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How Smartphones are Changing the Way We Travel

You may appreciate your smartphone for the way it's made taking pictures so incredibly convenient.  When you travel, you no longer need to pack a camera which, if you remember the old days often meant many extra pounds being lugged around by you. But smartphones are changing the way we travel in so many other ways, too.  Far from simply lightening the load we carry, they're also lightening the stress load as well.  Now, with a wifi connection and your smartphone you can do just about anything on the fly.  Additionally, smartphones aren't just a matter of convenience...they'are actually impacting us in real ways which end up altering our decisions and our views about travel.

Smartphone as Navigator

For instance, with map apps, there's no longer a real need to purchase and carry maps with you.  Android phones come pre-loaded with the Google Maps feature, which uses your phone's GPS technology to show your position on a wonderfully detailed map.  Then, you may type in directions for anything...an address, a tourist destination (type in "La Fontana di Trevi" when in Rome) or a city and get perfect directions. Tell your phone you're on foot and it will bring up step-by-step directions...literally!  You may even tell your phone you'd like directions via public transportation and you'll instantly have that spelled out of you as well.  It's smartphone-as-tourguide.

Smartphone as Tourguide

If you'd like to read a bit of history on the Trevi Fountain while you're gazing at its beauty, your smartphone's browser is right there in your hand.  Better yet, download some travel book apps before you go to make the process quicker and easier.  Using an app will usually eliminate that pesky step of searching and browsing, since it takes you directly to the information you want, within the app. Next, watch for the new crop of audio tour apps starting to appear.  They're called "sightseeing apps" and let you take the tourist experience completely into your own hands.

Smartphone as Money Manager

Thankfully, gone are the days when you had to purchase travelers cheques in order to feel secure when traveling with money.  Although we can't totally rely on the hopes that credit cards will be accepted everywhere we travel, Master Card has made huge inroads almost everywhere on the globe.  The trick is making sure your credit card doesn't charge you horrific transaction fees. Unfortunately, however, for those times when you need cash your credit card isn't always a viable option.  A cash advance means you'll be paying interest the minute you have the currency in hand.  Not only that, but the ATM fees alone could ruin your trip. That's where your smartphone and a prepaid travel card for international use will change everything.  It's a card you pre-load at home, and can be used anywhere Master Card is accepted (it has the MC logo).  Although these cards are not all the same, prepaid travel card reviews reveal that there are some which can be managed entirely on your smartphone.  That's going to be an essential feature once you're on holiday.  Why?  Because if you need to re-up your cash while traveling, you'll want to do it from your phone rather than by logging into a public computer in a foreign country. Ace-FX prepaid travel cards for international use can be topped up from your smartphone any time, anywhere.  You simply transfer the money from your connected debit/credit card and the money is there within minutes.  Voila: access to cash instantly!  And our ATM fees are lowest in the industry...check the prepaid travel card reviews for comparison shopping and you'll see that our fees are not only reasonable but extremely competitive. Better yet, an ACE-FX card can also be loaded by someone else should they feel the need to give you money while you're abroad.  They simply get a Faster Payment account and transfer the money directly to your prepaid card. ACE-FX products are available in Euros, multi-currency global cards, and for traveling to the United States there's the prepaid travel card USA...all of which can be managed via your smartphone.

Smartphone as Valet

Finally, your smartphone is now capable of handling the most tiresome of travel details while you sit back and relax.  No longer must you wait in line at many hotels for check-in.  Marriott hotels have kiosks which will check you in and deliver your key, for example. Here are a few more "chores" your smartphone will do for you, just as a traveling valet might do:

  • order rooms service (at some hotels)
  • serve as your hotel key
  • hail a cab (Uber)
  • serve as your boarding pass

It's an exciting time to be traveling- thanks to the incredible genius of today's app developers and your smartphone.  Don't leave home without it!

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