Your smart phone is arguably one of your best friends when you’re traveling. After all, what other device lets you stay in touch with others whilst exploring, has a built in camera and video to capture your best moments and provides you with entertainment and vital information at the same time? Your humble smart phone is quite literally an entire suitcases worth of gizmos and gadgets, usefully packaged into one neat (and devastatingly appealing) shiny package. Yet despite the technological age which we live in, a huge number of people are still not using the functionality of their phone to the max. This especially applies when abroad; at a time when many are wary of using their phone, fearing the risk of incurring large roaming charges. However, arm yourself with the right knowledge, pack the right accessories, and your smart phone will swiftly become your ‘must have’ vacation item, replacing your digital camera, your collection of maps and guide books and even your GPS system.
How the Smart Phone Makes Itself Exceedingly Useful…
Of course, you’re already familiar no doubt with the camera functionality on your phone; and how certain models, boasting superior pixel quality and a number of other high-tech functions and effects, render taking an additional digital camera a fairly pointless venture. However, for keen photographers, don’t make the mistake of regarding your smart phone as inferior to SLR cameras. With additional accessories, such as an SLR style lens and tripod, getting snap-happy suddenly becomes an art-form. If you’re concerned about investing the money, consider one of the excellent lower cost lenses available from reputable online retailers. You’re probably also familiar with GPS functionality on your smart phone but, like so many others, you have probably encountered the issue of attempting to drive the car or steer the bicycle whilst checking the phone, which is dangerous, not to mention illegal. Car mounts and bicycle mounts can be bought relatively cheaply, and make using the GPS app far safer and simpler.
Finding the Best Apps for Travel
One of the most powerful aspects of your smart phone is its ability to download apps. Sure, you’ve already no doubt discovered the joys of mobile gaming (certainly if you have children you will have) but don’t overlook the thousands of other highly useful apps that are available for your phone, especially those that are completely free to use. A word of caution before you start trawling the store to find the best travel apps though; make sure to download them in your home country, rather than waiting until you are abroad, where data charges may be considerable. If in doubt, check with your phone supplier. There are many apps available that can help you with all aspects of travel, from translation of foreign materials to booking flights; and, as Iglu Cruise reveal, there are even some that may take you by surprise, such as a jetlag app that helps you plan your day to minimize the effects of flying, and audio guides of every major city in the world.
All Work and No Play Makes Your Phone a Dull Piece of Technology…
It’s important to remember that your smart phone can also provide you with a lot of entertainment when you’re off exploring far off places. In-built MP3 players make taking music with you whilst on the go a really simple process; if you’re unsure of how to get music on to your smart phone, there are a number of guides available to help point you in the right direction. However, one of the joys of listening to music whilst traveling is being able to listen to it loud; without having to use earplugs. Consider investing in a portable speaker; which will allow you to listen to your favorite tracks with friends and family, rather than having to do it solo. And if you must do work whilst away, think about buying a portable keyboard for your phone, rather than lugging the laptop halfway around the world.
A Little Bit of Planning is all it Takes!
With a little bit of prior research, and with some minor investments in must-have equipment, your smart phone can really revolutionize the way you travel, becoming a device not only for making calls home; but for keeping the whole family entertained; for finding out useful information about every destination you head to, and for recording those precious moments. Smart phones…we salute you!