Are the Fodor’s travel apps as good as the books?

Fodor's Travel appsThe Fodor’s guides have been travel essentials for anyone traveling anywhere for the last few decades. But can the Fodor’s app become a reasonable substitute for those pages and pages of great info? I gave it a shot.

In preparation for an upcoming trip to New York–the first one with the family–I downloaded the Fodor’s New York City Travel Guide
app to get a sense for which part of the city we should stay in and the
kinds of things that are around the area. Do we go Chelsea? Or Union
Square? Maybe Midtown? The app can help figure
it out with great descriptions of all the neighborhoods, as well as a
nice layout that lets you search for restaurants–and even book reservations
via OpenTable. Plus find shopping, hotels, museums, events and more within any given area.


There are detailed
maps with the app and you can take “Field Notes” to either make notes on
places you want to make sure you hit. Or it can be a great way to
record the funny thing your kid did when you went to the Bronx Zoo.   

Fodor's Travel app maps
While
the app probably isn’t as chock-full of touristy information as a
250-page book is, I actually find it to be way more useful since I can
pull it up in whatever part of the city I’m in and it automatically
brings up everything that I’d want to know about my particular area. If
you’ve ever had a hungry 4-year-old whining for pizza, that immediate
info about the closest pizzeria is a godsend, compared to having to flip
through pages upon pages in a book. 


The
mobile map-based functionality is what makes these apps stand out. A lot
of the helpful information is still there as with the books, but
knowing what’s in your immediate vicinity is way more useful to me than
learning about the history of some statue in a part of the city I
probably won’t even visit. 


In addition to New York City, Fodor’s just rolled out a handful of apps for other cities including Barcelona, London, Paris, Rome and San Francisco.
You can benefit from the knowledge of Fodor’s without those heavy
travel books you used to lug around in your backpack. That just means
more room for souvenirs. -Jeana 

The Fodor’s New York City Travel Guide app and apps for the other cities mentioned above are available for free in iTunes.

Jeana Lee Tahnk is a prolific tech writer, crafty mom, and fan of any products that make it easier to raise three children.

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