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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Plan less to play more

You can take the stress out of travelling if you have the right apps and hardware. SHERWIN LOH reports
The Straits Times - June 6, 2013
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Plan less to play more

For the past 10 months, frequent traveller Georgina Lax, 26, has been making hotel reservations on the move, usually in a taxi from the airport.

Her secret weapon in ensuring that she gets a room, as well as a deal in an unfamiliar country? The Expedia app on her smartphone.

The app offers the same hotel deals as the travel website of the same name, but it uses the phone's GPS to track deals from nearby hotels.

"I travel very frequently and, sometimes, at the last minute," said Ms Lax, a business development manager for a marketing company, who is often in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore and travels all over Asia. "I know I can get good deals and I want to wait till the last minute for that offer."

The app has also made her holiday planning easier, as she does not have to spend time looking up hotels recommended by online reviews or friends.

Digital aids - such as hotel booking and travel planning apps, file-sharing hard drives and solar-powered battery packs - are making holiday and business travellers' trips more bearable, manageable and even enjoyable.

"Travellers today want to stay connected and maintain their online presence when they travel, even to exotic places. We continue to see demand for basic products such as charges, adaptors and battery

packs," said Ms Evelyn Chua, chief marketing officer of Newstead Technologies. The chain store has seen a 10 per cent increase in sales of such items.

Increasingly, travellers are looking at multi-purpose items and products which offer more than basic functions.

Newstead said one of its bestsellers is the Fobo Tag Bluetooth tracker, which uses Bluetooth technology to link the tag to a smartphone for security purposes (see story).

Digital Life rounds up a selection of smartphone apps and gadgets which can help you plan a better vacation.

sherwinl@sph.com.sg

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