Technology has made a huge difference to the way we travel. Thirty years ago travelling abroad was a life-changing experience. Fast-forward three decades and, with the aid of technology, so much has changed. Mobile phones are light and easy to carry.
A phone is now as important as your passport. There are hundreds of apps to help you book your hotels and flights, but what about apps to enhance your travel experience?
Here's our top ten:
1. Smart packing
Getting the packing right can be tricky. Packing Pro and PackPoint are two apps that help you to customise your packing list, depending on your activities, location and weather.
2. Build your itinerary
TripIt helps you to keep all your travel information in one place. By forwarding your flight confirmation to TripIt, you can build an itinerary by adding hotel bookings, restaurant reservations and activities, sharing it with other members of your family. Your confirmation slips are then at hand in one location.
3. Mapping your journey
There is little need to look beyond Google Maps. But what do you do if you’re offline? Simply type ‘ok map’ into the search bar and you’ll get the option to save it for offline use.
4. Tracking your flight
Knowing that your flight is delayed helps you to plan your time in the airport, especially if you have to entertain young children, or make a connection. The FlightTrack alerts you to delays and even has terminal maps to help you navigate around the airport.
5. Safety first
Travel Safe Pro is an emergency contacts directory for police, fire and medical services around the world. Using the location technology on your phone, the app finds out where you are and sends you relevant information. You can also customise your emergency contacts to include your family.
6. Accessing your documents
Do you know which number to call if your credit card gets lost or stolen? Can you remember the account number? Do you carry photocopies of all your important documents? Cloud technology means you can have access to all your scanned documents and passwords wherever you are in the world. Try 1Password to keep your login and bank details secure, and Dropbox to keep your all scanned documents safe.
7. Getting over jetlag
Depending on how you deal with jetlag, you could spend your time recovering, rather than exploring. The JetLag Genie helps you take the right steps before, during and after your flight, by customising a plan based on your flight, location and sleep patterns.
8. Converting currency
Getting the hang of the local currency can be tricky, especially when you’re jetlagged. There are lots of currency convertors on the market, including XE Currency, which is easy to use.
9. Jumping the language barrier
Some conversations can be held using signs and gestures, for example asking for the bill. But for some conversations this might not be the best method, especially if you’re trying to find the bathroom. Try Language Enabler or Google Translate.
10. Sending a postcard
Finding postcards, buying stamps and finding a Post Office is becoming more and more difficult as the world adapts to the digital age. And now postcards have become little more than emails. But what if you want to send a postcard to your grandmother who doesn’t have a computer? Stannp creates postcards using your own photos, prints them out and sends them for you.