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According to The Business Insider, young people today, millennials mainly, are the most well-traveled generation. They travel an average of 35 times a year. Additionally, they would rather spend their hard-earned money or savings to visit new places. Along with this, they are the most tech-savvy when it comes to ensuring their trips are as safe and enjoyable as possible.
And speaking of being tech-savvy travelers, for millennials, this usually means maximizing the capabilities of their smartphone to help them organize their travel plans and make necessary services more convenient to acquire. It is for this reason that for most millennials, it is imperative to have a high performing mobile phone, as well as mobile accessories when they travel.
So, if you wish to be a savvier traveller, it will do you well to take a cue from the younger generation. Here are some of the best ways they are travelling safer and smarter with the help of their smartphone that you should use next time for your trip.
1. Always set up your phone for international use.
There are three ways that you can use your smartphone for international use. One is to activate your service provider’s roaming services. Another is by renting a pocket WiFi at the airport for your phone. The third is by using a local SIM card. Whichever of these you prefer, it’s best to have these up and running before heading out of your destination’s airport.
Most travel destinations nowadays have public WiFi available. However, digital safety and security experts say it’s best to avoid using public WiFi for your phone, especially if your phone has various apps that store your personal information. Using unsecured public WiFi can compromise the security of your online accounts and make you prone to identity theft.
Meanwhile, roaming services are incredibly convenient, but they are quite expensive. As for using a local SIM card, you can only use this if your phone is not locked to your original service provider. If you have a certified refurbished Apple device though, it will most likely be unlocked, which will allow you to use other SIM cards.
2. Make sure that your digital wallet is adequately funded.
A digital wallet is a must when traveling because a lot of tourist destinations have set up contactless payments to speed up queues. Through a digital wallet, you can shorten processes and maximize your time. Therefore, make sure that it’s funded enough for your trip.
However, it’s essential to note that there are still a lot of travel destinations that prefer cash payments. In Taiwan, for instance, cash is still king. Meanwhile, in South Korea, credit and debit cards are the preferred mode of payment even for food deliveries. The idea is to be prepared with different payment options, and to use the one that is the most appropriate and convenient.
3. Take advantage of booking apps.
There’s a preferred booking app for every region of the world. Download one based on where you’re going and make all kinds of bookings a breeze to accomplish. These booking apps are really lifesavers because the best of them can cover everything from airport transfer to rail passes, tour tickets, car rental arrangements, and so much more.
Other advantages that you can derive from these booking apps on your phone are better prices for various deals and no-queueing privileges. You can get up to a 60 percent discount on passes and tickets and avoid lining up for entry into parks, museums, and other attractions.
Booking apps also recommend a lot of alternative options, especially if you’re looking for less crowded attractions.
4. Download personal safety apps.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo traveller or with a group, you need to have at least one personal safety app on your phone.
Smart Traveler, for instance, is highly recommended for American tourists because it provides government information about overseas destinations such as travel warnings and even weather reports. Not only that, but the app also contains vital contact details such as the phone numbers and email addresses of the US embassy and consulates.
Another fantastic app for personal safety is the Scream Alarm. This is perfect to use when you feel like you’re being followed and unsafe.
A great alternative to the Scream Alarm is Watch Over Me. This app doesn’t need any pushing of a button. You only need to shake the phone, and this app will sound an alarm (to warn off whoever may be following you), turn on the phone’s video camera, and alert your emergency contacts.
5. Use digital maps or a free GPS app.
Make navigating an unfamiliar place so much easier by using digital maps or a free GPS app. Some of these do not even require an Internet connection, making them even more convenient solutions. Plus, some of these apps also offer voice-guided directions, as well as information on other must-see places that you might be interested in working into your itinerary.
It’s likewise common for GPS apps to provide traffic information. This way if you’re driving, you can easily find better routes to avoid traffic jams.
Since you’ll be relying a lot on your phone for various important activities, here’s a couple of extra tips:
- Do not forget to bring a power bank. Your phone will be of no use once the battery dies. Also, you can’t always count that the places you will visit have charging stations for devices. So, bring a fully charged power bank with you. This shouldn’t be an inconvenience because a lot of power banks these days come in compact sizes — even smaller than a phone.
- Use a high-quality lanyard case for your phone. Secure your phone by having it on your person. A lanyard case will help ensure you don’t lose your phone while shopping or exploring.
- Delete apps on your phone that you don’t use. The apps recommended above can take up a lot of storage space. If your phone doesn’t have a lot of memory (which you may want to think about replacing with a better one), you can experience lags when using your special travel apps
A smartphone truly is a nifty device for travelers to use. With the brilliant know-how shared by today’s tech-savvy millennials, you too can use your smartphone for more enjoyable and organized travels.
Mirza Saqib Habib is the Business Manager at Dubai-based Teckzu, the perfect one-stop-shop to discover, browse, and buy new and refurbished electronics such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and accessories. Mirza comes from a strong E-commerce background with over six years of regional experience. He has helped kick-start many startups in the past and is passionate about using technology to facilitate a seamless digital user experience.
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