I first learned about HotelPal from my friend Anil, who publishes the travel blog foXnoMad.com. This free application for the iPhone and iPod Touch allows users to search for accommodations at more than 100,000 hotels, inns, resorts, and B&B’s worldwide, making it’s among the most complete hotel databases available anywhere.
Immediately, I downloaded it and browsed around the interface. It seemed fairly easy to use: I simply needed to choose a hotel, type in my billing info, and tap “Book Now.” This week I finally had an opportunity to test it out during my tour of the Tampa Bay area. While my experience with the application was excellent, I found myself using it in a totally different manner than the developer intended.
Because I prefer not to be locked into structured itineraries, I rarely pre-book accommodations before leaving home, and this instance was no different. I left Sarasota at 4:30 p.m. in order to have plenty of time to find a hotel, check in, and still on time for my 8 p.m. Yo-Yo Ma concert this past Wednesday. Once I was in the neighborhood of the concert hall, I whipped out my iPhone, opened HotelPal, and clicked on “search.” The iPhone’s GPS automatically determined my geographic location and returned a list of nearby hotels and Continue reading