10 iphone tips and tricks for traveling

by Harijan

Earlier this year, I made a 3000-mile trip from North Carolina to California. I found the iPhone to be extremely useful to the point of dangerously distracted. Otherwise, it’s useful to get all the applications and media you want before making your trip.

A disclaimer, please do not iPhone and drive.

1. Document eeeeeeeehverting, and I do mean eeeeeeehhhhhhvvvvvvvvvvrrryting. From pictures to videos, I captured whatever fancied my eyes and my mind. I ate at the oldest restaurant in Illinois; I took a picture. I saw a broken bridge over Wabash river; I took a picture. I ran into a rainstorm in Wyoming; I took a video. It’s a good way to keep memories for your trip.

2. Tell everyone about your trip as it happens. Yes, I know that we live in the TMI Era. However, a few core groups of our friends are actually interested in what boring thin we might show and tell. For this purpose I used pixelpipe, a program which allows you to post pictures and words in all your social website accounts.

3. Find places to eat, sleep, etc. I used google maps and yelp for this. I found the campground I stayed at. I looked up many, many addresses.

4. Fight boredom with podcasts and music. The iPhone is anemic in storage space, but you can still load up a days’ worth of audio material with ease if you have internet at night. It can read books for you. It can read you the news.

5. Use it as a flashlight. On Appstore, there are more flashlight applications out there than your two hands can count. Most of them are free as well.

6. Talk to your friends. Call them.

7. Use it as GPS. I used xGPS, which is a jailbroken application which uses google map database (and 3G connection). In mid-West, I was at times without GPS. It didn’t matter only because I was just driving through on the highway on this stretch of the trip. Be warned though, google maps addresses can be off at time. Since my trip, a few navigation applications have come out for iPhone which works well. I have read that Navigon works fairly well, and it doesn’t require a 3G signal.

8. Listen to what Wikipedia has to say about the place you are driving by. Because I only had 7 days to drive the transcontinental space, I hardly had any time to sightsee. However, with the help of HearPlanet, I was able to learn the history behind why Colorado came to be called that name. All while moving at 79 miles per hour on Interstate 80.

9. Keep up with email. I am a firm believer of having a clean inbox. Each time I stopped to get gas or break, I cleaned up my email box. Delete. Reply. Delete. Delete. I left North Carolina with an empty inbox. I got to California with only 15 emails.

10. Book your rooms on the fly. Booking rooms online is almost always cheaper. Because I usually did not know how far I will drive by the end of the day, it was not possible for me to book the room in advance. I booked a motel room for 30 dollars – six hours before arrival.


Use your iPhone for long trips. Document. Talk to your friends. Save money. Keep email box from getting full. Have fun. Spend less time getting lost.