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Tech Travelling: 9 Must-Haves for Your Big Trip

Tech Travelling: 9 Must-Haves for Your Big Trip

Map reading, shaky language skills, tipping etiquette—some aspects of travel can be a little uncomfortable. Fortunately, tech has now made travelling less awkward, taking us way past all those paper boarding passes and clunky camcorders.

So, be a tech-savvy traveller and lighten your load by considering these tips, apps, and gadgets before hitting the road or boarding the plane.

1. Gogobot

This cool app is basically Facebook for world travellers. Log in and start giving tips and advice on destinations around the world and learn from others who have already visited your holiday location. You can connect with friends—including people you’ve met along the way—and make plans to meet up and exchange experiences and tips.

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2. A Smartphone

OK, we’re not blowing your mind here, but these days your smartphone really is your best travel companion. An unlocked iPhone can be used as a map, flight checker, currency calculator, boarding pass, and much more. Use your iPhone when you’re deciding on a place to eat or the best accommodation in the area. Receive real-time updates on public transportation and on events going on, whether in Berlin or Bangkok. For Android lovers: your phone will do as well.

3. TrustYou

These are reviews and recommendations, pulled from across the internet and analysed to give you the best results. Search for hole-in-the-wall restaurants and pubs and get the best suggestions for a hotel or hostel. This is always better than choosing a place to stay at your own sweet will and suffering from a weird neighbourhood, unpleasant view from the window, or the fact that the desired beach is located seven miles from your hotel.

4. Smart Luggage

Get a suitcase that weighs itself, locks, unlocks, and that you can track with GPS from your iPhone. You’ll never have to wonder where your bags are again or whether they’ve arrived safely at your destination.

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5. Mobile Check-In

If you’re staying in a Starwood hotel (among others), you can now check in using your phone and even enter the room with a mobile room key. Don’t worry about losing your key or it deactivating when it’s near your smartphone. No more wasted time in the lobby and awkward dialogues with the receptionist when you’re in a hurry.

6. GasBuddy

If you’re venturing on a road trip in the States or Canada, you’ll need this handy petrol station finder. With GasBuddy, you can find gas stations near your location as well as the best prices in the area. Plan your stops or just use it when you see the gauge getting low.

7. Google offine maps

Offline maps for both iPhone and Android are now available so that you can avoid all those scary roaming charges while you’re trying to find your way around a city abroad. So no worries if you’ve got no internet connection—everything you need will already be downloaded to your phone.

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8. TripLingo

TripLingo is a mobile translation and culture notes app that requires an unlocked iPhone to use. Use it to translate, calculate tips, and avoid classic faux pas. It will help you get around, order food, shop, and even make friends with the locals (yes, there’s an app for that!).

9. Portable Travel Charger

Stay organised and minimise the clutter with a portable travel charger that allows you to charge up to 4 devices at once. Plug in your iPhone, iPad, and any other device that may need charging. Wrap up your cables, keep things neat, and travel with ease.

The purpose of technology is to save you time and simplify complicated tasks that you come across during your journey. Use our tips and enjoy your trips. Traveling is fun if you know how to do it the right way!

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Featured photo credit: Old Suitcases in The James Hotel in Chicago/Judy via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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