Many people love to travel during vacation time. Seeing beautiful countries, tasting new foods, and learning about different cultures is engaging and exciting for lots of people. But some aspects of travelling, from dealing with aeroplanes to overcoming language barriers, are inconvenient. In several small ways, technology can help make these travel irritations easier, so you can spend more time focused on the fun parts of visiting somewhere new.
Noise-Cancelling Headphones Improve Airplane Rides
Traveling by aeroplane is convenient, but that doesn’t keep travellers from forgetting how uncomfortable they can be. From the engine noise to the lack of legroom to the limited ability to move about, you can get pretty uncomfortable on an aeroplane.
Technology can’t do much to improve the fact that you only have a few square feet to yourself, but it can help you relax to some great tunes or an audiobook. Noise-cancelling headphones give you the illusion of privacy while you’re travelling, and they might help you zone out enough to take a small nap.
E-Readers Reduce Luggage Weight
When travelling overseas, packing light is essential, whether you check or carry on your bags. Books are a favourite source of travel entertainment, but they can be heavy. If you bring more than one, you could be adding extra pounds to your luggage that you probably don’t want to haul around.
Invest in an e-reader for your trips, even if you prefer to read paper books at home. An e-reader lets you bring tons of books along with you and it’s extremely lightweight. The only downsides are that you have to remember a charger, and you may have to power it off during certain portions of a flight. If you’re doing your best to pare down your luggage to the bare essentials, however, an e-reader is a must-have.
Apps Make Booking and Tracking Easier
Does anyone miss the days of paper plane tickets and not finding out about a flight delay or cancellation until you arrive at the gate? Now, when you book your travel plans online or with an app, you can have status updates sent straight to your phone. That often gives you enough time to make other arrangements if something goes wrong.
Better still, some apps give you access to several types of transportation in just a few clicks. If you’re travelling through Europe, the GoEuro app connects you with flights, buses, and trains. Because trains and buses are major methods of travel for European countries, an app is a perfect way to make sure you’re booking the fastest route.
Translation Devices Help You Communicate
Several new translation devices either have recently hit the market or are currently in development. These clever pieces of technology are small, portable, and simple to use. The ili is a translator you wear around your neck. It’s a small rectangle that can translate English into several languages. The ili will be available to the general public sometime in 2017.
The Pilot from Wavery Labs is a small in-ear device that translates what you’re hearing into your preferred language. Bored Panda compares it to the Babel Fish from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Fitness Devices Keep Your Diet on Track
Trying to keep to a specific diet or limit your daily calorie intake while on vacation is difficult. Figuring out the ingredients in foreign food can seem impossible, and if you aren’t going to the gym, how can you tell how many calories you’re burning while walking around Paris or hiking in Sweden?
A simple fitness band plus its app will help you stay on top of your fitness goals. Your activity level on vacation is completely different from your regular life, so instead of trying to estimate how many calories you’re burning, you can view the fitness band’s report and know for sure.
If you spend a day on the beach, you know not to opt for a dinner with lots of fat and oil in it. If you took 30,000 steps exploring a European city, you can probably afford dessert. Remember, you’re on vacation. It’s okay if you aren’t completely accurate, but a general idea of calories in and calories out will help you stay on the fitness wagon until you get home.
The Cloud Connects You With Work
Nobody wants to do work while travelling, but sometimes it’s inevitable. If you telecommute a lot, you might trade off doing some work while on vacation for the opportunity to take more vacations, since you work from home so much. Before computers, people had to lug file-stuffed briefcases on vacation with them. Now, a tablet plus cloud storage gives you access to everything you need.
As long as you find a Wi-Fi or LTE connection while on the road, you can log into your work cloud account and see the files you require to complete your tasks. Do this from the hotel room while your family is resting or showering so you don’t miss any fun times during the day. Traveling on planes, trains, and buses is another great time to get work done. Check to see that your mode of transportation offers Wi-Fi before you leave. If you’ll be travelling sans Wi-Fi, download some files for offline use so you can still maximize your travel time.
GPS Gets You Around Unfamiliar Places
Though GPS isn’t a new type of technology, people continue to rely on it to get around unfamiliar cities. Whether you have GPS on your smartphone or you use a separate device, seeing your location on a map and getting simple real-time directions is undeniably convenient. It’s especially helpful when you’re visiting a country where you don’t speak the language and you can’t read the street signs.
How many of these travel technologies have you used in the past? As more technology becomes geared toward seeing the world, especially travel overseas and to countries with unfamiliar languages, the world opens up to so many more people. Are you excited to experience any new travel technologies the next time you go?