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Become a Travel Genius with the Help of your iPhone

Molly L
by Molly Lisiewicz

September 04, 2018

5 minute read

In the twenty-first century, anyone can have their own personal assistant. It's no longer just a luxury we've seen in the movies! And no, we're not talking about a real person to cater to your every whim, but the smartphone you use every day.

While your smartphone might not be able to pick up your dry-cleaning or morning cappuccino, you can still take advantage of this user-friendly technology to make your travels as stress-free as possible. Whether you're embarking on the international trip of a lifetime, or a long weekend in a nearby city, this list can help you get better acquainted with your touch-screen device and its many capabilities. Here are our favorite tips for staying organized, alert and connected with the help of your smartphone:

Fill Your Calendar

Perhaps the most obvious on this list is Calendar, one of the many default iPhone apps. The app lets you stay organized and punctual, with alerts to remind you of important events (like that tour bus you have to catch by 9am tomorrow morning!) If you have Siri enabled, it's even easier to add these items to your calendar by speaking to your phone. You can simply add, cancel or move appointments without having to lift a finger!

Did you know you can share items on your calendar with friends and family? Sharing your travel schedule in the Calendar app is a great way to keep everyone in the loop when it comes to your flights, hotel changes and other activities throughout your tour.

Map it Out

The good news is that you don't have to rely on Wi-Fi to use the iPhone's default map! The not-so-great news? Data can be battery draining, and often expensive. To access the offline version, you'll need to plug in your destination while you're still on hotel or tour bus Wi-Fi. After that's done, you can turn off data, and as long as you still have "Location Services" turned on, the navigation will still work properly.

If location is turned off, you'll still be able to view the map and see a few basic points of interest, like landmarks, museums or restaurants.

Use your Wallet

Stop fumbling through your wallet and keep your important items in one, accessible place. The Wallet app ensures your boarding passes, theater tickets, coupons, and credit cards are always at the ready. Of course, we always recommend keeping those paper copies on hand as well, but having a digital back-up certainly provides peace of mind. You can view the companies and airlines that are compatible with Apple Wallet by opening the app and selecting "Find Apps for Wallet."

Share your Photos

I can actually thank my tech-savvy Dad for his expertise in this area! He's been organizing all of our family photos for years in iCloud, and to be honest I've never paid full attention to it until I began traveling alone. Now, it's one of my favorite features on the iPhone (thanks, Pops!) All you have to do is turn on "iCloud Photo Sharing" in your settings, and you can invite friends and family to view your photo album and even add their own photos. You can interact with shared photos and save your favorite ones to your photo library.

Catch a Ride

Move over, yellow taxi cabs! Ride-sharing apps have completely changed the way we travel through cities. Apps like Uber and Lyft have now gone international, completely changing urban transportation by connecting you with drivers in your area. All payment is processed through the app, which means you don't even have to take out your wallet to pay the driver.

If you're seeking a more traditional (or less expensive) way to travel, you can still use technology to your advantage. Several subways, trains and buses around the world have their own apps, where you can check schedules and even skip the lines by purchasing tickets on your phone. This may require a bit of research beforehand, but if you can put the app to use, you'll surely be the envy of all your new friends on tour.

Communicate Freely

World travel pro-tip: To avoid long-distance charges, turn off your cellular data and use WiFi to make calls through WhatsApp, Skype and FaceTime to friends and family. If traveling for a long period of time (longer than three weeks), you may consider purchasing a local SIM card.

If you're traveling internationally, and need assistance with communicating and navigating your surroundings, Google Translate has you covered. The amount of translation tools available in the App Store and online may be a bit overwhelming, but we've found that Google Translate is both free to use and offers over 50 downloadable language packs. To use the app offline, just pre-download the correct pack you'll need, which might range from 150-300 MB. Just type in the words you'd like to translate, or point your camera at a sign or menu for instant, on-screen translation. Technology is pretty amazing, don't you agree?

PS: If you're planning on traveling with us soon, don't forget to download our Collette Compass App! Check out this short video to learn more!


Did we miss one of your favorite techniques for staying organized with the help of your smartphone? Reach out to us on social media @GoCollette and let us know!

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