Smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, even when we travel. From booking flights and accommodations to finding directions and staying connected with family and friends, smartphones have made traveling much easier. However, many people are still unsure about how to use their smartphones efficiently while traveling.
Hopefully, you will embark on that well-deserved vacation or business trip this year. Frequent travelers like you took a break during the global pandemic, and now that things are returning to normal, you should prioritize a trip for your mental health. While at it, plan to take a companion along with you.
Many believe that a pet is more of a companion than your smartphone, but you need to keep in touch with family and friends back at home and document and pose for the gram during your vacation.
To many, a smartphone is used to make calls, text messages, and stay updated with what is happening worldwide, but to some, it goes beyond that. To a photographer, it is a mini camera that can fetch him a stable source of income. For a graphic designer, it is an office that houses applications like Canva, PicsArt, and PixelLab for premium designs. So, it’s different strokes for different folks.
In this guide, we will discuss some tips on how to use your smartphone when you travel and make the most of its features.
Before You Travel
Before embarking on your trip, it is important to ensure that your smartphone is ready for the journey. Here are some things you should do before you leave:
Check Your Data Plan
One of the most crucial steps is to check with your service provider about your data plan. If you are traveling internationally, it is essential to know if your current plan covers roaming charges or if you need to purchase a temporary international plan.
Download Offline Maps
While most smartphones have built-in navigation apps, they may not work without an internet connection. To avoid getting lost in a new place, download offline maps for the destinations you will be visiting.
Backup Important Data
Before you leave, make sure to back up all important data on your phone. This includes contacts, photos, and any other information that you cannot afford to lose. In case your phone gets lost or damaged during your trip, you will still have access to all your important data.
During Your Trip
Once you have arrived at your destination, here are some ways to make the most of your smartphone:
1. As a Personal Assistant
When on a journey, you are on your own, living your little world to the fullest. Your smartphone can come in handy here by serving as a personal assistant. Luckily, for this present generation, there is Siri for iOS users and Google Assistant for Android users. Both assistants can be used to set reminders and keep track of flight and hotel bookings.
Your smartphone, with the help of an improved operating system, has access to information online that can be brought to your screen, provided you allow it. All you need is to update the app permission, and voila! You have a personal assistant who works for you freely.
2. As a Translator
If you live in an Anglophone country and you see students studying French or other languages in the universities, you keep wondering why they make such a choice. Well! The need for translators keeps surging every day, particularly after the pandemic, which has prompted businesses to expand to other regions.
You, as a traveler, will need to communicate whether to buy some stuff or exchange simple pleasantries. Your smartphone can help you evade any awkward moment by providing you with basic translated words you can use for communication.
The latest development in the business sector increases the need for translators across the globe, as automated translation is being frowned upon by locals in those countries. Businesses are recognizing the importance of effective communication in expanding to new regions; hence, they often turn to video and OPI interpretation services. These services enable businesses to bridge language barriers and engage with local communities seamlessly, ensuring a smooth exchange of ideas and information, even during face-to-face interactions. Whether it’s for negotiating deals or providing customer support, utilizing over-the-phone translation services has become a vital strategy in the global business landscape.
3. As a Map and Navigation System
Travelers often get to new places where they have no clue of their whereabouts. They feel like Tom Hanks in the movie “Cast Away. Your smartphone is not Wilson, but it can help you navigate through your journey successfully.
With GPS technology, you don’t need to ask strangers for directions; just turn on your location and follow the routes your smartphone provides for you. You can even download maps offline, so you don’t have to worry about data charges or poor network connectivity.
4. As a Guide in Budgeting
Traveling is an expensive venture that requires proper budgeting for how to spend money. It’s easy to lose track of expenses while having fun, but with budgeting apps installed on your smartphone, you can monitor and track your expenses in real-time.
You can also use your smartphone to compare prices of items or services in different locations, ensuring you get the best deals. This way, you can save money and have more fun without worrying about overspending.
5. As a Means of Entertainment
Long flights and layovers can be boring, but your smartphone can keep you entertained throughout the journey. You can download movies or TV shows to watch offline, listen to music, play games, or catch up on social media.
Your smartphone is like a portable entertainment system that can keep you occupied during dull moments while traveling. It’s also great for passing time when waiting in line at airports or train stations.
6. As a Currency Converter
Travel entails doing some business transactions, and in such instances, you will want to know the exact price of each item you purchase in your currency. Your smartphone can help you with this; you can access the search engine or simply ask Siri or Google Assistant to help you with the conversion rate.
7. As a Scanner
If you are en route and need to scan some documents, your smartphone can be your messiah. Instead of looking for stores that do internet-related services, you can download any scanning application and scan your documents without hassle.
Similarly, instead of traveling with tons of hardcopy documents, you can easily scan each and edit them on your smartphone whenever needed. This will make you travel light and move faster.
8. As a Camera
Smartphones are slowly replacing cameras with the option of filters and night-mode selfies. Before the development of smartphones, we all traveled with cameras to document memories, but now smartphones have enough RAM storage and even process pictures faster than a camera.
So rather than snap with a camera and wait till you process the final output, you can snap with your smartphone and share it instantly with your friends and family.
9. As Wi-Fi Finder
There is every possibility that you will experience a bad internet connection during your journey to scale through this challenge; you can use apps like Wi-Fi Finder to find available Wi-Fi even when you’re offline.
10. As a Source of Information
Your smartphone has it all, from daily weather forecasts to the latest news worldwide. However, only your data plan stands between you and 24/7 information. To stay updated, you need to have data plans to serve you throughout your journey.
To achieve this, you can liaise with your internet service providers for a sim-only deal that will allow you to choose your preferred tariff plan. Sim-only deals allow you to use any sim card of your choice with your smartphone; provided your tariff plan is active, you can keep surfing the internet for eternity.
Traveling with a smartphone can also make you vulnerable to cyber theft and other security risks. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Use a Password or Fingerprint Lock
Protect your phone from unauthorized access by setting up a password or fingerprint lock. This will prevent anyone from accessing your data if your phone gets lost or stolen.
Be Cautious When Using Public Wi-Fi
Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive activities such as online banking or shopping. These networks are often unsecured, making it easy for hackers to steal your personal information.
Install Security Apps
Consider installing security apps on your phone that can help protect against malware and viruses. Some popular ones include AVG AntiVirus, Avast Mobile Security, and Norton Mobile Security.
Your smartphone is more than just a communication device when you travel. It can serve as your personal assistant, translator, map and navigation system, budgeting guide, and source of entertainment. With its numerous features and capabilities, it has become an essential tool for every traveler to have in their arsenal. So next time you plan a trip, make sure to have your smartphone with you to make your journey smoother and more enjoyable. So, don’t underestimate the power of your smartphone when it comes to traveling. It’s a valuable asset that can enhance your experience in countless ways.
Additional Tip: Make sure to pack a portable charger or power bank on your trip so you can keep your smartphone charged and fully functional throughout your journey. This will ensure that you can take advantage of all the features and benefits it offers without worrying about running out of battery. Plus, you’ll have a backup in case of emergencies or unexpected delays. Happy traveling!