Chatting with travel experts around the world every day, we get an overwhelming influx of information varying from the ideal holiday destinations, to tried and true packing tips, to the best apps to use while travelling. Conversations occur in real-time during Twitter Chats using various travel hashtags, such as #luxtravelchat (our favourite for obvious reasons), #RGChat and #ttot, or over longer periods of time via blog posts and their subsequent comments back and forth by the travel community. We’re keeping a sharp eye on it all and will try share as much of the useful stuff with you here so you can make the most of the experts’ experiences!
Ever wonder how you could just pack better for every occasion? Not pack too much but not too little either? Well this is what those doing it day in and day out suggest:
During the #luxtravelchat, @LuxuryTravelMom asked, what is the one thing you can’t leave home without:
- Antibacterial wipes
- @kateejamieson uses them for cleaning trays and armrests on planes. I think they’d definitely come in handy when there is no soap in a bathroom, a common occurrence!
- Portable battery pack
- Alpine FlyFit ear plugs
- @amberlair brings these along on every trip to prevent ear pain caused by pressure differences and surrounding noise.
- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
- A bit bulkier than ear plugs but certainly worth the luggage room, @siamac uses these as they do what they say on the tin! No flight (or any journey really) will ever be the same.
- A Kikoy
- @thesafaririch brings this versatile garment to be used as a headscarf on a quad or as a wrap on the beach.
The #ttot (Travel Talk on Twitter) crowd had a chat this week about ‘Technology Use While Travelling’ where we picked up a load of tips on great travel apps to use, the best social media platforms to stay connected and how to get around without getting lost:
When asked by @TauckUK what technology improves our travel experience, the community had a lot to say:
- Accessible GPS
- Google Maps
- Sounds like Google is the most popular provider of location services with even iOS users preferring to download the Google Maps app rather than use their default Apple Maps. @tommyburson certainly agrees and uses Google Maps by saving maps offline, using its GPS and even switches to street view to determine if he’s landed in the right location. It’s an incredibly powerful app to have in your arsenal while travelling.
- Samsung NX300 Mirrorless Camera
- @driveonleft uses this camera for amazing photos while travelling. While camera phones are sufficient for casual photography, there’s nothing like having a solid camera around your neck to pick up upon inspiration, peer through and capture the perfectly amazing shot.
- Google Translate
- Another solid Google product, Google Translate has expanded from mere text translations (pshh) to voice and even photo translations. Check out @wheresshellyii‘s shot below of the app’s camera feature in use – it does actually work this well, try it out on a menu in another language! @siamac also swears by this app and has actually conducted conversations back and forth using just the app’s translations!
Technology cont’d…Travel Apps
During the Technology #ttot chat, @WTravelTogether asked everyone to name their number one travel app and why:
- Google Maps
- It just keeps coming up again and again, because that’s how good it is. @FrankiCobbett uses it for dropping pins and its offline feature where you can download an entire area and use it as if you were online – genius.
- The Photographer’s Ephemeris
- @CompassChasers swears by this tool to help photographers plan outdoor pictures. “It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.” Key for anyone slightly serious about taking good photographs and available as a browser, iOS or Android app.
- Been App
Some other useful travel apps that were mentioned that we’re sure you’re using already (but if you aren’t you should be!): TripAdvisor for planning the trip and checking out reviews, Airbnb for accommodation, Uber for getting around anywhere inexpensively with a private driver, CityMapperfor using public transportation, XE Currency Converter app, any airline’s app for mobile boarding passes and checking in to flights and of course one of our favourites Google Now cards for automated live updates on flight times and boarding gates.
Now it wouldn’t be a proper travel blog post without making you salivate over some gorgeous new destinations so here are a few from the #RGChat, hosted by @RoughGuides on Natural Wonders: