Technology Is Your Friend, Buddy: Part 2, Smart Phones

Love it or hate it, smart technology has streamlined almost every aspect of life. No longer do you have to carry around cd players, books, paper maps, or bulky laptops. Everything is at your fingertips, and everything is connected now. Bluetooth and WiFi have even allowed us to cut the cords, giving us the power to be mobile with our tech. For the traveler this a freaking gift from Hermes himself. You might take it for granted nowadays, but think back only 20 years ago. Can you imagine carrying around half the crap travelers of the 90’s had to carry?Go back another 20 years, can you imagine having to find a payphone, or a phone book whenever you needed to make a call? And, go back another 20 years, you’ll be writing letters to home and waiting weeks for a response, if any.

Smart tech has changed the playing field, everyday it’s advancing, there’s a better phone released, or a new gadget, there’s hundreds of apps created daily, and with each day the world becomes more and more connected. Leading the pack for is the smart phone. There are so many amazing tools, apps and features to make life a little easier on the go. Here are a few features of smart phones we find the most useful while traveling.

Phone:

No more finding payphones. Seriously, good luck finding one.

GPS:

Make sure you have a charged power pack and you will always have a map with you. Now, you can even use Google Maps offline so you don’t even need service.

Information/Internet:

With smart phones, as long as you have service or WiFi access you have the internet with you at all times. You can search the internet and find information on almost anything while you are traveling. Want to know the history of wherever you are, you can Google it. Want to know currency exchange rates? Google it. Want to know the top romantic spots? Google it. Now you can be your own travel guide for free.

Organization/Travel Planning/Apps:

Travel apps such as booking.com, tripadvisor.com and Google Trips have completely changed the industry. Now you can simple download an app or go to a website to plan your trip and keep it organized. There’s no more paper trail for your itinerary, everything is available on your mobile device, completely manageable by you, for free. Booking and reservations are instantaneous, you don’t have to call ahead, you can pay right away with one click, and your able to check-in from your phone. Best of all, you can compare prices and find deals wherever you are. Many apps even have exclusive savings for users only, we save so much money by shopping around on our phones it’s ridiculous.

Entertainment:

Kids these days will never know the struggles of carrying around a Walkman, trying not to shake it so your CD wouldn’t skip. Now they can find whatever music they want on their phones…skip free. With smart phones you have unlimited entertainment, music, books, games, TV, movies,etc..right in your pocket. Invest in a good power pack and your layovers will be a lot less stressful.

Cameras:

Granted image quality is not the same as a $1000 camera and you can’t get some shots that you could with a professional lens but, your smart phone packs a pretty impressive camera in it. Plus, it’s a lot smaller and just one less thing you have to carry, if your willing to accept the trade off. Honestly, nowadays the image quality is not that far behind, and its only getting better. Plus, with your Android device, (I’m not sure if iPhone users also have this feature) your photos are Geotagged. Using Google Photos you can find on Google Maps exactly where the picture was taken, useful for going through pictures after a trip.

Honorable Mention: Smart Watch

Smart watches can be paired with and connected to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to control functions over your phone with out ever having to take it out of your pocket.. You can replace your phone completely, if you want, with the watch Many have the same features and offer an even more compact travel companion. There’s not as many apps available as with your phone, but more are being developed all the time, making for a great alternative to the phone.

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