If you’re someone who likes to travel for longer than the average 2 week vacation, there’s no doubt that one of the most challenging things you’ll face is staying in touch with people back home.
The simple fact is, to continually travel the world you sacrifice the majority of your pre existing relationships. Even if you’re close with your family and friends, it’s very easy to lose contact when you’re in completely different locations.
After-all, you’re busy traveling, they’re busy with their stuff, and without even realizing it, you end up missing out on milestones and momentous occasions because you’re on the other side of the world, in a different time zone.
But staying in touch doesn’t have to be expensive, and with tech nowadays it’s actually very easy to keep in contact.
Everyone enjoys some Netflix and chill, and there’s nothing like rolling into a hotel, tired after a long journey, and putting on a couple of shows while you get some rest.
Whether you’ve had a lazy day at the beach, or a dream day between waterfalls and temples in Bali, having access to home comforts while traveling is quite the luxury. However, due to the geo-restrictions imposed on Netflix, your viewing experience is going to vary wildly from one country to the next.
In many nations, you could login to find that your favorite shows are just gone. And, if you think finding a movie is hard back home; imagine suddenly having a catalog that is up to 90% smaller. It happens.
Thankfully, there is a solution!
No matter how small the local catalog is, you can “spoof” your location to another country to increase the number of options. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an online service that permits you to switch your IP address to any country you like.
As soon as you use a VPN to pretend to be in a different country, you can watch the larger Netflix catalog! So, which locations have the smallest catalogs? And where is it a good idea to pretend to be instead?
Vacay! V-A-C-A-Y! There’s a smartphone app for everything these days, and when it comes to travel, our phones have become like our own personalized travel agents.
From finding flights, to accessing real time translations, they’ve become a one stop shop for everything we need to search for, book, and enjoy our holidays.
But if you browse through the travel section of the app store, you’ll find thousands of useful apps, and obviously, these aren’t all going to fit on your phone! So, to help you out we’ve narrowed it down to the 7 we find the most useful.
Here are 7 useful travel apps you should download … every traveler should have these on their phone!
Did you know that as of last year, 82 airlines provide some form of in-flight WiFi?
In-flight WiFi is becoming a necessity for airlines to compete in today’s market, and even small carriers such as Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Air Côte d’Ivoire from Ivory Coast, and Air Mauritius are getting in on the WiFi game.
Fortunately, airlines are also working on improving their current technology to improve internet speeds in a way that makes it possible to use almost any app during your flight.
When Routehappy measured global in-flight WiFi last year, they found that 57% of flights offer strong enough WiFi to browse the internet, but only 16% provide fast enough WiFi for full video streaming and speeds comparable to your connection at home.
With that in mind, the next time you’re on a flight with WiFi, here are the best apps to use regardless of your airline.
You can spot a frequent traveler from miles away. They’re the ones that know how to score an upgrade, always pack a portable phone charger, and somehow manage to appear fresh after a 10 hour flight.
Frequent travelers have an easier time traveling, because their experience means they know which useful gadgets to use. Having the right technology with you can greatly enhance a trip, though with so much technology these days, the trouble is often knowing which gadgets to invest in.
So, if you’re struggling to narrow down your tech list, the following are must-have gadgets that frequent travelers use, along with the travel style that they best suit.
Whether you’re a digital nomad, business traveller, or simply using the internet while on vacation, travelling abroad poses a unique set of cyber-security threats to internet users.
Those who travel for business are the most vulnerable since they usually carry a variety of sensitive information on their laptops, smartphones, and other devices.
However, even if you’re simply using open Wi-Fi connections while travelling abroad (ie connecting at hotels, airports, or cafes), it’s important to understand that there are still many risks involved with using public internet sources.
When traveling internationally, many cellphone providers charge high rates to cover roaming fees. Sending a text or checking emails quickly becomes a costly expense for travelers.
Many people think that the only ways to avoid paying massive bills is to leave their cellphones at home. But if the thought of living without your smartphone while you travel makes you want to scream, don’t despair.
Many cellphone providers offer affordable options to help you stay connected no matter where you are in the world. Learn about the following five ways prepaid phones can save you money when traveling.
One of the most significant marketing trends for the travel and tourism sector in 2018 is live streaming. The technology has evolved as such that anyone with a smartphone device can reach out to viewers and possible visitors and provide a fresh perspective on holiday destinations, accommodations and all kinds of travel experiences.
MO’s prediction on 2018 social media trends states that the live streaming market could be worth over $70 billion by 2021, with four-fifths (80%) of consumers preferring to watch a live video than any other form of social content.
Travel agents, airline operators, holiday resorts and any other type of tourism brands must jump on the live streaming bandwagon before being left behind.
I typically don’t live life with regrets, though if I was pushed to name one regret, it would be not being able to speak a foreign language.
Especially since I used to be able to.
And to be honest it’s quite embarrassing. Being in a foreign country where the locals are making all the effort to speak in English and I can’t string a sentence together in theirs.
Telling people that yes, I did learn Japanese in High school, but now it’s all but disappeared.
So on my most recent trip to Japan I decided that enough was enough. I was done with feeling ashamed and guilty that I hadn’t put the effort into retaining Japanese as a second language, and I wanted to replace that with a feeling of pride at being able to thrive in real world conversations.
I told myself I wasn’t going to travel with a portable translator, and a couple of months before I left I downloaded Rosetta Stone on my desktop and phone.
When we think of useful travel apps we think of browsing the app store and downloading something useful to our phone.
And certainly, nowadays there are apps for just about everything; flight schedules, money journals, foreign language translations – there’s something to meet every traveler’s need.
There are many mainstream apps that almost everyone has; social media apps for staying connected, perhaps online banking to stay on top of your bills while you’re overseas. But by the same token, there are also a range of apps that will make your life easier, that you may not have realized you need!
There’s literally nothing worse than losing your photos or files (maybe travelers diarrhea, but to be totally honest, given the choice I would probably prefer the diarrhea!).
Imagine this: you’ve spent 2 weeks in Finland taking incredible photos, kept an excel document of everyone’s phone numbers and email addresses that you met along the way, but 2 weeks later it’s all been completely wiped from your computer.
And that’s not a fake scenario, it actually happened to me. I literally have zero photo proof that I’ve ever been to Finland or eaten reindeer.
Or you’re in the middle of an epic round the world adventure, and suddenly you can’t find the folder with all your flight confirmations, hotel and tour bookings, and itinerary.
Also happened to me.
And even though I consider myself to be reasonably tech savvy, trust me when I say it’s a struggle to recover those important files. And before I heard of Disk Drill, I never succeeded at file recovery. Now though, it’s a totally different story.
With travel photography becoming increasingly popular, a good quality camera is now a necessity for most travelers. But the biggest question is, what kind of camera should we use?
Whether you are an already experienced photographer or a beginner looking for ideas on which camera is the best, I see a lot of misguidance when it comes to advice on travel cameras.
A of lot of the time, I see people recommend equipment that would leave any professional photographer envious. And a lot of it. But from my own experience, you don’t need a very complex setup or the most expensive gear.
I traveled with the Fuji X100F through Southeast Asia for a few months and couldn’t be happier with it. For me, this is my ideal travel camera, and I want to share the stories that I was able to capture with that one single camera.
Almost every traveler packs their phone these days; when you have a GPS, a translator, an entertainment system and a camera all rolled up into one device, your phone becomes an essential part of the travel experience that you can’t afford to lose (with the prices of new phones lately, it’s often literally something you can’t afford to lose).
But every year thousands of smart phones are lost, stolen, or damaged while on vacation. In Australia alone, the AMTA reports more than 100,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen every year. That’s 2,000 each week or one mobile phone handset every six minutes.
And that’s not even considering the phones which are damaged, or hacked as part of cyber-theft.
Considering the expense of phones these days, the inconvenience of losing your boarding passes, photos, and contacts, and the security risks of having your personal data and information available for hack, it’s imperative to protect your phone when you travel overseas.
Our smartphones have become like our own personalized travel agents these days. From finding flights, to accessing real time translations, they have become a one stop shop for everything we need to search for, book, and enjoy our holidays.
Through the use of helpful apps, we can now easily travel all around the world like a pro. Though the usefulness of an app can definitely be regional; for instance what might be a brilliant app for Australia, might not do you any good in Europe.
When travelling through Europe you are faced with a wide variety of transportation options, hotel decisions, languages, currency conversions, etc. As such, knowing what the best apps are to help you with your journey is vital in order to enjoy a flawless travel experience.
The following are our favorite apps for European travel. I guarantee you’ll be well taken care of if you have these seven apps on your phone!
Video has become the newest trend in the world of travel; photos are still popular of course, but nothing beats a moving visual; something that can truly tell the story of a trip, beyond the 2 dimensional.
Video is a much more creative and engaging way of sharing stories and experiences from your travels, and watching them back is a more effective way of remembering a trip. We’ve all heard the phrase “a picture is worth a 1000 words”, but if you’re shooting at 30 frames per second, every second of video is worth 30,000 words!
Shooting video is fairly straight forward, however when it comes to editing, that part isn’t always so easy. The final product needs to be compatible across various devices, you need to export for the best video quality, but aim for a small file size, and make sure that it tells a vivid story.
To that end, we have summarized the 5 most important video editing tips that every traveler needs to know.
As adventure travellers, Mike and I often find ourselves travelling to off the beaten path destinations. Whether it’s engaging in all day treks in search of wildlife, or biking down the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia, for some reason we’re drawn to a destination’s less explored places.
Getting off the beaten path has led to some incredibly unique and memorable experiences, but one definite hazard is that once you leave the main tourist route, you do put yourself at a bit of a risk in terms of safety.
It’s often the case that exploring off the beaten path means finding ourselves off the grid, without a means of communicating. But there’s one device that aims to change that, and become the ultimate device for outdoor networking, allowing you to stay in contact with friends and access emergency assistance without needing the internet or a phone signal.
As I travel around the world, it never ceases to amaze me just how many people are fluent in more than one language. Granted, I am blessed that the only language I can speak is spoken nearly everywhere to at least some degree. Though this isn’t always true once you start travelling off the beaten path, and it is a sign of respect when visiting someone else’s country that you at least attempt to speak in their native tongue.
I am well aware that I should be the one to learn other languages. I don’t expect other cultures to conform to my native language, and I do actually enjoy discovering destinations that haven’t adopted English as an alternate or additional language. Like many frequent travellers though, I don’t have the aptitude to learn16 different languages, but I still want to communicate effectively wherever I go.
Last year I wrote an article about using MESAY, which is a portable language translator that you speak into, and it spits out translations in real time. Though the company has recently developed an upgrade, and will soon be launching MESAY 2.0.
With travel photography becoming increasingly popular, a good quality camera is now a necessity for most travelers. But the biggest question is, what kind of camera should we use?
For years, a DSLR camera was everyone’s go-to. But technology evolves, and there’s a growing trend among travelers today to go the mirrorless route.
Keeping up pace with bulkier and older DSLRs, mirrorless cameras use the latest technology to produce high quality images in smaller bodies. It’s called mirrorless because the cameras are designed not to have an optical mirror in front of the sensor, which is common in DSLR cameras. Instead, it uses a digital display system, or an electronic viewfinder.
So if you’re planning to switch your DSLR to a mirrorless camera, or you’re looking for your first camera to start with, here are 6 mirrorless cameras that you can try.
If you’re anything like me, you get a headache when it comes to understanding the specs of today’s cameras. I try my hardest to watch YouTube tutorials in an effort to become wiser, but end up frustrated and feeling as though I am that single kid in the back of the class that just doesn’t get it.
Yes I want a camera that records good images and video, I am after all a travel blogger who needs to share my experiences with the world. My goal, however, is to inspire others to travel, not to enter photo competitions or create the next Academy Award winning masterpiece.
We’ve all become so programmed to think we need to keep up with the crowd by shelling out hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the latest well known name brand camera equipment. But there comes a stage where you wonder if we really need all these new fancy camera features and if so, does it really have to cost us an arm and a leg to get it?
Personally, I’ve gotten to the stage where I would rather spend more on adventure travel and less on action camera’s.
Once upon a time, a camera was a luxury, and on a family holiday, you generally had to share it. I remember my first trip abroad – Japan in 2009. I had to seek my parents permission to take the family digital camera with me.
Though these days cameras have become an essential, and every traveler has one. In fact most people have two; a camera which is actually a camera, and the one built into your phone.
Yes, we’re well and truly living in the camera phone era, and as you travel around the globe you may notice a trend that travelers are leaving their traditional digital camera’s at home. Instead, most people these days are favoring their phone.
When it comes to planning a trip, it’s very rarely easy. What is there to see in the area? What are the cheapest flights? And, if you’re hitting up a number of places in one trip, how do you manage the booking process through so many destinations?
Having a passion for travel is one thing, but a passion for travel planning is an entirely different ball game! You have to be passionate about excel spreadsheets, comparisons, and breaking the record on how many tabs you can have open before your internet decides to crash!
And it’s even more difficult if you’re trying to collaborate and plan a trip with family or friends. Sometimes the planning process is all so overwhelming that you wonder if travel is worth it in the first place.
Though what if planning and booking a trip was genuinely easy to do? We’ll let you in on a secret – it is! For independent travelers who don’t like to use a travel agent, and prefer to set their own itinerary, there’s now an easy way to plan your perfect trip. All of a sudden planning becomes fun, with Relovate.
One of the biggest challenges when traveling is overcoming barriers to communication, and for someone who frequently travels, it’s highly likely you’ll eventually land in a country where you don’t understand a word.
And this can be quite daunting. I’m sure I’m not the only traveler who’s landed abroad and felt like a mute for being unable to speak the native language. Frankly, it’s embarrassing; so you end up taking some pictures, looking at the scenery, and leaving, without having interacted with anyone.
Though as for learning a new language, the brutal truth is that not many people have the time or energy, or even the mental ability to retain a new language, especially when you’re touring multiple countries and need knowledge of several different dialects.
So if you’re wondering how to overcome barriers of communication, you’e not alone. But you don’t need to worry anymore! There’s a new smart voice translator being released which means you can speak 20 languages in 2 seconds! It’s an incredible device, and may just kill the language barrier for good.
Traveling the world may sound glamorous, and many moments are indeed. However let’s not pretend that there aren’t just as many moments where you begin questioning whether all the headaches are worth it!
I long for the day when I win the lottery and can fly First Class, with fancy additions like compression socks, slippers, pajamas, and those seemingly much more high tech headphones. Upon seeing them on my last flight I was jealous enough that I finally looked into replacing my free tangled mess given to me by the flight attendant.
I came across Sennheiser’s PXC 550 Wireless noise cancelling headphones. A German based company that specialises in premium audio products, there are headphones, and then there are these.
You’ve probably heard the old adage that the best camera is the one you have with you. For most of us, that means our best camera is our humble mobile phone.
Modern mobile phones do a decent job at taking a pretty picture, but they do have their limitations. If you want to get creative with your photography, or get that envious ‘blurred-background’ look, you’re much better off investing in an inter-changeable lens (ILC) camera, or at least, a good compact camera.
Buying a decent camera doesn’t mean breaking the bank – there are plenty of great cameras available for under $500 and some great dSLR lenses which cost much less than you’d expect.
What I will say though, is that by stretching your budget a little further, you can get a camera that will serve you well for many years to come. But let’s first decide what makes a good travel camera.
As a smartphone user, you already know the importance of mobile security. Your personal data needs to be protected, and without property security applications installed most phones are easily hacked.
But especially for those who travel overseas, it’s more common to connect your phone to unsecured WiFi networks now than any other device, and when you’re on the move you download attachments directly to your phone. But think about the type of information you would lose if you ended up with malware or a virus. Or how this could be used if it fell into the wrong hands.
We store everything on our phones these days, from personal information and emergency contacts, to bank passwords and hotel and flight confirmations. So it’s absolutely essential that you protect your mobile device. And for other android users out there, the easiest way to do this is by downloading the AVG latest antivirus software free option.