The way we see the world has changed thanks to a little thing we like to call technology. Travel is no exception; an array of websites and apps has made it easier and more convenient for all. So if you’re looking to get away, or just dreaming of your next vacation, here are 10 ways you can use the ‘net when planning and heading off on your next holiday.
1. Get inspired
The web is swimming with inspo for your next trip! Apps and sites such as Pinterest, travel blogs, and social pages such as Instagram, will fill your feeds with travel ideas galore. Hop on Pinterest and you’ll see a number of boards called travel and check out the hashtag ‘travel’ on Instagram and you’ll be inspired to plan a lot of holidays. The hard part is choosing where to go first!
If you’re going on a trip that takes you to multiple locations with varied climates, you may find choosing the right clothing to take with you is extremely difficult. Thankfully, there are apps to help with this such as Pack Point and Travel List. These apps take a look at the weather predictions at your destination, travel plans and any activities scheduled during your trip then tell you what you need to pack so you don’t leave anything behind. If only it could do the packing for you!
3. Plan for the jet lag
No one likes the awful feeling of jet lag. The good news is you can get the most out of your trip with apps such as Jet Lag Rooster. All you have to do is enter your trip details and you’ll be given a customised jet lag plan to follow. This app is free and based on scientific research that shows that light exposure at the right times can alter your body clock to reduce jet lag.
4. Itinerary all in one place
Keep all your holiday details, itineraries, and documents all in one place so you can locate everything with ease. Printing them out and taking a folder or spreadsheet is one way to go about it, but now it’s even easier with apps. Tripit lets you forward your travel confirmation emails to the app and a detailed master itinerary will be automatically developed with important dates, times, and confirmation numbers. It will even give you directions, maps to follow, and tell you what the weather will be like. Alternatively, you may prefer to take screenshots of confirmation emails and tickets which can also be accessed offline.
5. Speak the language
If you’re travelling to a country that speaks another language, it’s okay! Thanks to apps such as Duolingo, Memrise, and Babbel, you can enroll in online courses and learn the language before you go. To suss it out on-the-go, download a translation app such as iTranslate or Trip Lingo before you go so you can read, write and speak in over 100 languages, anywhere in the world and it will do all the hard work for you!
6. Getting around
Pulling out a paper map that is bigger than your arm span is a thing of the past! Now when you get lost in a strange city finding where you are is more manageable with the range of GPS and apps available. Simply input where you’re headed and it’ll show you how to get there. If you’re traveling outside of your country and depend on Wi-Fi for internet, you can download all the maps you’ll need in advance from apps such as CityMaps2Go and Maplets to avoid roaming charges while you’re away.
7. Meet new people
While abroad, stay active on social media and reach out to your networks to ask if they know anyone cool to hang out with while you’re in each city. If you have a strong Instagram or Twitter following you can even ask your followers for tips on what to see and where to go while you’re there. While you’re online, you may even want to use the hashtag ‘travel’ and connect with some new people on your travels.
Sites such as TravBuddy have forums, travel blogs, and reviews and are a great way to meet other travelers. Social media now also means you can connect with new found friends you meet along the way and stay in touch as you move from one travel destination to the next.
8. Travel Safe
Staying safe while you’re away is now even easier thanks to the Government’s Smart Traveller app and website. Just subscribe to get updates and find tips on how to travel safe in each location that you visit. Your friends and family will also be at ease as you can document your trip so others know where you are and where you’re headed. You can even reach out for help if you or someone you know needs help along the way.
9. Use Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi will be your best friend when you’re away. To save on data just turn your phones data roaming off and keep your Wi-Fi on and find free Wi-Fi locations to hook up to. You can let your family know you’re safe by keeping them in the loop through free calling and text apps such as Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger.
If you’re on the lookout for a Wi-Fi connection, check out the app Avast Wi-Fi Finder to find fast, reliable Wi-Fi networks near you. Just be sure to download it before your next trip to avoid being charged pricey roaming fees for the download!
10. Keep entertained on long journeys
Holidays usually come with long periods of travel. Whether it’s a trip on the train, a plane flight, or a day relaxing on the beach, a little entertainment can go a long way.
Taking some reading material away to enjoy no longer means having to fit half a dozen books in your suitcase. Now we can simply grab an E-reader or tablet and take 2 dozen books to choose from so we have a book to read no matter what they feel like. If you fancy a change, you can even hook up to a Wi-Fi connection and download a book from the Amazon Kindle Store or Booktopia while you’re away.
Likewise, phrasebooks and language dictionaries have been replaced by smartphones and the likes of Google Translate, and Discmans and CDs have been replaced with smartphones and music apps such as iTunes or Spotify.
For more travel talk, check out our blog post showing how tech has evolved for travel – The tech evolution of travel.
How has tech changed the way you travel or plan your holidays? Let us know in the comments.