We live in a brave new world, one filled with the wonders of social media networks, really smart smartphones, and enough wi-fi hotspots no make sure you never need to drop off the grid. The hipsters among us may well frown at the pervasive nature of technology in modern life (they're old school, they prefer actual maps), but truth be told, so many gadgets do tend to make one's life easier. And sure, maybe you can do without all the hyped-up tech, and people were travelling well before GPS told them where to go (back in the good old days of top hats and Grand Tours around Europe). But why make your life harder than it needs to be? Here are some ways in which technology can help you make the most of your holidays.
1. Scan your documents, save a tree.
Gutenberg was a clever old fellow, and he knew he was on to something with that printing press of his. But in a world where information is made up of 1s and 0s, you don't really need to carry around physical copies of your documents in the off-chance that you may lose, misplace or otherwise be separated from the originals. Just scan the whole lot of them, upload them to DropBox or GoogleDocs (or just e-mail them to yourself) and you're set to go
.2. Put your mobile phone to good use.
If for some reason you didn't request GPS when hiring a car (you can sometimes find free GPS on some locations, so keep an eye out for special deals
, simply use your smartphone (they don't just call them smart for no reason). Many modern mobile phones have GPS, and those that don't will still give you access to Google Maps (which is good for more than making
3. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Remember how smartphones are really smart? Well, they're even smarter than that. Use your phone's camera to keep information you need to remember (such as the place where you parked your car). You can also use the camera to take updated pictures of your kids before you leave the hotel, in case one of them wanders off and you need assistance in finding them.
4. All the information, all the time.
Mobile Internet is a wonderful thing. Do you need to find a restaurant? An ATM machine? A cinema that shows movies in English? Take out your trusty mobile phone and check the Internet. But, I hear you ask, what about data roaming charges? And yes, those are pesky indeed, but as we've previously established, you'll have a harder time escaping free wi-fi (though why would you try that?) than actually finding it.
5. Social networks can actually be useful.
Regularly updating your status on social media networks is more than a way to make your friends insanely jealous with all the pictures of your amazing holiday. It's also a way for them to know you're safe and well (and to let them know if your travel plans change so that they don't worry if you end up staying away longer than planned). So make sure to keep updating Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (if for some reason you're stuck in 1999) or any other social media platforms you use.