4 ways your smartphone can revolutionize your holiday

The use of smartphones is currently a hot topic. Do we use them too much? Are they causing damage to society and the way we interact with each other? It’s fair to say there are valid points for both sides of the argument. A lot of the focus is currently aimed at the negatives, but what about the improvements they have made?

Smartphones have taken great steps to make our lives a whole lot easier. Whether it’s syncing your family’s schedule or keeping in quick and easy contact with friends across the globe, there are always new opportunities to make the most of your phone. For one thing, organising and enjoying your holiday has become so easy!

1. Best offers

There are many websites out there that are designed to ensure you get the most out of your money. Discount codes, last minute deals, locals renting out apartments – you name it, you can find it. Whilst many still head to their local travel agents for great holiday deals, there are now other quick and easy ways to source them. It’s not just holiday bookings either, but days out and meals out too. There are many 2 for 1 offers or similar that can be found online with just a simple search.

A lot of travel options and attractions now offer discounts if you book in advance. Some of them have to be booked 24 hours or more in advance, whereas others just need to be booked before you get to the gate. Most places also accept proof of ticket/voucher purchase on your phone, too, rather than having to print them out. This means you can make the most of these offers when you’re already out and about, and keep them all together in your pocket. Easy.

2. Ease of booking

This leads us on to the ease of booking. Did you know, for example, that 87% of people in India book their entire trip through their phones? The majority of young people will also book their trips through their phones rather than seeing a travel agent face to face. It gives you a lot more opportunity to compare destinations and offers, and book the combinations that work best for you. It also means there’s less chance of being persuaded to pay for add-ons that you don’t need!

Travel insurance has become incredibly easy to purchase, too, with the many comparison sites you can find online. Put in your exact requirements, and find the policy which works best for you. Simple. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of holiday packages will give travel insurance as an add on, meaning you can buy it all together in one place.

3. Navigation

Getting a bit lost on holiday is all part of the fun right? Wrong? If you don’t fancy carrying maps around with you, download a digital navigation map instead. Some of them eat a lot of data as you go, but apps such as Navmii allow you to download your maps in advance so that you can track your journeys without succumbing to high-cost data-roaming charges.

smartphone for your holidays
source: Navmii

Many navigation apps also allow you to see what’s nearby. If you’ve gone on holiday and you’re stuck for something to do (perhaps the weather isn’t that great, for example) open up your app and see which attractions are nearby.

4. Language barriers

Language barriers are (almost) a thing of the past when on holiday. There is now a range of helpful translation apps available. Whether it’s speech, text, or images, you can now translate them into your own language with ease. You can also find text to speech translators. These allow you to input what you want to say, and your phone will automatically translate and speak it for you. It will then translate what is said back to you!

Whilst some argue that holidays should be enjoyed without a smartphone, it is easy to see just how much they can help you to make the most of your trip. You just need to consider your usage of them and ensure that they don’t prevent you from truly taking in your holiday destination. Don’t miss out on experiencing the world because you are too busy looking at your screen.

And you? Do you make the most of your smartphone while you are away? Do you let your smartphone revolutionise your holidays?
Let me know in the comments below!

Tips for Taking Your Business Overseas

[Guest post]

If you’ve launched a brand that’s going well locally, taking your business overseas is probably a natural evolution.

Data released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that while small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally limited their presence to local markets, there are some that are successfully taking the global path. Around 25% of all manufacturing SMEs now have a global presence, and around 20% draw up to 40% of their revenue from the international market. Give that the global market presents numerous opportunities, how do business owners take the plunge?

Brand Development

There is no dearth of entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to test international waters. However, not everyone is equally successful, even though the product or service on offer might be up to the mark. The main reason a seemingly great product or service does not get the attention it deserves is poor brand positioning. As a result, you need to focus on your brand’s story and how you plan to sell your wares before you actually make the transition to a foreign land.

Think Local While Taking your Business Overseas

Your product or service might have a great demand in the United States, but there is no telling if it will have a similar demand in another country. Understanding the local market is also important if you wish to avoid nasty surprises down the road. Some big businesses have learnt this the hard way, examples being Target’s performance in Canada and Walmart’s in China.

Instead to sticking to tried-and-tested markets such as Europe, Canada, and Australia, you may consider looking for markets where there is a demand for your offerings. For example, if you trade in dried fruits and nuts, the Indian subcontinent deserves your attention.

Bear in mind that your business might get affected by cultural differences. If such a possibility exists, determine what you might be able to do to bridge any probable divide. If entering any new market makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s best that you look elsewhere. The local competition that you might face also requires due attention.

Build an Effective Team

One common factor between some of the most successful people is their ability to build strong teams. This becomes particularly important if you plan taking your business overseas because you might not be able to interact with your overseas employees as much as you would like. Other than proficiency, the traits you should look for include trustworthiness and dependability. Make sure communication channels remain open and be appreciative of every team member.

Deal With Foreign Currency Exchange in the Right Manner

Taking your business overseas will
require that you deal in exchange of foreign currency. This can be when you
receive payments from clients or when you need to pay suppliers or employees.
While several banks give businesses the ability to make and receive
cross-border payments, they tend to fare poorly when it comes to
cost-effectiveness, speed, and convenience. Fortunately, several overseas money
transfer companies such as TransferWise, WorldFirst, and OFX provide suitable services for SMEs.

Conclusion

The international marketplace has shrunk considerably over the last two decades, prompting an increasing number of businesses to go global. As long as business owners do the required groundwork, there is no reason why they cannot succeed. If you think there’s any other aspect that needs to be considered, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Author Bio

Jon works with iCompareFX as a researcher. The website lets its users run side-by-side
comparisons of the world’s leading overseas money transfer companies, while
also giving them access to in-depth reviews and special offers.