Tour Destinations Offer iPod-Friendly Content

Alcatraz Audio TourCredit: Tracy S. MorrisYou’ve remembered your sunscreen, your hat and your bathing suit. At this point, you may feel ready for your summer vacation. But before you hit the beach, the desert or the mountains this summer; make sure you remember to pack your iPod.

Most iPod users are familiar with features such as Google Maps that keep users on the right path while traveling from point A to point B, books for light reading and music for the car trip. But the iPod has a number of other features that can enhance a summer road trip or a visit to the museum.

Google Earth

Google Earth produces a virtual globe using satellite images and aerial photography. When a user downloads and opens the Google Earth app on their apple device, they have access to a bird’s eye view of their vacation destination as well as Wikipedia entries for landmarks and photos that users have submitted to Panoramio. Visitors to the Grand Canyon can follow the Bright Angel Trail from the South Rim down to Phantom Ranch, or look at photos taken at the Indian Garden rest point.


Memphis is the home of the blues. Nashville is the country music capital of the world. New Orléans is known for jazz and zydeco. When you think of the tropics, you probably think of Jimmy Buffett. If you want to get into a mood or state of mind to match your destination, you can create a music station on Pandora. For a trip to Hawaii, create a station using the name of Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. If you will be visiting The Alamo, you can make a music station themed around Tejano music. The program allows you to vote thumbs up or thumbs down to the music as it plays. As you vote for songs the station changes to fit your tastes.

Audio Tours and Podcasts

Chinatown Dragon Gate, San FranciscoCredit: Tracy S. MorrisJust a few years ago if you went to museums, historical buildings or cultural exhibits, you would need to rent headphones to take part in an audio tour. But thanks to the audio capabilities of the iPod, walking tours are just an internet search away. Independent companies such as Tourcaster offer walking tours for popular cities across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Some cities offer theme tours. For Example, visitors in London can download a Jack the Ripper themed tour to explore Whitechapel while visitors to San Francisco can find walking tours of Chinatown.  Disney offers guests of their Mediterranean cruise line iPod-ready content and will even check out pre-loaded iPods for guests.  Some national parks generate regular podcast content that is free through iTunes.


From the observation deck of the Empire State Building to the Presidio overlooking San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the United States is filled with panoramic photo opportunities. The iPod helps to lighten your travel bag by including a camera in the device. Apps such as Pano widen the capabilities of the iPod by allowing the device to take panoramic photos.  


Anyone with a book bag can tell you that a stack of books is heavier than it looks. iBooks and Kindle are both good options for packing light if you want to read the latest Stephen King thriller. But the book apps are also a good way to carry around guidebooks for your destination. Frommers produces up-to-date guide books yearly on major tour destinations from Venice to Las Vegas. You can buy these guidebooks and download them instantly anywhere you have an internet connection.