In less than a week I’ll be flying into Atlanta for the first time, and attending Type A Con for the first time. Excited doesn’t even really begin to cover it, especially since I have the distinct honor of being a finalist in the We Still Blog award ceremony, which will be held on Sunday afternoon.

When it comes to travel I’m typically a figure-it-out-when-I-get-there kinda gal; my first trip to Chicago, to visit the Loyola campus, found me hopping the CTA right from the airport and figuring out how to change trains from the blue to the red, asking a friendly-ish looking police man at the Washington station how to get to a different part of the terminal. Bless his heart, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with a Kansas girl who had no clue that train stations have more than one track.

Fast forward double digit years and significantly fewer brain cells, and I find myself a little more worried about being someplace unfamiliar without any type of reference to fall back on. Thank goodness for me, however, I have an iPhone and there are apps for that.
Here’s what I’m relying on as I plan my trip:

1—Southwest Airlines app

I know it’s not a new app, but I love that I can check in right from my phone and have all the necessary info right at my fingertips.

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2—MARTA app  (MARTA is Atlanta’s public transportation system)

MARTA has a terrific website and a handy app. From the website you can access train info; for example, I know that because my flight gets in right around 3:00 p.m. I can try to hop the 3:08 train but if I miss it, there’s another at 3:23. I also know that the respective arrival times at the station closest to my hotel—Buckhead on the red line—3:25 and 3:40, respectively.

MARTA   Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
I can’t attest to how easily the app works just yet, but I like that there’s a system map, a schedule and a way to see the times of next train by station.

3—Starwood Preferred Guest

You’ve signed up for the Starwood Preferred Guest program, right? Sync that info to the app, and access not only your comprehensive account activity but info on upcoming stays. Navigate to the Westin Buckhead Atlanta section (under Stays) and you can access room number (after check-in), directions, transportation options and a list of features in the facility. Pretty cool.

4—Gate Guru

This is a new-to-me app but I’ve downloaded it just in case I get stuck in the Atlanta airport.

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Another new-to-me app but I like that I can search by city and access a list of tours complete with ratings, general info and prices. I doubt I’ll get much time to actually get out and explore Atlanta, but I like knowing that I have info at my fingertips if the urge strikes!

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BONUS–Best Parking

And, finally, a website that I also just found: lets you search by city or airport to find different parking options and displays prices as well as contact info. I didn’t know that I could save a dinners’ worth of cash by parking at a hotel close to KCI until I looked at this website.



Are you going to Type A? I’d love to meet you! Say hello on Twitter or introduce yourself at the conference! I’m an introvert AND a hugger.

*The paralegal in me feels compelled to remind you that you should do proper due diligence before using any tool/app and that just because I like an app doesn’t mean that you will! This is not a sponsored post; just a list of things I am thinking (and hoping) will make my trip a little less stressful and a lot more fun.