Travel in The Palm of Your Hand: Traveling Guide For Your PDA
Three years ago, I threw out my bulky day planner and
picked-up a sleek, six-ounce Palm Pilot®. Today, I am on my
second Palm Pilot (the color Palm IIIc) and rely on it for the
basics like storing addresses, calendars, and to-do lists. With my
new Palm IIIc, I can also view downloaded websites, store digital
photos, and even read an entire novel. But where the Palm and
other handhelds, or PDAs (personal digital assistants), really come
in handy is when you are traveling.
PDAs, including the Palm
Pilot, Handspring Visor, and Sony CLIÉ, serve as ideal computerized
companions for people who want to have their travel information in
the palm of their hand. Not only can PDAs help plan a trip, they can
also store destination information, flight trackers, currency
converters, language assistants, and other travel-related features.
With all that in mind, here are some of the must-haves for traveling
with a PDA.
Must-Haves: AvantGo & MyPalm
AvantGo is a free
service that downloads specially-formatted websites to the PDA, so
you can view them whenever you want. Here are few examples of some
great websites that offer free travel tools using AvantGo:
In addition, you can configure AvantGo to download
any website. However, don't expect perfection with sites that do not
have pages specifically designed for AvantGo—some pages work,
whereas others seem to look just plain messy.
flightTRACKER: Allows you to view real-time flight
information, including estimated arrival time, airspeed, altitude,
and current location. (You can even set it up to receive e-mail
information about various flights.)
- Expedia To Go:
Becomes your personal travel assistant for any reservation
information regarding your travels.
Lists route schedules for the current day along with each route's
flight status. (You can also download timetables for various
Provides “10 Best” lists and reviews on dining, local events,
nightlife, arts and culture, shopping, and more for the city of
- Encarta Language
Learning: Offers French to Go and Spanish to Go,
giving you a mini phrasebook in your PDA.
- ICurrency.net: Lists exchange
rates for every currency around the world.
Maps: Provides maps and driving directions.
Airlines: Allows you to view travel reservations. (If you have
a wireless PDA, it also allows you to access real-time flight and
gate status, download timetables, check WorldPerks mileage balance
information, and more.)
Provides information on the latest events in various
AvantGo, MyPalm is
a free service developed by Palm Computing® that enables you to
synchronize your Palm Pilot with an Internet-based desktop. You can
access your calendar anywhere on the Internet. You can also put in
all your important dates—holidays, sporting events, anniversaries,
and birthdays—and it will e-mail you reminders. It also allows other
people to synchronize appointments with your calendar.
Great PDA Travel Software
Need an application
to help you figure out what time it is in Timbuktu or to calculate
distances between two cities? There are plenty of great travel tools
that you can download for free or purchase online,
For a list of more palm travel
applications visit Tucows
expansive list of downloadable programs.
Finds the nearest and best places to eat, shop, and play in 20
major cities—just tell it where you are or where you're
- Frommer's City To Go:
Provides free information on dining, accommodations, nightlife,
shopping, and sightseeing for more than 60 U.S. and Canadian
Planet: CitySync: Offers free, online guides for cities around
Provides free, downloadable maps with business locations.
- American Airlines
Timetables: Allows you to lookup scheduled flights or airport
timetables, add selected flights to your date book, and find
important phone numbers.
- Zagat Guide
for Palm: Provides information on over 9,300 restaurants
worldwide. (Some information is free, while other information is
Assistant: Offers a complete listing of airports and
information on airline segments, hotels, and car rentals. (It also
comes with a translator, measurement converter, clothing and show
size calculator, and more.) (Costs $19.99.)
- iParis, iNew
York, iLondon 2.3: Provides free, interactive maps that help
you find your way between monuments, museums, and
5.8: Offers three applications, including the Currency
Exchange, Unit Conversion, and World Clock. It also provides
country information for when you go abroad. (Costs $20.)
1.05: Helps you track frequent-flyer miles for up to 14
airline programs. (Costs $29.95.)
- AreaCodes 2.0.4: Allows users to look up area codes by code or
by state, province, or other region throughout the U.S., Canada,
the Caribbean, or the Pacific. (Costs $7.)
3.4b: Allows you to search for streets or landmarks, plan
routes, create custom markers, and more. (Some maps are free,
while others come with the Deluxe version for $16 or the Pro
version for $30.)
Wouldn’t it be great to be notified of flight
changes and to switch air reservations at a moment's notice? With
your wireless handheld, you can do that and more. Listed below are
some excellent programs that you can download:
What's On The
- Biztravel Unwired: Allows you to book a flight, reserve a
hotel room, or rent a car wherever you are.
- Fodors.com: Provides hotel
and restaurant reviews for U.S. destinations. (Individuals who own
Palm VII handhelds with Palm.Net® service will be able to access
Fodors.com's content for free in real-time, without having to
synchronize the handheld with a desktop computer.)
Store Locator: Lets you find the nearest Starbucks coffee shop
wherever you are.
Touch: Informs you of traffic conditions and delays in real
Airlines.com Anywhere: Allow customers to check-in for flights
using wireless handheld devices.
UA2Go: Allows you to view flight availability, flight status,
and flight paging, and to review your Mileage Plus statement,
award availability, and upgrade status.
While we probably won't be saying, "Beam me up
Scottie," anytime soon, there's no doubt that Palm® technology is
changing the way we travel. Future advancements in portable
computing will allow for mobility without sacrificing communication
ability or security. So what will they think of next?
Vindigo is building live, personal navigation tools that
will tell you where you are in the world and how to find everything
and everyone around you.
Bluetooth software has
developed a system where customers can check into a hotel without
going to the front desk. The system was tested several months ago at
a New York City hotel. Upon arriving, guests with Bluetooth software
on their handheld device were recognized by the hotel's computer
system. Reservations were then confirmed via the wireless device,
and room numbers were assigned. Once at their rooms, guests would
punch a sequence of numbers into the device to open the
Other systems in the development stage include
automated flight check-in, which would allow you to use your PDA in
place of a boarding pass. Another system in the make is real-time
baggage tracking, so you will know where your luggage is at all
Great Palm Resources
Note: Not all software applications may be
compatible with your PDA, please check the hardware requirements
before downloading any software.
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