So no, Up in the Air didn’t win best picture Sunday night. And I sort of thought that was a shame (in my year-end top ten list, it was the only movie to beat out Avatar for my top slot).
But the movie is out on DVD and Blu-Ray today, so you can now see what all the critical clamoring was about around the holidays, when the George Clooney / traveling-HR-rep drama first hit theaters.
Travel technology plays a big part in the movie – particularly in this scene, as Ryan (Clooney) and Alex (Vera Farmiga) try to coordinate their travel schedules in order to facilitate their next hotel hookup:
But all fiction aside, Up in the Air got me thinking about all the different travel tools that are out there right now, to help the business – as well as the casual – traveler function on the road. It turns out there’s a whole lot of free travel apps that tie closely into the Up in the Air universe. Here are a handful that I came across:
- Tripcase (www.tripcase.com): Is your flight on time or has there been a gate change? This app not only keeps your travel itinerary, but provides updates on flight status, gate changes, security wait times, baggage claim location, car rental information and even a description of the hotel you booked, along with photos. It can also share this information with anyone you designate to let a partner or boss know you are running on time or late. (Available for iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Windows Mobile)
- Worldmate (www.worldmate.com): Need to convert dollars to Yen or get to your next meeting? This online travel planner keeps your travel bookings and meetings in one place and other free features include a currency converter, maps and directions, weather forecasts, a world clock and LinkedIn. (Available for iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Nokia, Palm, UIQ)
- AroundMe (www.tweakersoft.com/mobile/aroundme.html): Where is the nearest bank or gas station? This app identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theatre, restaurant, supermarket, theatre and shopping center in neat category lists, as well as directions on how to get there. (Available for iPhone/iPod Touch)
- EverNote (www.evernote.com): Where is that business card or scrap of paper where you wrote down a note? This application lets you create notes, record audio clips and snap photos with a camera phone of things you want to remember and then organizes and stores them in one place that you can easily access from your computer or device. (Available for iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Window Mobile, Android, Palm Pre)
- Navita Translator (www.bbtranslator.com): How do you say “we have a deal” in Portuguese? This app immediately translates text directly from your email between English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Italian. (Available for Blackberry)
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