New travel apps to help you plan your next 2022 getaway

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While travel is tough amid the rise of the Omicron variant, people are still dreaming of their next getaway. There are even new apps to make planning and enjoying trips easier. A number of these were introduced (and some old favorites updated) when travel stalled. Wondering which one to try? Here’s a selection of thoughtful walkthroughs – how to turn rewards points into a hotel suite, join a ranger on a hike in a national park, hear the history of the place you’re passing through, see the latest travel protocols Covid-19 – to help you tap and slide your way into what will hopefully be another year of adventures.

From Acadia to Sion, there is finally a single official park service application for over 400 US national parks. Created by National Park Service staff, the app puts practical information – such as fees, times, directions, webcams, where to find food and restrooms, park news and events (visits to walking, conferences, volunteer opportunities) – at your fingertips. Find parks near you, or search by name, state, activity (like horseback riding, caving, dog sledding), or topic (African American heritage, climate change, volcanoes). According to the app, a visit to Alaska is a must if you want to dog sled in national parks and preserves, but if horseback riding is more your pace, there are dozens of national sites to choose from. Download park details for offline use on mountain trails and other places where you don’t have cell service, and keep a running list of parks you’ve visited. No cost.

When considering a road trip, a number of images may come to mind – and Kevin Costner is probably not one of them. Yet that could be about to change. The actor and director is co-founder of Listen here, an app that uses your location and interests to play audio clips (some narrated by Mr. Costner) about the history, culture and natural wonders of the places you pass through. There are bits about things you see (like landmarks) and things you don’t see, like people who have walked the earth before you. The app, which launched last year, more recently announced an expansion from West Coast road trip stories to more than 8,700 stories across the United States, including details on the ancient history of Portland, Maine; the burning of Washington by British troops in 1814; and the first racially integrated housing in Philadelphia. Available only on iOS. Cost: Free for the first five floors; after that, $29.99 for 30-day unlimited access; $35.99 for a one-year unlimited subscription; $69.99 for three years.

Bullup is a cloud storage service where you can save and organize all kinds of content (photos, videos, documents, links, PDFs) in attractive folders and, if you wish, share them with others. For example, suppose you are planning a trip to Vermont. With just a few clicks, you can create a vacation folder and choose from templates in the app to add a packing checklist and a note about the things you want to do. You can easily forward flight or car rental confirmation emails, import inspirational photos and videos, and add links to travel articles and potential B&Bs. One of the things that makes the app (and the desktop version) nice for visual planners is that you can choose colors for your folders or even put your own photos on the front and as background images to inside. Each type of content you add to a folder (whether it’s a link or a photo) appears in its own tidy box, making scrolling through information less like work than to vacation. To get started, try Bublup’s “vacation planning” template which has handy folders for flight information, food and drink, location, accommodation options, and must-see sights, which you can then customize . Tap “invite” to allow other travelers to view or collaborate on your trip planning by adding and editing content. For more ways to use the app for vacation planning, check out Bubbleup’s Blog. Cost: Free for three gigabytes of storage; more storage and features from $2.99 ​​to $9.99 per month or, if paid annually, from $27.60 to $94.80. Pricing details: Bublup.com/premium-features.

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