Pro No. 3: Going paperless and getting organized
Booking via smartphone means no paper. For instance, with airline tickets, you just hand your phone to the gate agent who swipes it to get your boarding pass information. If you booked everything using your phone, all your travel info — things like airline tickets, flight times and hotel and car-rental reservation numbers — is in one place. Several apps can even help you organize this information. With the free app TripIt, for instance, you just forward reservation emails to the account you create, and they’re automatically added to an itinerary.
Con No. 1: There are some 'hidden' costs
If you don’t own a smartphone, you have to consider not only the expense of the phone itself but also the monthly service with data fees. And, depending on the contract with your cellphone provider and where you’re traveling, roaming charges can be outrageous (this is especially true in Europe and Asia). To be sure that a smartphone is right for you, you’ll have to carefully weigh these extra costs against the benefits of being increasingly “mobile.”
Con No. 2: The technology is still evolving
Not all apps are created equal. Some are helpful and easy to use, others not so much. Some take a while to load, using up precious minutes and data allotment. Still others drain your battery in no time. There are, however, many great apps. A few of our free favorites include Expedia (book hotels); Kayak (book everything travel related); Orbitz (book all travel and get special deals as a mobile booker); Travelocity (book all travel and get local info, including weather and traffic reports); FareCompare (track airfares and book flights); FlightAware (flight, terminal and gate info) and MyTSA (security wait times, TSA rules). If you’re packing-challenged, spring ($2.99) for Packing Pro — just enter your trip type and destination, and it generates packing and to-do lists.
Also of interest: Save money with your smartphone. >>