According to tripsavvy's author Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, what Siri is to iPhone, Alexa is to the Amazon Echo and its sister devices. They can give you access to an ever-growing reservoir of capabilities known as "skills" with just the sound of your voice. As it turns out, Alexa can do much, much more than play your favorite songs, make phone calls, play Jeopardy!, and give you the daily weather forecast. She is also a travel assistant who can help you plan your next vacation.
You may even want to bring your Alexa-enabled device with you when you travel. Traveling with your Alexa Echo or Echo Dot is easy as long as your hotel or vacation rental has electricity and access to a wi-fi network. When you arrive at your destination, just plug in your Amazon device, go to setup in the Alexa app, and you're good to go.
There are always new Alexa skills launching, including local guides to destinations ranging from New York City to Punta Cana. These can be added and subtracted to your armory of skills as needed. Meanwhile, here are some of the most widely useful travel skills available on Alexa right now.
If you want to know how long it will take you to drive to your destination in current traffic conditions, Alexa can find out for you.
Ask: "Alexa, Ask My ETA how long it will take to drive to Dallas if I leave at 4 pm."
Uber & Lyft
Need a ride to the airport? You can order an car through Uber just by asking Alexa and an UberX will arrive within minutes. You can also change your default pickup location, ask for a ride status, or cancel your reservation.
Ask: "Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride." or "Alexa, ask Lyft how much a Lyft Plus costs to go the airport."
Whether you have an upcoming flight or are picking up a friend from the airport, Flight Tracker can give you the latest flight status for a given flight departing on the day that you make the request. All you need is the airline name and flight number.
Ask: "Alexa, ask Flight Tracker for Delta 2643."
Planning an international trip? Figuring out the visa requirements for international travel is a snap for Alexa. Just say your country of citizenship and which country you plan to visit, and this skill will tell you if you need a visa or not, along with any other specific requirements.
Ask: "Alexa, ask Visa Requirements for American citizens to go to Thailand."
Is your high school Spanish rusty? Use the Translated skill to ask Alexa to translate short sentences from English into 36 languages. Alexa will read out the translation for you so you can learn how to pronounce it. You can say "slow down" or "repeat" for clarification.
Ask: "Alexa, ask Translated how do you say 'How are you?' in Swedish?" or "Alexa, ask Translated to say 'Thank you very much' in Italian."
And if Alexa isn't doing it for you, simply contact me. It's my pleasure to help you make your planning process as smooth as possible.