travel tips

Travel Tips: Your iPhone is the Best Tool to Pack

In 1903, the Wright Brothers invented the first successful airplane. Since then the technology has taken off, so to speak, opening up world travel to the masses. We have a few travel tips for the next time you leave to explore the world.

More recently, advancements in computer and smartphone technology have opened up new possibilities to facilitate the travel experience. In our opinion, the iPhone is now the most versatile tool you can pack for your trip. Why? Well, with a bit of preparation and the odd trickle of Wi-Fi, you will have access a wealth of information in the palm of your hand.

Easy Navigation

One under-appreciated tool built into your iPhone is the compass. Knowing what direction you’re heading is crucial to way-finding. However if you need a bit more information, a free GPS app can replace your paper map entirely. You probably already have Google Maps, which can actually save map information to your phone, making navigating a breeze even when you don’t have a Data or Wi-Fi connection. But if you’re looking for a more powerful offline experience, check out Nokia’s HERE app, which lets you download whole countries worth of map data (if you have enough space). HERE has a toggle to force it to work offline, where you can still browse and search saved maps with ease, including getting directions.

Photography

The iPhone can take beautiful pictures. While you may be hesitant to leave your DSLR at home, the iPhone makes a worthy backup, and the easy access in your pocket can allow you to capture a moment in a snap or video that you might have otherwise missed. An added plus: when you get those brief moments of Wi-Fi it is dead easy to share photos on your social media site of choice to keep your friends and family jealous. If you want a bit more control than the built-in camera app check out VSCO Cam, the app of choice for some of the best iPhone photographers.

Communication Basics

There are over 6,500 spoken languages in the world. If you’re in a country that speaks a different one, it can be difficult to get around. Fear not – the Google Translate app can help you decipher 90 different languages.  The app can instantly translate any text you point the camera at – even without an internet connection. If you do have some internet access it can also translate anything you type (or draw) in, or speak – covering just about any situation you may run into.

Before your trip you can also try out Duolingo, a language learning app that supports 9 different languages (including English).

Itineraries

E-tickets and the mountain of confirmation emails you are sent can be overwhelming and difficult to organize.  TripIt came up with a solution: forward all of your confirmations to plans@tripit.com and they will compile everything into a single detailed electronic itinerary. Say goodbye to the booklet of printouts (or at least keep them for backup only, and avoid aimlessly flipping through pages just to see what time your next flight leaves). This is one of the most innovative travel apps that we’ve come across to date.

Airport Exploring

Navigating foreign airports is enough of a challenge. All the information you need is in one place on GateGuru. Maps, weather, and flight info lie in the palm of your hands. The best part for the airport hopper is the list of amenities which can be filtered by terminal. Flight arrival and departure notifications take away the zombie-like stare directed towards screens describing flight times and gate information.

One more thing: Don’t forget to disconnect from home

While your iPhone is a fantastic too to aid you in your travels, don’t let it take away from your experience. Lack of steady Wifi or Mobile Data will aid you, but you can also try turning off social media or email notifications to keep yourself from getting too distracted.

 

Don’t miss our tip on making the most out of limited Wi-Fi hotspots while you’re travelling!

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