TRAVEL TECH TIPS
Authored by Meghan Fisher
January 21, 2019
I’ve consistently said that there are two things I do not skimp on: technology and sports equipment. Basically this gives me the ammunition I need to justify to my husband why I NEED the latest apple gizzy or shiny metallic lululemon leggings so my ass can resemble twin disco balls. While travel is a great time to boycott the ‘gram and LED screens to reconnect with yourself, friends, and nature; let’s chat about how you can utilize technology to travel lighter, safer, and more efficiently.
While my father still rocks zip-off-pants-to-shorts with cargo pockets stuffed to the brim with maps, copies of his passport, the latest Rick Steves book, etc…. we should all take a moment to thank Google for offering a suite of products to eliminate the need for cargo pockets all together. Google drive has become my one-stop-shop for storing all of my travel related documents and collaborative trip planning; with it’s “offline” functionality it can be utilized in the most remote of areas.
I have a travel folder on my google drive. In the event that I need to convince a border control agent that I am indeed married to my husband despite our different last names or I need to provide evidence that I am immunized against typhoid, I keep backup copies of all of my important life documents in a secure google drive folder that I have made available offline on all of my devices.
The first thing I do when I start planning for a new trip is create a folder for my trip to collect my documents. I’ll save everything in here - from airplane confirmations to good articles about the location - I’ll also create a specific google map of the location where I mark important locations (hotel, bus station, recommended restaurant, etc.). You can share this with your travel companions for collaborative planning, keep notes on your adventure to reflect back on later or utilize the map to identify hot spots.
Whether you’re conserving data or just want faster access to directions, google maps has a great feature that allows you to download a map for offline use. You should download the map prior to departing for your trip, but this can really help you out in a pinch.
Google translate has come a long way from when you first asked it to translate your Spanish homework…. the camera feature can now translate images through your camera lens live; as you move your camera across a billboard it will replace the foreign text with the one familiar to you.
If you do not already have it, setup ApplePay (or whatever equivalent available) for touchless payment. I could write a post on just this alone… just do it. This can be a lifesaver if you lose your credit card, can eliminate time waiting for receipts and could even be used instead of a Oystercard (train card) on the London underground
Are you traveling to a city with abundant public transportation? If so, download the “CityMapper” application. It provides a list of all the possible ways to get from point A to point B using various modes of transport and live transit times; it’s sufficiently superior to both GoogleMaps and AppleMaps.
As you can see, traveling with technology in tow can significantly increase the ease of your trip even if your primary goal is some time away from social media and the like. Keep in mind that if your travel takes you somewhere like Tallinn, Estonia in -8 degree weather, your phone will be as useless a beanie baby (... my bank account is still waiting for them to be worth a fortune), so I do not recommend traveling with 100% dependency on your phone. With a little bit of preparation and planning, your phone can be a tool for more than just your ‘gram development. Happy travels!
Blogging Adventurer: Meghan Fisher Ihde
Instagram Handle: @MegFishIhde
Meghan Fisher is complete rubbish at yoga but is a self certified badass and adventure enthusiast.
She began adventuring at 3 months old, when she took her first flight, but discovered it as a passion while on an engineering humanitarian trip to Sierra Leone. It was on this trip she realized the impact that cultural immersion and facing adversity can have on one's personal growth and global impact. Meghan currently resides in London, which serves as a proper launch pad for her to hit her milestone of visiting 30 countries by age 29.