This app can help you beat others to book the next flight: It brings you all available flights from all carriers and airports worldwide.
Once you provide your origin, destination & departure date, the application lists all the available flights for the selected day from all airline carriers including their departure and arrival timings.
It also shows you terminal & gate info so you need not hunt for information monitors at the airport.
2) Wunderground.com – a great tool for any upcoming ski trips. Click on “The Road Trip Planner,” enter your departure city, the route you are driving, and the estimated times you will be arriving at each stop. I tested this and typed in that I want to leave from Los Angeles and drive to Lake Tahoe. A map with driving directions appeared, with informative notations on the weather to help me plan. For example, when I hit the I5 freeway, there was “a chance of rain”. In other areas it warned me “drop below freezing” “chance of snow” or “snow”.
Another helpful tool on this site is the “Trip Planner”. (Different from the “Road Trip Planner.”) You enter the start and end dates of your trip, and the site accesses its database of historical weather conditions in your desired destinations. That’ll help with the packing!
3) Flight Track Pro – Tracks your flight in real time. Like Next Flight, it will help you find alternate flights. It has terminal maps for departing and entering. And my favroite feature, it will alert you for flight delays. I can’t tell you how many times I am alerted by the airlines of a five hour delay when I am half-way to the airport. $9.99 at App store.
4) If you are delayed, here are some educational apps to keep the kids entertained and enriched.
–Bookworkm: A bunch of word games… the app also keeps track of your kids’ history, their longest words, etc. $4.99 at APP store.
–NASA APP HD – This app provides thousands of images from NASA IOTD, APOD and NASAImages.org, on demand NASA Videos from around the agency,
Current NASA Mission Information, and other informative content. Free at the APP store.
–Wurdle – If you love the word game boggle, you will like Wurdle. It is a version of Boggle that you can download on your iphone. It is $1.99 at App store.
–Spell Bound – This $2.99 app really makes you think by challenging you with word/spelling problems. For example it will give you a variety of goals like:
• Spell 8 words of 6 or more letters.
• Use these letters in 4+ letter words: ABCDEFGHIJKLM.
• Spell 5 words of 3 or more letters starting with “BL”.
Race against the clock or play a casual, untimed game. Available at the App store.
–Pop Math – PopMath is a fun game for kids of all ages to practice basic math.
Pairs of bubbles float on the screen and your goal is to pop each pair. For example, one bubble says “7″ and another says “3+4″. Simply touch one bubble and then the other to pop them both.
At any time, you can choose different operators: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Once you’ve popped all pairs on a level, you see your time for that level and can move on to the next level, or keep practicing that level.
.99 at the App store.
Happy and safe, no-delayed travels to you.