For people living today, it’s hard to imagine a life without a smartphone. This device has sooo many uses! If you play your cards right, you can turn your phone into one of your most useful travelbuddies. GPS, camera, music and so much more. Have a look at our list and get your phone travelready! Did we forget anything? Or is there something on the list you hadn’t thought of before? Make sure to tell us in the comments!
First and foremost: emergency contacts! Make sure to add the local emergency number in your contact list such as 911 for the USA or 112 for EU countries. This number differs from region to region and you will probably be stressed out in a moment when you need it, which might make it harder to remember. You won’t forget this emergency number in a moment of need if it’s just sitting in your contact list!
As a similar bonus tip: make sure to add ‘ICE’ in front of a few names in your contact list. ‘ICE’ is a common abbreviation for ‘In Case of Emergency’. This way if there is something wrong with you and someone else needs to use your phone to notify certain people, they can easily find them in your contact list. We have added ‘ICE’ in front of our parents’ names in our contact list for example.
Using your phone as a GPS is very useful! However, most of the GPS apps do need wifi or at least a mobile data connection to function. You probably won’t always have this at your disposal, so downloading an offline GPS can be really, really useful. We always use Maps.Me for this and are very pleased with it. You just download the app and then when you open the app, you can download maps for specific regions. Once you have downloaded your map, it works just like any regular GPS. It shows you your location, finds you the best routes to where you need to go et cetera.
Plenty of photo storage space
By now all smartphones come with at least one camera and these are getting better and better every year. Plenty of people don’t bother taking an additional camera along on their trip and just use their smartphones as they have those with them anyway. However, if you do this: make sure to clear some room on your phone or get yourself an additional SD-card (if your phone has an SD-card slot). This way you get to take aaaaall the selfies you want. 😉
Sometimes the picture you take, doesn’t really capture the beauty of where you are. The colours might be somewhat off, the picture might be too dark, too light… There are plenty of easy-to-use editing apps to enrich your photo and really show off the beauty of a certain spot. Our personal favorite is Snapseed (Android/Apple), but VSCO or Light Room for example are also great apps!
The right soundtrack
The right soundtrack can really enhance your travel experience! Some Africa by Toto or Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba perhaps when you’re on a safari holiday? Some Highway to Hell by AC/DC or I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash during a USA road trip? You get what we’re saying 😉 Make sure those songs are on your phone! If you’re using Spotify, it might be a good idea to work on a playlist and let Spotify download those songs before leaving for your trip. That way you get to enjoy all your music offline as well.
Make sure to check out our Travel Playlist for some great travel music inspiration. 😉
If your bank has a mobile banking app: it might be useful to download and sign in on that one as well. You never know when you need to transfer some money, check how much money you still have left to spend, plan how much you can still spend…
Plenty of data and credit
Make sure your phone still has plenty of data and credit before you leave on your trip. No thing as annoying as needing the internet to check something and discovering you’ve used up all of your data. If you are traveling in the same country for a long amount of time, it will be cheaper to get a local sim card. That way you won’t encounter any unpleasant financial surprises!
Last but not least: If you are going to use your phone intensely (which you will if you use all of these tips), make sure you get yourself a proper powerbank and lengthen the battery life of your phone. Most powerbanks have at least one or two full charges in them before they need to be recharged themselves as well. This is especially useful for long flights where you can’t charge your phone in between or if you are going on a multiple day hike with no electricity.
Did you like our tips? Do you have any more to add or did you read some you did not think about before? Let us know in the comments! We would love to read them! 😊
And if you’re going on a trip soon, make sure to use the hashtag #aboutsomethingaround on your Instagram pictures to get featured in our stories!