The dawn of the internet age, and in particularly the widespread use of smart phones and mobile apps, has made so many facets of travelling easier. Hotel booking, currency conversion, weather reports, even instant translation – you name it, and there’ll be an app for it. Of course, smart phones can be a mixed blessing, too; it’s all too easy to spend all day glued to them, or to be too consumed in taking pictures for your social media accounts when really you should be making the most of each individual moment when you’re travelling. Happily, when used in the right way, your iPhone can help you to do just that, in as convenient and stress-free a way as possible.
There are a few general tips which are worth applying when you’re using Smartphone apps abroad. The first of these, as obvious as it sounds, is to use Wi-Fi as often as possible in order to save money on often extortionate data roaming charges. Turn roaming off so that you don’t automatically use data when you’re abroad. Most tariffs will charge you per day for data usage abroad, meaning that even if you don’t go online one day, you will be charged for that day if your data is not switched off. Wi-Fi Finder is a great app which allows you to find those sought-after Wi-Fi hotspots, and it works both online and offline, so you don’t need to use data to use it. Another tip is to use apps which cache, such as the free TripIt app. This means they store your travel information, so you don’t need to be online to access notes, destination guides and flight information.
Your iPhone can also help booking your stay easier than ever. The Montcalm App allows you to browse all the Montcalm hotels and get the latest prices and deals via push notifications. You can view galleries, maps and amenities to make sure that you pick the property which best fits your needs, and plan your stay in advance by browsing the extensive list of bars and restaurants at each property, with something for everyone from relaxed eateries to elegant cocktail bars.
The prevalence of USB chargers for smart phones, including iPhones, has made charging them easier. USB is universal and many unrelated appliances, such as televisions, will have USB ports nowadays, meaning that the chances are you’ll be able to find somewhere in your hotel room to charge your phone. That being said, an international adapter remains a good investment, as does a portable external charger. These are a godsend for extended periods without mains electricity, such as camping trips or treks, and can be used to charge a variety of devices. Skype is a great app which allows you to make free video calls to anyone, anywhere in the world, as long as you’re connected to the internet. The iPhone App Store is also packed with options to help you beat travelling boredom, with games, books and films to help pass those hours on planes and trains and in cars.