1. Audible – although due to Apple’s regulations they can’t technically sell audiobooks in the app (which is really annoying) I’m a fan of Audible (and maybe one of the few people without an affiliate link).  I am in a couple book clubs back home and it is nice to listen to an audiobook during a long flight.  I can only listen to music for so long before I skip every song, but audiobooks are good for a few hours.  Audible subscriptions also come with a daily subscription to the Wall Street Journal.  I must admit I have few problems going to sleep thanks to that.  I could go from Pacific time to Eastern time and be out like a light thanks to the Audible version of the WSJ.

2. Fly Delta – since I’ve been flying Delta 2/3 of my flights this year, and since US Airways still does not have an iPhone app I have been using my Delta app quite a bit.  I like the online boarding passes and sky club locations.  If I land at a different gate in Atlanta than normal I pull it up and quickly know which Sky Club is closest.  The upgrade list rarely works when I’m at the airport and I valet so I don’t use the parking feature.  Since I’m more of a segment person than miles I wish it would show my MQS so I could use the app to show off, but oh well.

3. Kayak Pro ($0.99) – I had been using TripIt for the longest time, but they gimped their free product so I moved to PageOnce’s Trip Tracker, but that still wasn’t nearly as easy to use as Kayak Pro.  I have my travel agent copy trips@kayak.com on all of my itineraries and I am good to go. Also, Kayak sends me an email with where I’m landing and where I’m departing for layovers.  My flights have been running early (knock on wood) so I’ve been getting the email after already getting to the Sky Club or connecting gate.  Otherwise it’s the first email I read upon landing so I know if I have time to take a diversion or if I need to go straight from A to B.

4. Podcasts – One of my issues with the iPhone for the longest time was the need to sync podcasts with the computer or use a third party application (which defeats the purpose of the extensive and easy to navigate itunes library).  Navigation doesn’t very intuitive in the app in my opinion, but I’m happy to have something downloading my Freakonomics Radio, Grammar Girl, and PointsHoarder podcasts for me.  I had used Stitcher Radio for a bit, but I’m happy with the current release of Podcasts.

5. Google Maps – I don’t bother with my Garmin too much anymore.  Google Maps can quickly pull up hotels from my calendar appointments and get me on my way…no need to wait forever for the GPS to lock in.

 


I’m going to come out and admit I’m a Windows Mobile smart phone user. On my Fuze I have an application called BeyondPod which is an open source RSS feeder. I have a classic iPod I used to use for podcasts, but I didn’t sync my iTunes often enough to keep podcasts up to date and when I’m stuck at an airport without free internet I couldn’t download new episodes so a smart phone with cellular connection works better. I like podcasts because I’m not much of a reader.

Podcasts, like Blogs, need to be updated frequently or the audience loses interest. On my phone I have a mix of blogs with different update frequencies.

Grammar Grater (RSS and iTunes links on site) is a short podcast (usually no longer than 8 minutes with a couple quick ads) about a grammar topic. Although I write in choppy sentences, can’t form paragraphs, and don’t know when to hyphenate or not I do at least try to improve my grasp of English grammar. This podcast isn’t updated very regularly, often no more than twice a month.

The Crew Lounge (RSS) is a new podcast from the people who give us Upgrd but this time from the perspective of flight crew instead of frequent flyers. There are only 2 episodes so far and they are around 30-40 minutes. they are trying to do a weekly podcast. Since it’s new I’ll take a wait-and-see approach to that, but good luck to them and welcome to podcasting! If you are like me and RSS your podcasts instead of using iTunes, click on the RSS to get that link. Upgrd is not very forthcoming with RSS feeds and that took some digging.

Free Talk Live (RSS and iTunes on site) is my bread and butter podcast. It is the syndication of a daily radio show so even on the longest flight I usually have enough Free Talk Live to get my through. It is ~2 hours per podcast and there is a new episode Mon-Sat. This podcast has nothing to do with travel, but some of the TSA haters out there do call in periodically.

I just found Travel Commons (RSS and iTunes on site) recently and haven’t really checked it out much yet so I can’t comment, but the most recent episode is from last year so I’m guessing it isn’t updated too often.

And last but not least is Upgrd (RSS). Upgrd is run by several flyertalkers and for any true frequent flyer it is must-listen material. I think it is bi-weekly and episodes try to stay under 40 minutes. This is usually the first podcast I listen to on a trip before using Free Talk Live to fill the rest of the flight time.

Other podcasts I have subscribed to include Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! which is an hour long weekly podcast and is like the Daily Show of NPR. It’s a good way to see how well you keep up with current events.

Any other travel or general podcasts anyone out there recommends?