• 4 ways your smartphone can enhance your travel experience

    2016-01-06

    Smartphones are an extremely common device nowadays, with dependable access to the Internet and an extensive variety of apps that make day-to-day living easier and more convenient. When it comes to traveling, they can be greatly beneficial, turning once time-consuming tasks into a matter of simply tapping the phone's screen. Here are four aspects of a smartphone that travelers should be sure to take advantage of when on their journeys:

    1. Forget about carrying your credit cards around
    Apps such as Uber make it easy to find quick transportation and can be a lifesaver if you've forgotten or misplaced your wallet, as they allow you to program your credit card information safely into the app. IPhones feature Apple Play, which enables users to sync credit cards to their iPhones and even pay by tapping their screen at several retailers across the U.S., such as Target and Starbucks, according to Travel and Leisure. This not only allows you to leave your wallet at home, but it also prevents you from having to give your credit card information directly to stores. Although Apple Play is only usable for United States travel, Apple is currently working on expanding the program internationally.

    2. Stay healthy
    One of the more difficult challenges for frequent travelers is exercising and staying healthy. Smartphones help make this easy and convenient since there are several apps available for keeping track of their daily progress. Some of these include apps that calculate the number of steps you've taken each day in line with your heart rate. According to Conde Nast Traveler, there is even a new Health app that serves as a place for users to store all of their health and fitness information and monitor things like sleep activity.

    3. Connect faster
    One of the biggest advantages of smartphones is that they allow travelers opportunities to connect with people who they otherwise wouldn't be able to communicate with. Apps like Viber allow travelers to call and text friends or family in other countries free of charge. You can keep people up to date on your exciting daily activities by sending out photos of your trip without having to wait until you're home to show them off.

    According to Rick Steve's Europe, with easily accessible WiFi, apps such as Siri and Google Translate can be a lifesaver in foreign countries. Out on business travel? File sharing with apps like Dropbox are important when there's work that needs to be done with coworkers in other states or countries.

    4. Never get lost
    Be sure to take advantage of Google Maps and other navigation apps, as these offer a foolproof way to prevent you from wasting time wandering around aimlessly when you could be checking out the location's hottest tourist attractions. Rick Steve's suggested downloading maps onto your phone through Google Maps so that you don't need access to the internet as you navigate your way around your destination.

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