The recent years have dramatically changed the way things are done. Many gadgets and services that help to minimize the impact of many of those hassles have been introduced.
Our own experience shows that globe trotting without modern gadgets and applications for them is like buying your tickets by visiting a travel agent in person, which is well possible, BUT, so outdated.
Must have applications:
To book a flight or vacation you may use any major on-line consolidator like Expedia, Travelocity, Skyscanner or an airline of your choice directly. Most of them have apps available at the AppsStore for free.
If you need to get a travel visa hassle free, contact VisaCenter at one of their offices in Canada, US or UK. Otherwise, you might very well end up trying to answer all the weird questions on multi-pages visa applications yourself, have the right-size photos taken, run around the city in search of a consulate, stand hours in line to see a consular officer only to find out that your application has been rejected, because you have done something wrong in your preps. You will waste your precious time and get frustrated. VisaCenter, on the other hand, will explain what documentation is expected of you, assist you with the application forms and other paper work as required by each country, take your photos at the spot and even submit and receive your visa file on your behalf.
To find out if your flight is on-time, you may use the app of your airline or the app of the departure airport. Some airlines, like Air Canada allow to subscribe for notifications on the flight status. There are several 3-rd party apps for this too. Flightboard and Flighttrack are among them.
Check-in: definitely use the app of your airline. Check-in using the app. You boarding pass will be on the screen of your smart phone (you saved a tree, by the way!) and can be easily scanned by the personnel at the check-in, security and boarding. Another advantage – you should not keep in your head where have you put that piece of paper, it is on the screen of your smart phone! And one more argument in favor of advance check-in: if you have only carry-on, you may come not 2 hours before, but 45 min before domestic flight as the only thing you need to do is to pass security check. Even here is a piece of advice (though not related to the apps, but still): if you fly from Canada – obtain NEXUS card which will push you ahead of the line. The same card, by the way, will minimize your wait time at immigration control on arrival too.
If you are unfamiliar with the airport and do not know where what is located there, you may download the following app – AirportAce. It is not free, but will help you out a lot in search for your gate, duty free shops, lounges, other facilities.
Once on board – it is a whole different story how to enjoy the time and use it to your liking.
While you are in the air, your friends and relatives are able to track your path with high precision by using one of the specialized applications, like earlier mentioned FlightTrack. They are not free, but really worth the price as basically it is the the same software that airports and airlines are using for their flights tracking activity (with just 1 min delay, introduced for security reason).
And yourself, you may enjoy a book, music or video not from the airline library, but of your own choice downloaded beforehand. Or read all the latest news, articles, etc. by using such a wonderful app as Instapaper.
Once at the destination it would be wise to use the apps that are designed specifically for this destination: travel guide, transit system app, local taxi app, etc., as this will minimize the period of uncertainty on the foreign soil.
Happy traveling with less hassle!!!