Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


More Useful Tools for Travelers

I've been using a few new travel tools lately that I think are worth sharing with you.  These have all been "field tested" and have not been discarded (that's a good sign for someone like me).

  • Worldwide
  • Most smartphones
  • Free


MetrO is a very easy-to-use application to help you plan routes from one place to another using public transit.  It is a single app that can deal with multiple cities through downloadable "modules" for a huge list of cities around the world.

I first used MetrO a couple of weeks ago in Berlin and it was extremely helpful - it helped me plan my route for the day, helped me figure out my options when I deviated from my plans, etc. 
On the MetrO site, you will find links to download the app for your specific phone type, then you can download the appropriate maps from within the application.
  • US only
  • Browser-based
  • Free


This informational site is very useful for finding out what delays might impact your travel - whether from weather, congestion, or some other reason.  It currently works in the US only but, since I fly most of my miles in the US, I find it helpful.

In addition to the delay information, you can find out lots of interesting things such as flight history for specific planes, specific flight numbers, as more.  There are also a number of cool tools, such as one tool where you can tell it which ZIP code you live in, and it will tell you what flights are scheduled to fly over (and when, and at what altitude).

Find out more at, and see a list of features on HelloFlight's tools page.

TripIt  & TripIt Pro
  • Worldwide
  • iPhone app, plus browsers and mobile browsers
  • Free plus fee-based Pro features


TripIt is an interesting application.  It lets you aggregate all your itineraries and travel plans into one spot, making it easy to track your upcoming trips.  Adding an itinerary is a piece of cake - after you've registered, simply forward your confirmation emails to and it will automagically process the details and add it to your account (it knows who you are because you tell it which email addresses you'll be sending from).  I haven't had an itinerary rejection yet, regardless of format - text, HTML, and PDF.  You can also add or edit trips manually, should you so desire.

Once the itineraries are up there, you can share and compare them with anyone you like.  For example, I have around 60 people "connected" to me on TripIt and it tells me who'll be near me on future trips so we can plan to get together for drinks or dinner.  I've used this quite a bit, and this alone is great.

For more features, you can upgrade to the Pro version for a reasonable annual fee (more details on the TripIt Pro page).  My favorite Pro feature is the real-time flight status feature.  This does things for me like:
  • Tells me exactly 24 hours before my flight that I can check in online, if I wish
  • Alerts me if there are any changes to my flight - delays, gate changes, cancellations, etc.
  • If my flight is delayed, it will suggest alternate flights
  • Sends "connection reports" to my phone to tell me my arrival gate, my next departure gate & terminal, and how many minutes I have to make the connection. 
    • This feature has already made the difference between me making a flight and missing a flight.

Obviously, the Pro features are most useful to those of us who travel a lot.  If you're not sure, you can take a 30-day free trial and try it on for size.

Regardless of whether you use TripIt or TripIt Pro, I highly recommend this application.

Hopefully you'll find something useful here to make your travel a bit easier in the coming weeks and months.  And, as always, if you have any must-have travel tools I'd love to hear about them.

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