Technology is all around us and indeed, in many respects it can help us a lot, whether by saving time, increasing business efficacy, or just helping us to share the moment (instantly in many cases!) with our friends and family. Unless you’re planning to take a break from technology, there’s a good chance that you can also use technology to help you travel.
Here are six ways we encourage you to try:
Make use of the cloud
USBs and email files to yourself? Definitely a thing of the past. For the tech-savvy traveller, cloud computing is the way to go now. Cloud computing is where you can save documents, photos, and other files onto a ‘cloud’, which is like a virtual server that you can access from any computer as long as you have an Internet connection. Popular cloud services include Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Here’s a top tip if you’re travelling too: keep a scanned copy of your passport ID page on your cloud – you never know when it may come in handy!
Apps are your new best friend
Need to do a quick scan of a document to send to your colleague when you’re away from the home or office on holidays? Genius Scan (Free) can instantly turn your photos into emailable PDF’s. Need a quick opinion? Try asking the community on Thumb (Free). Find an interesting article you don’t have time to read right then and there? Let Instapaper ($4.49) help download it onto your phone. We could go on and on and on.
This means travel apps too
Technology has advanced to the stage that public transport networks are increasingly collaborating with software developers to create mobile apps that can alert you to when the next train or bus is due, and more importantly, if there’s a delay. If you’re going to be reliant on public transport on your holiday, you need to find the app for the area and download it. It will save you valuable time and help you formulate a Plan B too if there’s bad traffic or the trains are down.
We think that URL shortening is such a cool piece of technology that we’re willing to put it under a category of its own. Instead of sending your colleague or friend a link the size of a paragraph when you’re on the go, there are many websites that will shorten your URL and still direct to the original page that you were after. This avoids the problem of links getting cut off or becoming inaccurate due to length. Google URL and bitly are two popular examples.
Take some snaps
It goes without saying that you’ll be using a digital camera or else the camera function on your phone/tablet to take memorable snaps of your holiday. But remember that you can also take photos of the mundane, but important. A photo of your passport ID page is always a good idea, as is how your room looks when you head out, in case you’re worried about shifty room service.
Just be careful
It’s worth stating that you should also be careful as you use technology on the go that you don’t leave too much of a track behind. Are your Tweets betraying your every location? Are you using unsecured free Wi-Fi to do important stuff like Internet banking? Our advice for the latter: don’t. Make sure that you remember to keep your personal data safe. This means checking your settings for your phone, laptop, and tablet, as well as changing your passwords every few months or even more often if need be.
Lucy Holmes is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in technology and how it intersects with society and culture. You might find her browsing for a good software hosting provider on her days off.