Gordon Swaby

Travel Utilities

I spent a couple days in Geneva, Switzerland and planning the trip wasn’t a huge hassle because of technology. If you know me, you know I’m not big on traveling, but these utilities really helped me to make it as pleasant as possible.


I’m a HUGE Evernote fan and I’ve been using it for a few years. I’ve never had the opportunity to use it for travel until now and it really shined. It was particularly helpful with my pre-planning and just helping me  to deal with airport hustle and bustle. I’ve written about Evernote before ( years ago), but I still can’t really pin down a great explanation for it. Put it this way, Evernote is great at storing stuff, that “stuff” could be videos, audio, PDFs, emails etc; anything and everything. Not only is Evernote great for storage, but it’s also really good at helping you to find the things you’ve stored in it. Evernote’s search feature is really powerful and can find a word, phrase, sentence or whatever within PDF files, word documents or on an actual image.
Evernote’s web clipper extension really helped me to save information I came across while researching Geneva. I created a notebook (think: folders) called “Geneva” and just threw all my trip related information in there. When I got emails that were related to my trip in my email for example I would use the web clipper feature and it would automatically format the email and save it in my “Geneva” notebook. I also saved my flight itinerary in it. When I was ready to travel I made the notebook available offline and hit the road. Evernote’s “offline” feature for notebooks allows you to access all your files whether or not you have internet access. This makes it easy for me to access the files from my iPad, iPhone etc.

Word Lens (iPhone version)

I knew about this app for a couple years, but never had a reason to use it. It’s amazing. I can point my iPhone’s camera at any french sign and it instantly translates what I’m seeing through my iPhone’s camera to English (no internet connection required). They have different language packs that you can purchase, I purchased the French to English language package as many signs in Geneva are in French.


My friend Jamie introduced me to Kayak; It’s really good. Once you get your itinerary, forward it to your personalized kayak address and that’s when the magic happens. Kayak will email you when it’s time to check-in, if your fight is delayed it will email you, it will let you know what your gate number is and many other features. Check it out at kayak.com

iPhone Clock

From Kingston to Miami, from Miami to London and from London to Geneva. All with their different timezones. It’s easy to get thrown off by this. Before I left I added the clocks for each respective location to the iPhone’s world clock (I’m sure you can also do this on any other smartphone) . Problem solved.

Hopefully you find these useful the next time you’re traveling. Leave your tips in the comment if you have any. I would love to hear how other people are utilizing technology to make traveling easier and more pleasant.

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.

Lovingly made on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 12:41 pm. Filed under Interesting.

  • http://www.socialmediachica.com/ Stacy-Ann Hayles | Social Medi

    Hey Gordon! Before I comment on post, I gave you a Liebster award. It’s now your turn to pass it on… http://stacyannhayles.com/2013/09/01/i-just-won-my-first-award-woot-now-its-your-turn/

    Evernote is a dream. Gotten to the point where I don’t think I could live without it. I use my iPhone clock for non-travel purposes. With a sis in Qatar, an uncle in Germany, and I used to have colleagues I worked with in Tunisia and customers in the UK, it came in really handy.

    One thing I found useful when travelling was an offline map app. There are several and I can’t remember the name of the one I used. Basically, it worked without data so it really helped me not to get lost in the streets of Boston.

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