Phone, tablet apps great resources for dining, airport info and more

Cell phones, tablets, many gadgets, so much technology. Many of us don't get through a regular day without the use of at least one of these items. The idea of leaving it all behind when traveling for vacation might be tempting, but technology allows us to have so much information and convenience right at our fingertips, so I encourage you not to leave your devices behind!

You have booked your vacation package and maybe even some sightseeing tours and excursions, but how will you find the best restaurants, find local events or free WiFi in this new destination? What about the airport? What services are available? Will you be able to easily find food or beverages at the airport during a layover? You can find the answers to these questions easily and on-the-go right from your smartphone or tablet. Yes, there is an app for that and many of them are FREE!

Thanks to airline apps, gone are the days of needing to wait in line at the ticket counter to check-in and get a boarding pass for your flights. Doing these things through the app on your smartphone or tablet is fast, easy and time saving. Many cities, resorts and cruise lines are now offering their own apps as well.

We have all heard of Google Maps and Yelp, here is a small list of other apps to consider for your next travel adventure:

* GateGuru: Airport info & flight status, airport weather, terminal and gate arrival and departure information, real time flight status, estimated TSA security wait times, food and amenity information, maps and tips to help you navigate unfamiliar airports. •GLP: Great Little Place City Guide

* Gogobot: City guide for activities, restaurants and hotels and create postcards to share with friends!

* TV Food Maps: Find restaurants featured on your favorite TV shows

* Urbanspoon: Restaurant and food reviews.

* WiFi Map: Passwords for free wireless internet access in public places.

* LYFT or Uber: Taxi alternatives.

These are just a sample of the apps that are available. Doing a quick search in your App Store will reveal what is available for your specific destination or type of travel.

A quick travel reminder: It is important to remember to pack your valuables (especially electronics) in your carry-on bag when traveling by air. Your laptop should be easily accessible when going through security — TSA requires laptops be placed in a separate scanning bin to go through X-ray. It is also a good idea to put your name and phone number on your laptop in case you accidentally walk off without it, like I did recently! (I didn't get very far before I was paged to return to security) Digital cameras, phones, iPods, etc., can all be left in your carry-on to go through X-ray.

Jenny Thrasher, Tiara Travels, SherwoodJenny Thrasher of Tiara Travels specializes in Family and Romance Travel. Destinations include Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and various cruise lines. For complimentary Travel Planning services please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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