Traveling Simply with Your Smartphone
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5 Tips to Make Travel Easier Using Your Smartphone
Gone are the days when travelers had to stand around on foreign street corners, unfolding paper maps while obviously lost - and sticking out as obvious targets for pick pocketers and scammers. When using your mobile phone, it's easier than ever to venture to foreign lands and remote locations and stay in the know with what's going on around you. This increased ease might be a key explanation for why solo travel is on the rise across all ages and demographics.
Curious about how you can use your mobile phone to make travel easier? Keep reading for travel inspiration. Along the way, feel free to grab an Optimum Mobile International add-on for your dream destination.
1. Make maps work for you
Having Google Maps available on your phone has completely transformed travel by making it easier than ever to navigate anywhere you go. You may not have realized this until now, but you actually don't need to stay connected to use maps; you can download them ahead of time and leverage GPS even if you're offline.
Are you walking around your destination? You may decide to only have the map image pulled up on your phone, or maybe you want to put your phone away and just have the narrator tell you where to go via ear buds. Don't forget that you can adjust your navigation communication style to fit your preferences.
2. Keep your pocket translator available on-demand
Using Google Translate (available on Android or iOS) and your camera, you can get real-time translations of any foreign language text that you see. Using this handy app, you can stop yourself from getting lost or having to ask for directions.
You can also use your microphone to input speech for Google Translate. Some popular languages are available for offline translation use, which can be helpful if you are trying to keep your data usage low.
3. Access safety resources wherever you go
There many safety resources available for travelers, designed to help with everything from security to medical emergencies. Even if you don't choose to utilize all of them, being aware of what's possible might come in handy.
Set up your in-case-of-emergency (ICE) features on your phone, which are available on both Android and iPhone. ICE lets you set emergency contact(s) that first responders can contact if something should occur, and you are unable to communicate.
An app like Geosure helps you map out neighborhoods in terms of their relative safety, helping you pinpoint routes to get around while also staying safe.
For iOS users, TripWhistle is an app that keeps global emergency services – such as police, ambulance, or fire – readily available.
Secure messaging apps like WhatsApp can help encrypt your information and protect your personal information from identity theft or worse.
4. Download music and video to keep handy offline
Planning ahead by downloading music, movies, or TV shows onto your phone may seem like a hassle, but your future self might be grateful that you invested a bit of time upfront in preparation for your travels. Content availability varies in different geographic regions, so the show you're currently binge-watching might not be available in your destination - and you'll wish you had downloaded episodes onto your phone. You also might not have built-in entertainment on your plane, train, or other vehicle, and so it might make your trip more pleasant and relaxing to have it all ready-to-watch on your phone.
5. Keep transportation options open
What happens when you travel somewhere and realize that you were wrong in thinking something was “walking distance” away, or night came upon you faster than you realized and now you don’t feel safe walking back to your accommodations?
Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft don't operate everywhere. Instead, plan ahead and check online to see what options are available in your destination; particularly overseas, where there are often local taxi apps that you can use. It can be extremely helpful - and keep you safer - to download these onto your phone and have them ready; consider even setting up your account and adding payment now, so that you are ready to hail a cab when you need to during your travels. Try to find apps that vet their drivers, and always confirm the license plate before you get into a car.
Optimum Mobile offers the latest mobile phones from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and more. With four plans to choose from, Optimum Mobile offers big carrier benefits without the big price. When you get Optimum Internet and add Optimum Mobile, you'll save monthly on your Internet bill. You can call us at 866-200-7004 or visit the Optimum store nearest you.
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