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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

The technological advancements in tourism

Traveling to the United States can be just as spontaneous as traveling anywhere else in the world. Whether the itinerary entails visiting iconic sites like the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge or New York’s Statue of Liberty, there are several apps and services that can help plan the ultimate vacation to the U.S.

America is considered a plethora of historical museums, delicious foods, and endless attractions all unique to each and every state. Travel has changed immensely over the years where companies have built alternative modes to transportation, accommodation, and services that have helped travelers save money on their ventures. Taking the time to download certain apps and squaring away visa paperwork can make the preplanning steps simpler and efficient.

Before embarking on the great trip to the U.S., there are necessary documents and things to consider such as traveling visas. Visa programs and applications such as the Esta Usa grants travelers multiple entries into the United States whether it be for business, leisure, or transit purposes. In addition, the visa is valid for two years or until the expiration of the passport.

While each country has their visa regulations, investing in the services of a travel authorization agency can leave extra time and energy in curating the perfect travel itinerary instead.

Depending on coast or region, there is a difference in how each state reacts to the seasons. While wintertime in New York City is much colder than San Francisco, San Francisco is known to be foggy year round. Planning ahead and packing the right clothes is one thing, therefore investing in an app can help make the tedious task much simpler.

Packing Pro is a phone app that helps organize a checklist of things to pack for the trip. Although the traditional notepad and paper may seem easier, the app allows each item can be categorized specifically to a person and also has an alarm feature as a reminder to pack certain items at specific times.

It’s not a surprise that taxis can be pricey worldwide, which leaves two options for getting around – public transportation or renting a car. Depending on the destination, public transportation services may not be available in some rural areas of the United States, which will make getting around a bit difficult. With the convenience of the Uber app, drivers are available 24/7 and the driver’s profile picture and vehicle details are available to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Driving in the United States can be a bit intimidating and sometimes it’s far more convenient renting a bicycle to check out some of the tourist attractions. Trying to hail a cab in a huge city like Los Angeles or Chicago can be difficult and the time spent in traffic quickly adds up on the meter.

If a trip to Chicago, Texas, or San Francisco is part of the itinerary, bicycle sharing may be a smarter and more convenient option. Jump is the first dockless electric bike share created in the United States. The service allows the user to locate the closest bike on the Jump app and after the end of the ride, it’s as simple as locking it within the system vicinity. Rides can cost about $2 for 30 minutes depending on the city.

HotelTonight is an app that sells unbooked hotel rooms for a cheap price worldwide with deals that can go up to 50% off the standard rate. While some may feel comfortable planning ahead instead of waiting at the last minute, strategically speaking, booking hotels close to the check-in date can sometimes work in your favor.

CEO of HotelTonight, Sam Shank, says the cheapest time to book a room is on a Sunday and unlike airlines, booking a hotel is actually cheaper as it gets closer to the arrival date. Airlines on the other hand, mark their prices higher as it approaches closer to the departure dates.

Couchsurfing is company and service available for those looking to save some money during a trip and don’t mind not having the luxury of sleeping on a bed. The service is ideal for those looking to interact with local communities, and although the idea may seem unsafe to some, Couchsurfing reviews profiles and references carefully; it has also built a community of 12 million members in over 200,000 cities.

Looking to embark in the great cross country road trip? If so, it’s time to pack the bags and look into Roadside America, the ultimate guide to all the quirky attractions worth stopping along the way. The website offers a list of unique and odd spots that are separated by state; some attractions include Waffle House Museum in Georgia, the Garden of Eden in Kansas, and the Winchester Mystery House in California.

The United States is also the home to thrilling amusement parks especially in the state of Florida including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, and SeaWorld. If planning to visit an amusement park, downloading different amusement park apps can help maximize time spent on attractions and allows you to curate your perfect itinerary.

The United States has a lot of attractions and experiences to offer that is unique of its own. With proper planning, there are endless options to explore differing from state to state. Although the U.S. can be an expensive travel destination, there are alternative modes of getting around that even those on a budget can enjoy America’s wonders.


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