Many people dream of a vacation where they can get away from it all! No phones, no television, just escaping from the world. While that can be very satisfying, there are some benefits to traveling with today’s smart phones… AND you don’t always have to be connected for those benefits.
Before You Go
Once you have your lodging set, enter it on your phones mapping program. Set the map so you can see a few blocks around the hotel and take a screenshot. You can do that at various zoom levels, so that you’ll have a reference when you want to explore your destination without unsecured Wi-fi or too much data, especially on international trips. It’ll be like having a local map, without having to lug one around.
Many travel carriers today offer mobile apps to help streamline your travel. You can keep track of any changes to your reservations, any delays on the day of travel, and keeping your itinerary handy. Some apps let you use your phone in place of a traditional boarding pass or ticket.
While shopping around your destination, you may want to pay cash instead of using a credit card for a purchase. If you aren’t sure what the exchange rate should be, there is an app for that! Have it downloaded ahead of time, so you can make sure you’re not being over charged or shorting the vendor. However, keep in mind that some may add a small surcharge to convert US dollars back into local currency.
If you’re visiting a country in which you don’t speak the native language, you may find a language translator helpful on your journey. Even if you have a few words and phrases under your belt, you may find it necessary to relay information that is beyond your language skills. Having an app available, you can either type or speak the words or phrase into your phone. A friend traveling in Europe encountered another traveler, looking for directions. They didn’t speak each other’s languages but were able to communicate by each typing into their translator.
So, take that escape from technology, if you want. Don’t answer calls, don’t check social media. Just keep a few tricks in your phone, in case you do need some assistance. If you are traveling internationally, be sure to check with your cell carrier about plans they can offer for the period you’re travelling. Also, be careful when using public or free Wi-fi spots, so your privacy and information is not compromised.