When was the last time you tried to claw your SIM card out of its tiny tray? And what are the odds that you had a hard time (and felt super annoyed) while doing it?
For some, swapping out a SIM card is synonymous with traveling abroad, especially for longer periods of time. That tiny pin that’s hard to keep track off gets dusted off and put to use, all to swap in a rarely used SIM for the destination you are headed to. There are many changes (happening very quickly) in the tech space, particularly with smartphones. Among those has been the evolution away from physical SIM cards towards eSIMs.
The technology is still new, and many of us are scratching our heads, wondering if it could ever work for us. And the good news is that yes, it can. eSIMs are something that will make your mobile life so much easier, especially when traveling. So let’s look at what the heck an eSIM is, how you can use it at home or abroad, and why it may work for you and help you stay connected (and avoid pesky roaming fees).
It’s widely accepted that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself. But how do you immerse yourself in Japan when borders are locked down? Or when you don’t have the means to just take off and escape to Italy (a girl can dream!).
There are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in language from home these days; apps, games, and even video chat with foreign strangers (though that’s if you’re paying attention to what they’re saying!). The problem is though, that while companies are constantly trying to make language learning fun, you still need to take time out of your day.
But that just changed! Toucan is a free Chrome extension (download it here) that helps you learn a language as part of your normal, everyday web browsing. Once turned on, it scans the text of whatever website you’re reading and changes a small number of words into the language you want to learn.
It peppers your normal daily web experience (social media, news and everyday reading) with translated words so you can pick up a new language without even trying, without changing your behavior, and without taking any extra time out of your day.
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.
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!
Millions of travelers around the world already know and love TripAdvisor for its millions of traveler reviews. The platform is a fabulous resource for insights into attractions, restaurants, hotels, and making better decisions when planning a trip.
And a lot of the time, I’ve found that the information on TripAdvisor is often more up to date than a company’s own website. It’s truly become the Google of the travel world. Our ultimate go-to.
It’s no secret that most travelers will eventually end up on TripAdvisor when planning their vacation, but they’ve recently rolled out some pretty incredible features meaning you can book your whole trip too. That’s right – TripAdvisor is now much more than just traveler reviews!
If there’s one thing I’m always on the hunt for, it’s finding a better way to learn a new language.
People learn a language for all different reasons. It’s a great way to get ahead in your professional career, connect with family members, or maybe you met a cute foreign boy. Though my interest lies in speaking with locals while I’m traveling.
Because I hate feeling ashamed that I can’t communicate in another language. We expect tourists visiting English speaking countries to speak English, however 90% of the time don’t reciprocate by making an attempt to speak the local language when traveling through foreign countries ourselves.
Not expecting people to speak to you in English, and making at least an attempt to communicate in the language of the land wherever you go, is a sign of respect for both the locals and their culture. But language learning isn’t for everyone, and surely no-one in the world has mastered over 200 local dialects! So what is a traveler to do?
When it comes to booking any kind of travel experience, nothing beats the recommendation of a friend. But when it actually comes to booking a trip or buying something online, we all end up basing our decisions on reviews by complete strangers on sites like Tripadvisor, Yelp or Amazon, and letting random reviews dictate how we spend our time. Which doesn’t make a great deal of sense, because the strangers who leave reviews on these sites don’t know us.
Until now, we have used these sites because there has been no better alternative to sourcing trusted recommendations and reviews in a quick and convenient way. Though with the release of free travel app ‘Pearlshare‘, that’s all about to change.
A fantastic app which lets you build and share local travel guides, and tap into the knowledge of your inner-circle, Pearlshare is about to leave review sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp behind. It’s easy to use, and a fantastic new way to guarantee you’re getting travel advice from sources you trust.
Sharing your travel photos today is a simple click away thanks to how far photography technology has come. Though have you noticed recently that everyone seems to be sharing the same shots?
There are so many beautiful places to see in the world, whether that be a natural wonder or an architectural site, though it feels as though the world has already been photographed. As a tourist, it’s difficult to capture a unique angle which the world hasn’t already seen. Difficult to make your photography stand out when 1,000 tourists before you have stood and set up their tripod in that exact same spot.
Well, If you’re sick of coming home from overseas with the exact same shots as everyone else who owns a camera, Fripito is the app you need. Local knowledge, insider tips, and unique photo locations which other tourists simply don’t know.
It continues to amaze me how quickly technology evolves. Travel is made more and more accessible everyday through the sleuth of new technology, apps and start-ups, and now resources to find affordable travel options exist in droves. The aim? To help us travel cheaper, smarter and longer. And while smartphones didn’t even exist when I began to travel, now we don’t even need to wait for our laptops to power up – everything is more or less available instantly from the palm of our hands.
Though it’s now getting to the stage where we’re facing an information overload, and while it was once took hours to access information, now it could take hours to sort through it. There are almost too many resources, apps and start-ups, and the task becomes figuring out where to begin.
When searching for cheap flights, car hire and hotels at least, I’ve found you don’t need to look further than an app called Webjet. Comparing all available airfares, hotel deals and car rental rates around the globe, Webjet is your very own one-stop travel booking app, and the download is free.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could easily have a conversation with someone in a totally foreign language such as Chinese? Wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could do that in just a few seconds?
To be speaking in a totally foreign language with someone else halfway around the world in seconds is a pretty bold claim, (and they do mean with your voice, not just using text translations), but Hello Pal have hit it home in recognizing that immersion really is the best method for language learning.
Rather than having you study boring and often complex grammar, syntax and vocabulary, Hello Pal is a free social language learning app which chooses to throw you in the deep end (with flotation devices!) and teaches you how to swim. You pair yourself with a native speaker, and there’s a unique phrase book integrated into its chat system which allows you to learn and speak on the go. Type or physically speak the phrases into your phone, and away you go! It’s that easy to begin a conversation, even in a language you didn’t know existed minutes before.