The world is on the move. People are travelling more than ever before, and by 2030 it is estimated that our 8.5 billion strong population will collectively take over 2 billion international trips over year. This much travel demands speed and efficiency, and there’s one industry that is running ahead of the game – travel tech.
Technology is changing the way in which we travel, making it quicker and easier to plan, book and make the most of our valued holiday time. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 7 ways in which technology can help you save time and money on your next trip.
1. Search for flights & compare prices online
Thanks to the likes of Skyscanner, Kayak or Momondo, booking flights online has never been easier. These sites pull up all available flight routes and prices for your desired dates, allowing you to quickly compare and find the most cost and time efficient flight paths.
2. Download offline maps so you’ll never get lost
Paper maps be gone! No longer do you need to wander a new city with your nose stuck in a map, arguing with your partner when you inevitably end up in the wrong place. maps.me is the answer to all your problems, allowing you to download maps which can then be used offline and without access to internet. The maps display cafes, restaurants, historical sites and the like, and for those keen to head out into nature, they even display hiking trails and popular lookouts. Just be sure to download the map of your required destination whilst you have access to WiFi, so you have it prepared on your device.
3. Save space in your luggage by switching to e-books
As travel tech goes, we reckon the Kindle is one of the best travel gadgets ever invented. Instead of taking up precious space in your luggage by packing paper backs, switch to an e-book instead. Books on Kindle cost less than their paper back equivalents, and you can also access countless classics for free.
4. Avoid unnecessary paper usage by switching to e-docs
Before e-docs, it was standard practice to arrive at the airport with piles of annoying paperwork. Thankfully, in today’s world we no longer need to waste more precious trees, as we can simply download all of our boarding passes, reservation codes and essential travel paperwork to our devices. Trafalgar’s One Tree Planted initiative takes this digital perk one step further; for every guest who opts for e-docs over printed paperwork, they plant a tree in their name.
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5. Keep track of your spending by using a money tracking app
Going on vacation can make you feel a little like a walking, talking ATM. Once in holiday mode it can be easy to get a little frivolous with cash, resulting in a post trip panic about how much money you actually spent overseas. But thanks to money tracking apps like Trail Wallet or Tripcoin, you can keep a cautious eye on how much you’re spending. These apps allow you to enter every purchase in the local currency (using the conversion exchange rate of the day), and allow you to set a total trip budget which then calculates how much you should be spending each day, to help you stay on track. Splitwise is also a super simple way for friends to split bills and pay each other back.
6. Communicate with locals through Google Translate
All praise the Gods at Google for creating Google Translate, a travel tech stroke of genius. Don’t get us wrong, we’re big advocates for learning a few key words and phrases in the local language, but for those times when you’re limited vocab of ‘bonjour’ and ‘gracias’ fails you, Google Translate is a life saver. Through the app you can piece together a half decent conversation with a local (often filled with laughs at the inevitable mispronunciation), not to mention other benefits that include using your camera to translate a sign or menu in real time.
7. Online banks save you money on international transaction fees and cash withdrawn charges
Getting stung with international transaction fees is an all too real holiday scenario. Many of us fall foul to this expense, but the good news is, you don’t have to. Starling Bank is an online bank that allows you to withdraw money for free overseas, paying only local ATM fees if these apply. Monzo and Revolut are two other good options, and the best news is you can open accounts with all three free of charge.
Do you have any essential travel tech or use any travel apps that make your life easier? Share your tips in the comments below.