A smartphone can be such a useful travelling tool with numerous functions that make your life easier. Besides making phone calls using international roaming, to sending a similar text message, there is a lot more it can do for you on your travels. Here are ten useful tips that will make your travel experience better, safer and more pleasurable.
1 – Search the Web for Info about Destinations and Sites
The internet is a valuable tool for research as it can show you restaurants or hotels near your current location, complete with reviews. You can check pricing and availability at hotels and menus at restaurants. Many searches will also provide contact details, and a map leading to the location, so you will have a visual reference as well. That goes for other destinations like museums, archaeological sites, churches, temples, movie theatres, shopping malls and supermarkets.
2 – Audio & Video Internet Calls
Making a call to a loved one back home is no longer a nightmare and costly affair. There are a wide variety of apps which you can make audio internet calls to your contacts and friends around the world. You save a lot of money in comparison to standard voice calls, and some are specifically designed specifically for the purpose. Others provide the audio-only calling along with visual calls, which can be useful for a conference call. Nevertheless, the most popular video and audio apps are Skype, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Telegram, and WhatsApp. They have good quality audio, and calling is free. Multiple apps provide Internet phone chats and services, and different regions have their own specific favourites.
3 – Directions and Locations
What to know exactly where you are or get to a specific destination? The Google or iPhone Maps app will take you there, providing clear instructions and the fastest route to wherever you want to go. You get a live location moving along a map telling you the shortest route. It has a search feature whereby you can type in an address or street name, and it even gives you the time of the journey. You can indicate if you are going to walk, drive by car, or use local public transport. You can download the map pages of regions you plan to visit before leaving, so you won’t have to access WiFi each time you want to find a place, and the app works well offline at your destination.
4 – Social Media – Posting and Reading
Social media helps you stay connected and keep up to date with your friends back home while you are on your travels. You can post your own experiences and read about others. You can take photos and videos to enhance your posts using your mobile phone. You can even post live video feeds of your location and the unique beauty of something special.
5 – Wake Up Call, World Clock and Torch
Ok, so it three in one! All of them are incredibly useful when travelling abroad. If you are looking for something and there isn’t enough light, the torch on your smartphone comes to the rescue, very handy! You may have to wake up early to catch a flight or train. Your smartphone alarm is there to wake you up whenever you need. You can set the alarm to remind you to do something and use the world clock to tell you the time whichever region you are in, even the North Pole!
6 – Music and Films
If you want, just to kick back, relax, and listen to some tunes, your phone, which can store a library of songs on your memory or you can access several apps to listen to music wherever you are on your smartphone. It can be useful while waiting or flying and helps pass the tedious hours. You can also watch films on your smartphone with many viable options like YouTube and Netflix. It’s true that the screen is rather small, however, when there are no other options available, your smartphone allows you to watch films, TV shows or YouTube music videos. You can stream videos with Amazon Prime Video or Netflix and watch them directly on your screen. Alternatively, if you anticipate limited WiFi access, you can download videos those service providers in advance.
7 – Storing your Travel Documents
You can keep back up copies of all your various travel documents, boarding pass, passport, airline tickets and confirmations, hotel bookings and confirmations, along with medical insurance documents and your driver’s license. You should have hard copies to be safe, and backups of everything which you can print as required. There are also apps which serve the purpose, like ACTPrinter, but a simple scan with your phone camera will suffice. All your documents will then be available and easily viewable on your smartphone, and you can always print out additional copies of anything you need along the way.
8 – Monitor Security at Home
If you have CCTV security cameras around your home or office, you can monitor directly from your smartphone. If you are connected to a WiFi system, you can easily send or receive alerts if suspicious activity is detected. You can easily log in to the security cameras via your phone getting a live, real-time view of what is going on at your home.
9 – Translation
There are a variety of free apps available which are specifically designed to provide you with translation services. While some need a WiFi connection, others operate offline. Finding the right one needs a bit of effort, but in the end, it’s worth it. At first, there may be a learning curve before you start getting the most out of the translation app, and each has its limitations; nevertheless, there are some great ones out there.
10 – Play Games
If you are just feeling lazy or waiting somewhere with nothing to do, try playing a game on your smartphone. There will undoubtedly be numerous occasions when you have to wait while travelling. Flights, trains, buses, coaches and taxis, for instance. Why not relax while waiting instead of getting bored. Playing a game can relax your mind and free if from worry or stress, which is common at airports, ports and stations.