Going on holiday? There’s an app for that

  • Tech News
  • Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019

ILLUSTRATION - If you're planning on taking your smartphone to the beach, it's a good idea to buy a protective case that will keep sand out of all the ports. Photo: Christin Klose/dpa

Instead of whipping out an oversized map or bulky travel guide anytime you need to figure out where you’re going when you’re on vacation, wouldn’t it be easier to use your smartphone instead? 

The only downside is that a smartphone needs to be charged. To make sure your phone is always juiced, those travelling to many different holiday destinations should pack different adapters. 

“These devices usually have four or five different plugs,” explains Christian van de Sand from consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest. 

On a hiking holiday or train trip, you can use a powerbank to charge until you get to a socket. In this case, experts say you should pay attention to the charging capacity. This is given in milliamperes hours (mAh), and they advise anything from 5,000 to 10,000 mAh. 

Especially on long-haul flights or long train journeys, the permanent background noise can be annoying – noise cancelling headphones can provide peace and quiet. 

“However, headphones with very good noise suppression are expensive and have to be charged regularly,” says Alexander Spier of the trade magazine c’t. The best choices are well-insulated, in-ear headphones or acoustically closed headphones, in particular models that completely cover the ears. 

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll want to capture all the beautiful moments. However, photos or videos take up a lot of space. One solution is to expand your ’s internal memory with an additional memory card – 16 gigabytes is usually enough. 

Regular backups are also important, Spier says – for example, loading the pictures into the cloud via WiFi at the hotel. That means you don’t lose your precious images if the memory cards somehow break.  

If you use a smartphone, tablet or e-book reader on a sandy beach, it’s best to use a protective cover. “You should make sure that all inputs are really protected,” Spier says. 

If you want to photograph the underwater world, you could buy a special camera. “They are usually very expensive,” Spier points out. Alternatively, you can buy a special case for your smartphone. 

It’s not just the camera that makes a mobile phone a useful travel companion. A host of apps also make holidaying easier. In addition to navigation, voice and travel guide apps, you can install a currency converter, weather apps or apps from rail companies and airlines. 

According to the experts, those looking to use their smartphone in the car as a navigation device should get a suitable holder, such as a suction cup or a clip. It’s worth keeping in mind that navigation also uses up a great deal of battery power. “You should definitely be able to charge in the car,” explains Spier. For example, via a USB adapter that can be plugged into the cigarette lighter. 

To ensure that the navigation app doesn’t consume too much data volume in online mode, it’s often possible to download the map material of the desired holiday destination onto the smartphone before travelling. The map material is then available offline for 29 days on Google Maps, for example. Other map and navigation services such as Here WeGo or City Maps 2Go also offer offline maps. – dpa


Across The Star Online