My favorite travel app: Field Trip

If you’re someone who likes to wander like I do, there’s nothing like the thrill of stumbling upon some great random sight in a new city. However, I often wonder what else I might be missing out on if I choose to go down one street versus another. That’s where my favorite travel app, Field Trip, comes in. The Field Trip app is filled with information about interesting sights around you.

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Field Trip will send you notifications as you move, helping you find cool places to check out. If there’s a unique building nearby, you can learn more about it. If there’s a good restaurant around the corner, a review from a prominent site will appear. It will even tell you about movies that may have been filmed in the area. On your own, it’s impossible to magically know about everything you may want to see. The Field Trip app can let you know what’s of interest nearby.

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The creators of Field Trip are Niantic, the makers of Pokemon Go. It uses their wealth of location information in combination with other data sources to tell you more about the world around you. These sources include other websites ranging from major worldwide publications such as Zagat & The Travel Channel to local blogs.

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Inside Field Trip, you can select which types of notifications you would like to see, including architecture, historic places & events, lifestyle, food, drinks, & fun, cool & unique, and art & museums.

Here is an example of how the Field Trip app helped me find a great meal on my recent trip to Portugal. I was walking around Lisbon, and I passed a nondescript restaurant/bar that I had passed a few times already & thought nothing of. On this particular walk, I got a notification that the restaurant, O Trevo, is actually notable. O Trevo is famous for its pork sandwiches known as bifanas. Anthony Bourdain had visited on one of his shows. If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that I trust Anthony Bourdain when it comes to food. I made a note to come back later in the week, and the bifana was amazing.

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Now I will admit that Field Trip has many flaws. While it can do a great job of showing you the city you are currently in, it has plenty of bugs. It isn’t particularly popular, which has led to neglect by the creators, who have moved on to the far larger Pokemon Go. Unfortunately, since it has not received much development attention, there are some frustrating issues including some outdated information. The notifications will often stop working if you haven’t been in the app for a while, or if the battery is low. The latter is fine, but it can be difficult to reactivate them once you have recharged your phone.

Also, there is no search function, so you can’t research ahead of time. If you think you might want to save something for later, be sure to add it to your favorites. The “recent” tab also can sometimes reset, so use the favorites for this same reason. The Field Trip app works best in cities where there are a ton of entries. If you are in a small town, you’re less likely to find information. Despite all of these flaws (and there are many – the reviews of the app are not kind), I still stick with Field Trip because when it does work well, it’s amazing.

The thrill of finding a fantastic new spot when you are traveling is one of the best parts of the travel experience. While it’s great to randomly find those yourself, a useful travel app like Field Trip can help you find even more of them.

You can find the free Field Trip app here for iOS and here for Android, or visit their full website at fieldtripper.com.

 

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