Essential kit for travel in Europe: the smartphone?

Posted by admIn | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-04-2017

Travelling in Europe can provide experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.  There are several key issues to consider when you are preparing for your trip.  After you decide where you want to go, three of the main logistical issues are navigation, arranging cheap travel, and finding affordable accommodation.  Smartphones can now help make short work of addressing all three issues when travelling in Europe, but the devices can also present problems in themselves – here we look at some of these issues.

Guide and phrase books were essential pieces of kit just a few years ago, and the need for the information contained within has not diminished.  The advent of the app supported by the smartphone, however, has not only supplanted the printed word as a source of information but now often provides many solutions to the logistical issues outlined above.

There is always an argument about the type of experience that you wish to have while travelling, with instant access to information perhaps an unwelcome barrier to the romance of getting a bit lost and truly exploring.  However, you don’t always need to have a smartphone switched on, and the devices can provide a useful backup and a degree of security when travelling alone.  If you will be travelling with such expensive equipment, make sure that you check out the terms of your travel insurance.

Stipulations such as high excess payments, or relatively low single item limitations in the travel insurance package can be a real let down should something happen to your smartphone, especially if you are using the full capacity of the device to navigate, and arrange travel and accommodation.  Make sure that you take some time over the purchase of a travel insurance package before you set off, and check the detail of policy.  Comprehensive cover need not be expensive these days, thanks to the increased market competition created by the newer players in the travel insurance field like Santander, as long as you can take the time to shop around a little.

Another issue to consider that can have a major impact on the cost of your travel are the roaming charges incurred for using a mobile while abroad.  Downloading information in particular can cost a small fortune if you find yourself on the wrong mobile package.  Just as with travel insurance, this is something you need to check out before you set off on your travels, especially if you are relying heavily on a smartphone for accessing information.  Sometimes, bypassing the roaming process by buying a new sim card and using the local mobile network directly is the most cost effective answer, but this requires some research.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mobile charges, this information will often have to be gathered on a country by country basis.  Perhaps easier is to use local internet cafes as well as your smartphone whenever possible, especially when downloading maps and other data heavy information that can be sent to your phone free via Bluetooth connection.

 

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