Over the last few years, Smartphones and international SIM cards transformed the way people travel around the world. In this blog we’ll explore the trend and give some examples of apps and services you might find helpful on your journeys.
It wasn't all that long ago that when you traveled you picked up the phone book to find hotels available in your destination, called each to find the most affordable rate, then did the same with airlines and rental car companies. After spending hours, maybe even days, making these arrangements, you were ready to pack for your trip. Maps, credit cards, traveler checks, translation dictionaries, and cameras were indispensable necessities for your trip. Once arriving at your destination, the only communication you had with friends and family was when sending them a postcard. Due to the innovations of smartphones in recent years and the use of International SIM cards, these days are going by the wayside and smartphones are making all of these elements of travel vastly more convenient.
One case in point on how smartphones and international SIM cards have impacted the way that people travel is in the manner in which they plan their trips. Hotels.com studied the way that 9200 travelers across 31 countries used their phones for their travel needs and found the following:
• Around the world, 42 percent of people have booked a hotel on a mobile device.
• 53 percent of people under 30 have used a mobile device to book a hotel.
• 42 percent of people have booked their hotel on the same day as their check-in via mobile.
• 14 percent of people have booked a hotel from the airport before departing.
The smartphone travelers’ interaction with hotels doesn't stop at the booking process. For example, Marriott has developed an app that allows you to skip the lines once you arrive and check in straight from your phone. Once a patron's room is ready, the hotel will alert the guest and he or she can pick up the keys in the lobby at their convenience. One hotel chain, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, even allow guests to unlock their rooms using their smartphone and a Bluetooth connection. Other hotels will likely follow suit.
In addition to booking hotels, travelers are also using their smartphones to book flights. There are literally hundreds of apps available for booking flights from your smartphone and some of them are developed by the airlines themselves. Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) and aviation journal Air Transport World conducted a survey and found that 76 percent of passengers use airline apps and 43 percent of those say that doing so has improved their travel experience. Furthermore, some of these apps allow you to pick the seat for your flight and even learn more about the people who may be sitting next to you.
Some airlines allow you to use your phone as your boarding pass and this will become more popular as airlines start charging passengers for the luxury of printing boarding passes. One innovative flight app that was developed by Virgin America allows travelers to make contact and connect with potential business contacts. Another groundbreaking app developed by an airline is the Fly Delta App from Delta that gives passengers access to free movies, television shows, games, and music during their flight.
Another way that international sim cards smartphones have changed travel, is the way they allow travelers to book rent-a-cars. Many travel apps allow users to book their hotel and/or flight, then steer you to where you can rent a car at the same time.
Finding your way around an unfamiliar area has also become much easier because of smartphones’ GPS technology is a standard feature on virtually all smartphones now and apps like Waze and Google Maps provide step by step and turn by turn directions using this technology.
If you are not going to rent a car for your trip, you will likely need to get around somehow and smartphones allow travelers to access ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft or hail a cab electronically and get an estimate of how much your trip will cost.
It wasn't all that long ago that when you traveled, you were cut off from the rest of the world in a lot of ways. Thanks to smartphones and international SIM cards, that is no longer the reality for most travelers. One survey found that almost 85 percent of people check their email using their smartphone while on vacation. This type of technology is especially important for people who travel for business and need to stay connected. Users can even make phone calls for affordable rates by using international SIM cards in their smartphones. Smartphones can also keep travelers entertained during their trip. Apps like Netflix and Hulu allow travelers to watch television shows and movies from anywhere in the world using a mobile device.
There are also many apps that help travelers find restaurants, shops, bars, and other venues that will appeal to their travel needs. Apps like TripAdvisor that offer reviews can help travelers make informed decisions about the venues they choose or opt out of an attraction that will detract from their travel experience. Smartphones have changed the way that travelers document their journey as well. Every smartphone comes equipped with a high-quality camera to snap photos on the spot and instantly share their experiences on social networking sites like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitters, among others.
Another added convenience of smartphones are the ways in which travelers can pay for goods or services. Long gone are the days when a person had to carry all of his or her credit cards or travelers checks during their trip. Today, apps like Apple Ipay allow users to store payment information and the vendors that accept these types of payment methods are always expanding.
Smartphones have also knocked down the language barrier travelers will sometimes encounter when visiting other countries. There are several apps, Google Translate, for example, that aid with translation.
Due to recent smartphone innovations and the growing use of international data SIM cards, travel has become infinitely easier and convenient and has irreversibly changed the ways in which travelers plan and enjoy their journeys. Hopefully,this blog has made you aware of some of the ways you can use your smartphone to enhance the ways you journey across the world.
PoloSim is affiliated with NES Mobile which offers Israel Phones and Israel SIM cards, as well as unlimited internet plans and pocket wifi rentals in Israel.