You might think that the Amazon's Alexa is primarily the voice of Amazon Dot & Echo that makes it easy to buy items with a few verbal commands or play music when you have friends over for dinner. Many people don't realize that you can also use Alexa for travel too. Alexa can help you book and plan travel on non-Amazon sites! Here are a few ways Amazon's Alexa can help you travel.
Book Travel or Check Travel Status with Expedia
If you book your travel on Expedia, Alexa will help you reserve a rental car, check your flight status, and even review your loyalty point status. In the near future, you will also be able to book flights and hotel rooms with Expedia using Alexa.
Book a Hotel with Kayak
You can book a hotel on Kayak with a few voice commands. It is also possible to check flights and prices. You can even have Alexa update you when a price alert is issued, or to explore potential destinations.
One command you can say is "Alexa, where can I travel for $400?" You can even have Alexa tell Kayak to designate your home airport. You can even use Alexa for Kayak without having a Kayak account, but, will need to create an account to enjoy all the Alexa skills currently available.
Check Airport Security Lines
On a travel day, you can ask Alexa to determine how long the airport security lines are at an airport with its airport security skill. This can be convenient in determining if you don’t have TSA PreCheck or need to leave earlier than planned if it is a busy travel day.
Alexa can track the flights of most domestic U.S. and Canadian carriers in real-time regardless of where you booked the flight. You just need to tell Alexa the name of the carrier and the flight number.
This is possible with the Flight Tracker app. Or, if your travel portal has an Alexa app, you can also have Alexa ask that app for a flight status update. Once again this only takes a few seconds instead of having to fish out your smartphone and manually input the information which can take a few minutes.
Research Train Schedules
When you don't have a car or taxi, taking the train or subway is often a cost-effective transportation method to cross town. The only thing is that you have to know when the trains run to be able to ride them. By having Alexa ask the respective app for your local city, you can quickly find out the next train that will be departing to your planned destination.
This is an easy way to plan rides later in the day as Alexa can access the entire timetable.
Schedule an Uber or Lyft ride
You can also give your ride details to Uber or Lyft to schedule a ride. Alexa can automatically send a ride to your home or work address. It’s even possible to use Alexa to only order drivers or vehicles that meet specific criteria.
With Lyft, you can even leave instant feedback about your driver when the trip has been completed.
Find Things to Do
Most apps still do not allow you to make a reservation using Alexa, but, you can find things to do tonight or during your travels. Some of the apps include StubHub, Fandango, and dining apps. You tell Alexa your interests and she will repeat back the various options with any applicable prices and times.
If you’re traveling to a certain city, you can have Alexa ask a city guide what activities would be best. Some examples include asking Alexa the best overall activities, upcoming sports events, or outdoor activities just to name a few.
Pittsburgh Guide, for example, is an app Alexa will ask your questions when you visit the Steel City for a sports game and are looking for a good place to eat or sightsee in your spare time.
Discover New Restaurants
In addition to planning activities once you arrive, Alexa can also help you find restaurants that serve a specific cuisine or have good ratings. Some national restaurants are Alexa-friendly in addition to third-party research sites like CityGuide. And, large cities also have their own apps that Alexa can ask for recommendations.
When you are traveling with a group and cannot build a consensus, Random Restaurant uses Yelp data to pick a restaurant everyone might enjoy.
Check the Weather
When you are preparing to pack, you can ask Alexa for the extended weather forecast. Big Sky is the built-in weather skill and it can even provide a forecast if you tell Alexa a street address. This is more detailed than most weather apps and website that might only provide a forecast based on your zip code.
You can even estimate your drive time with My ETA when you don't want to pull up Google Maps. Alexa can provide you real-time drive times if you are ready to hop in the car right now or it can predict driving estimates in the future. You might use the advance prediction if you have an afternoon flight to catch or planning when you need to wake up in the morning to leave.
Conquer language barriers with Alexa's Translator skill. Alexa can help you speak words and phrases for 50 languages. You might only want to say hello or ask a more detailed question. It's possible with Alexa and you don't have to flip through a phrase book or guess the pronunciation from an online translation website.
Request Hotel Amenities
Instead of calling the hotel concierge, The Front Desk will request items for you. This can be a simple way to ask for room service, more towels, or even directions to the hotel's workout room. Plus, you can also use the app to set an alarm or stream music.
Summary on Using Amazon’s Alexa for Travel
Using Amazon's Alexa for travel is still in the very early stages, but, the future possibilities are limitless. For now, Alexa is convenient as you can already book rental cars and hotel rooms with a few voice commands. Alexa is also great for research and getting travel updates when you don't want to stop what you are currently doing. Have some fun with Alexa as you plan your next trip or even the next time you leave home.