On Saturday, my wife and I embark on a ten-day Caribbean cruise. The most enticing positive for me about this adventure will be the opportunity to explore seven, exciting ports of call on my own. Using the “Princess” Line brochure of excursion options for this cruise as my initial research guide, I will now attempt to utilize the following digital travel tools in completing a manageable number of self- guiding walks for this experience.
I typically use Triposo to manage walkable experiences in densely urbanized areas. Initially, I download the place guides available on this app on my I-Phone before setting out on my intended wandering. For each destination of choice, I first click on “Get To Know…” for a practical overview of the area. Using the “See and Do” and “Eat and Drink” information, I then save 5-10 destinations within a five mile area as a self-guided walk of interest. Proceeding to complete an excursion within 2-3 hours, I track my path to the selected destinations for each walk (no internet needed remember) using GPS guidance of each current distance/directional position. The overall value of Triposo to me for day trip exploration I rate as indispensable and feel confident it can be adapted well on my island-hopping adventure.
While offering similar functions of positional reference as Triposo, this app adds information to my walks about the surrounding land in detailed color. Elevation change, extent of natural open space and concentration of commercial activity can be clearly pinpointed on the tracking map although I would more likely use this app in less populated areas on my upcoming cruise. I must again download the desired places before attempting to use the app as an offline tool. An excellent routing feature similar to Google Maps will allows me to plan a “To and From” route from my starting to ending point in striking blue color.
I have been hesitant to use online language converters because the “speak and hear” functions” require Internet on the apps I have investigated. However, I recently discovered that “Google Translate” me a multi-sensory approach offline for my language conversion efforts.For my upcoming cruise, for example, I might start a simple conversation by first typing my intended English phrase, which displays in Spanish. After I enlarge the translation to full screen on my I-Phone, I can show it visually to my recipient followed by pronouncing it out loud to them. Although the conversation pace will most certainly proceed slowly, I foresee potential two-way communication being accomplished.
As an Internet-only service with limited place guides, this app appears to most usable as a pre-planning research source for larger city reference. I foresee consulting AFAR to obtain a photographic collage for the most popular tourist places of port cities I will visit, which can then be pinpointed on corresponding maps before each island departure. I love the enlarged font size for city site designations accompanied by its eye-catching icons. Given the limited time ashore for each destination, the “Do” feature on this app will allow me to plan a shorter island visit or select a theme-based excursion ( i.e. romance, summer fun, history…) covering only a few places of most interest.
In our recent travels to Colorado , I discovered “AllTrails” to be an ideal app to find interesting hikes within parks and other natural areas. Offering extensive planning material, I value reading “AllTrails” descriptions of listed walks, ratings of path difficulty, reviews from previous trekkers, and topographic maps of surrounding terrain. On the cruise, I plan to utilize the app “Record” function to allow me to experiment tracking my direction/distance offline during a selected walk for naturally protected places remote from the ship.
In practice, I try to find a balance between embracing new online technology and uplifting my human spirit in traveling independently. For each of my wanderlust outings, I enrich my brain with these digital companions but my heart resonates in meditative silence.