Nowadays, it sometimes feels as though technology is running our lives. This may not be very far from the truth, but until such time as Skynet takes over, we can all enjoy the perks of living in the future. Here are a few ways technology can help you during your travels.
Digital documents are clearly the way to the future.' - Johannes Gutenberg:
It's always sensible to have copies of your documents when travelling. Back in the days of yore, people would simply photocopy them, but the disaster that could befall originals could just as easily befall their copies. Much like James James Morrison's Mother, they too could end up 'lost or stolen or strayed'. 1s and 0s on the other hand, can be easily accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. After scanning all your documents, you should upload them to your Dropbox account, or Google Drive, or even e-mail them to yourself, so that you always have them on hand if needed. For good measure, you should also upload them to your mobile phone.
'Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore.' - Dorothy:
Paper maps are quickly going the way of photocopies in a time when the vast majority of mobile phones has GPS capabilities. The use of GPS does not involve data roaming, making it quite safe to use abroad without worrying about hefty roaming charges. However, keep in mind that while GPS does not involve data roaming charges, downloading extra maps while abroad does. Make sure that you download any maps or GPS apps before you leave the country - or live dangerously and do it abroad anyway.
'This picture looks nothing like me.' - Random woman on the train:
The camera on your phone can also be used for more than for uploading your travel pics into your Instagram account. For instance, if you park your car in a large car park, you can photograph the signs indicating the parking spot, so that you can easily find it later. If you are travelling with children, you can also consider taking their picture in the morning before leaving the hotel. This way, if you get separated, you can quickly and easily engage the help of passers-by in finding them.
'Children are meant to be seen, not heard.' - Queen Victoria:
Remember how you riled so hard against the idea of buying your kid an expensive phone - cause you didn't have a phone when you were their age, there were none of these fancy gadgets when you were their age. Back then, if you wanted to use a phone, you had to walk ten miles in the snow, uphill, both ways. Well, you will be glad that you gave in to all the begging, because as it turns out, smartphones are good for more than keeping up with your Twitter feed. If your children get lost, you can very easily activate the tracking on their phone in order to quickly locate them.
'There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.' - Ralph Waldo Emerson:
We've all been guilty of oversharing in social channels at some point, but the time to reconsider your relationship with the evils of social media is not while travelling. Keep your Facebook updated, Tweet every now and then, drop by Myspace if for some reason you're still stuck in 1999. This will ensure your family and friends know that you're alive and safe, and will avoid you turning into the guy whose mother was so concerned about his lack of online presence that she engaged the help of the Peruvian government in tracking him down while he unwittingly enjoyed a relaxing Internet-free holiday in the Amazon.
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