Believe it or not, it was only last year that I started travelling with a smartphone. Prior to that I was the girl with the messy purse filled with map printouts, scribbled addresses, and heavy phrasebooks. Oh how times have changed!
I didn’t think I would enjoy travelling with a phone (isn’t travel all about disconnecting from technology?), however, now that I’ve had a taste of it, I can tell you that it has made things easier.
Having a translator
Whenever I’m travelling somewhere I don’t speak the language, I like to download a translation app. This allows me to look up words I may need on a day-to-day basis, plus it helps get me out of those sticky situations where even charades fail. Knowing a few greetings and pleasantries in the local language helps locals feel appreciated and it can go a long way to make your stay in the country a positive one.
Not getting lost
Long gone are the days of staring down at a map and trying to figure out where you are in relation to the maze of streets sprawled before you. Now you can rely on that little blue dot that tracks your position and helps you determine whether or not you’re going in the direction you need to be heading in. I like Google Maps because it’s an app that you can use even if you don’t have a mobile data connection. All you have to do is move the map to your destination, hit ‘make this map available offline’, and you are good to go.
Booking travel and earning points
As an incentive for travellers who book using their mobile devices, Expedia has recently launched the Expedia app, which allows travellers to earn triple Expedia+ points when booking flights and hotels. This means every time you book through the app you are earning points that can be used for future trips.
Checking in for flights
There’s nothing worse than arriving at the airport a little later than anticipated and finding that the check-in line now resembles the admission line to a concert. No one likes to stand in a zigzagging line that’s moving at a snail’s pace and that’s why it’s best to just check in using a mobile device. Many airlines now allow you to check in with your smartphone using the web check in self-service tools. Once you have followed all the steps, you then receive an electronic boarding pass with a 2-D barcode via email or text message. Check if your airline carrier has this option when you book your flight, and if you do decide to check in with a mobile device, make sure it is fully charged!
Do you travel with a smartphone?
What travel apps have made travel easier for you?