Smartphone or no Smartphone?

There is a growing discussion among travelers in the world about whether you should travel with technology or without. More specifically should you bring your smartphone with you everywhere you go or not? We all know how addicted to our phones we are. I mean, every thanksgiving dinner your Grandparents are pacing around griping about everyone not talking to each other and staring into the abyss. That can’t just be my family. This comes into play when you are wanting to travel around. It is an obvious problem that could arise. Are you going to be staring at your phone or staring at the beautiful landscape or talking to new people? Will the technology keep you from experiencing the places you visit to the fullest? You can spend just as much time sucked into a book or a journal as you can with your phone. The key is to not use it ALL THE TIME. Your batter dying is a horrible situation and you don’t want it to happen anyways.

In my opinion going technology free has its place and can be beneficial. BUT, I believe it is not only fine to have your phone with you at all times, I think it is essential to have the best experience you can. For me, having my iPhone with me made everything easier and let me focus more on the experiences that make traveling more fun. When your goal is to have as much fun as possible, spend as little money as possible, and make the trip less stressful then having a smartphone is a NECESSITY.

Let me tell you why. For one, your phone is your camera. Who doesn’t want to take pictures and videos of all the amazing things you see? There’s no real need to haul around a pack just for your camera and equipment. Your phone takes fantastic photos. Another reason is getting around new cities. Being in a country where you don’t speak the language is stressful and also an adventure. Google Translate is pretty incredible as you can scan signs and menus and it translates it real time. It is not very good at it, but it helps you understand a little bit and you can communicate in a very embarrassing way and still have fun.

Google maps is like having an angel on your shoulder telling you exactly what streets to take, what trains or busses to take, when to get off, and how long it will all take. You should make time for exploration and adventure, but sometimes you are time constraint and need to make your train and you can’t read any signs in other languages. Now if you are one of those clinically insane people who still use Apple Maps, stop what your doing and delete that garbage and start using Google Maps like a normal person.

No one likes to look like an idiot on the side of the street trying to flag down a taxi especially when you find out that you can only take taxies at specified stops and you just wasted 30 min waving your hand at every car that passed by. Uber and Lyft are basically everywhere, and you can just copy and paste the address of where you need to go and there is no argument or stress about trying to communicate to the Italian dude where your going and he doesn’t speak English.

So those are some of the reasons why I think having your phone is essential, plus how else are you gonna piss all your friends off on Instagram with your constant posts of you having a blast while they work.

I want to know what you think. Do you think you should travel with your phone or not? Or maybe just sometimes? Why or why not? What are some apps you find essential to help you travel?

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