iPhone vs. iPhone 3G

Image by Ricky Romero via Flickr

Mobile phones are becoming an invaluable tool for saving money while traveling.

A number of airports, including Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Atlanta, are recognizing this fact and offering special promotions via smart phones. As Harriet Baskas said on StuckAtTheAirport.com:

DFW introduced a program that links the Foursquare and Facebook Places location-based mobile applications to 85 (so far) of the airport’s concessions. Now if you check in when you’re at the airport you’ll see deals and discounts offered at food outlets and shops right around you.

Back in April, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport introduced discount offers available via quick response (QR) codes printed signs around the airport.

The QR codes direct passengers to the airport’s mobile website — www.iflyatl.com — where there are downloadable discount coupons.

Other money and time-saving travel “apps” include:

Yelp: In addition to maps and directions, this free app provides user reviews, recommendations, ratings and photos of the places you plan to visit. It’s like having a trusted friend to guide you in each destination, and helps you avoid bad dining experiences and other costly travel errors while you’re on the road.

AroundMe: This free app can locate what you’re looking for (nearest gas station, grocery store, ATM, etc.) by keyword and provides you with maps and directions.

Trip Advisor: A mobile version of the trusted site that enables users to browse millions of real travelers’ reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Travel Channel GO: This free app provides a rich multimedia experience before you leave home, enabling you to virtually experience your destination’s culture and attractions through the eyes of trusted Travel Channel hosts. It’s an invaluable tool for trip planning.

TripIt: This free app helps you effortlessly manage your trip by providing instant access to maps and directions, and links to airlines, hotels and restaurants, directly from your itinerary.

So, even if you’re traveling solely to escape the Information Age’s never ending intrusions, you shouldn’t swear off your mobile phone completely. Not when there are so many apps that can not only aid you in planning your trip but in reducing its cost, as well.