Earlier days people use phones only for calling and sending short messages. However, the situation is completely different now that if there’s one travel gadget we need to take, it would be our smartphone. Smartphone is getting so versatile that it can replace your high-end camera, eBook reader, play station and many other devices. Though many people consider smartphone is the killer of travel pleasure, we feel it is an unavoidable part of the travel. In this guide, we explain different ways smartphones can really help during your travel vacation
12 Ways Smartphones Can Help in Your Travel
There are many reasons you may need to travel like on a personal vacation, moving around with your family or on a business trip. Whatsoever is the purpose, below are the ways your smartphone can help in your travel.
- Replacing your camera
- Use for backup your documents
- Itinerary manager
- Find location with Map
- Audio book
- Use for communication
- Social sharing
- Movie player
- Game playing
- Travel apps
- Digital wallet
- Weather forecast
Gone are the days you need to pack up DSLR camera when travelling. Nowadays, you can easily get triple camera technology smartphones with 48 mega pixel capability. The major focus of many new smartphone models arriving in the market is to update the camera improvements in terms of hardware and software solutions. Most of us take travel photos for sharing and memory rather than for professional purposes. In such a case, one of the cheap smartphones with 48 MP camera is more than enough for typical Facebook and Instagram photos.
2. Document Backup
During a trip, you need to bring enough documents like passports, tickets, ID cards, etc. Though physical documents are mandatory for entry / exit purposes, your smartphone can help you carry the backup copy of documents. You can scan ID card, passport and other documents like medical insurance and keep it on your smartphone’s email or storage for immediate access. In case you lose a document, the digital copy on your phone can help you to manage the situation without trouble.
3. Itinerary Manager
Itinerary is your travel guide that helps you to manage your schedule and the places you visit. You may need to focus on multiple things when you travel for limited number of days. A good itinerary manager app can help to save lots of time by guiding you to to the correct terminal / gate in the airport. In addition, you can quickly get the details of flight delays and local traffic details.
Whether you are visiting a tiny island or largest country in the world, what you need is a Map app to travel around the location. You can use the default Google Maps app in Android and Apple Maps in iOS. The advantage of using Google Maps is that it has a real-time view of the location that provides you all updated details. Otherwise, you may need to look for a paper map or ask help from someone which is a hassle and may not be precise always. You can setup a destination and simply follow the route to have peace of mind during your entire travel.
5. Audio Book
Waiting time is a one thing you can’t avoid during travel. You may need to different flights when traveling across continents or wait for long queue in the passport clearance. In addition, most airplanes will not have in-flight entertainment system for the economy class passengers. This is a pain to sit in a straight seat and spend many hours without any work. The best way to spend time in such situation is to use your smartphone as an audio book. Prepare audio book apps and download your favorite songs beforehand. When bored in the flight or bus travel, simply close your eyes and listen to your favorite audio book.
6. Communication and Translator
There are two good reasons for communication during your travel. First is to stay in touch with your loved ones during a long trip and the second is to use translators. You don’t need to purchase international SIM card and spend hefty amount for calling your family and friends. You can use Google Duo, Skype or FaceTime to communicate with family members and friends through Wi-Fi available in your hotel.
English is not a native language in many of the countries. For example, people speak Mandarin in China and hundreds of different languages in India. You will get lost if you have no local guide or friend to help you in commuting. Smartphones can be your life saver, help you in translating the text on the traffic boards and communicate with local people easily. You can use Google Translate or any other premium app to translate text and speech to your native language.
7. Social Sharing
Nowadays, most of the people will not travel if they can’t share the pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Most of the physical cameras don’t have options to connect to internet and share the pictures on social platforms. With handy smartphones, you can instantly share the picture and tag the location with your friends and followers.
8. Movie Player
It’s a good idea to watch your favorite movies and TV series when you are on a long waiting time, unexpected flight delay or long in-flight travel. Sometimes, you might have missed a movie or TV series in busy schedule. Download the entire movie or series on your smartphone before traveling and keep it handy to watch when you have nothing else to do. I most case, you can watch online YouTube or Netflix videos when there is a free Wi-Fi connection in Airport.
9. Game Playing
Travelling with your kids on long trip? The easy way to make your kids engaged is to allow them to play their favorite games on smartphone. Though it is not good for kids to spend long time on phone, an hour on the in-flight travel should be manageable to spend the time. In addition, you can play games to pass the time.
10. Travel Apps
There are many travel apps that can help your vacation more enjoyable. Apps like TripAdvisor can help you to explore the top tourist destinations and pickup your choice. You can also check the reviews of hotels and places and check the opening / closing timing of the spot. These travel apps also have forums for discussions where you can get help when you travel to remote locations.
11. Digital Payment
Smartphones have taken away the hassle of running to bank for currency conversion. There are many digital payment platforms like Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay to instantly pay your bills anywhere on the world. WeChat Pay or Alipay is a must needed app when you travel to Chinese speaking countries. It also improves the security by avoiding taking cash on your wallet. Check out the digital payments accepted in the destination country before you travel.
12. Weather Forecast
There are seasons for visiting places to have full enjoyment. Check out travel apps to understand the best time to visit a place and plan your travel accordingly. A bad weather can spoil your trip by keeping you inside a hotel for the entire day. A tap on your smartphone can help you to find the weather forecast to find the sunny days beforehand. Some places in the world are more polluted, if you are allergy to pollution then check the pollution level before traveling to that place.
Starting from flight ticket booking to checking local weather, smartphone can make your entire trip more enjoyable. However, during some trips you may need to spend quality time with people or you may be on important business travel. In such cases, try to limit the use of smartphone during the trip and show importance to the people. It is good to take picture of the moment for later memory, however it should not affect the liveliness spoiling that moment itself.