The invention of the smartphone has drastically changed the way we travel; it allows us to document our experiences, check-in for flights and hotels remotely, and navigate our way through a new city. It’s pretty safe to say that by now, most mobile phones comes with a built-in camera. But did you know there are some creative ways to use it other than just taking pictures of landmarks during your travels?
I’ve started using my phone’s camera in other clever ways, and how they helped me avoid a lot of travel headaches:
Snap a Pic of the Contents of your Luggage
Before packing everything into your luggage, lay everything out on a bed or table and take a picture of everything before putting it into your suitcase or backpack. This way if your luggage is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to identify exactly what was in it for insurance purposes.
Most map programs and apps require 3G or wifi which isn’t always available when you’re roaming the streets of a new city or underground on a subway or train. So when you do have wifi, screenshot maps and directions before heading out, this way you have a map as reference if you’re lost. I like to screen shot both the map, and the step-by-step directions on what streets to turn left on etc.
Take a Picture of Your Hotel
Take a picture of the outside of your hotel and some general landmarks around it including the closest intersection. This way if you’re lost, you can easily find it or show it to a local who may be able to direct you the right way.
Snap a Picture of Your Children Each Morning
Before heading out for the day, take a picture of each of your children so you have reference to exactly what they are wearing in the event they become lost or separated from you. This will allow you to give an exact description of what they’re wearing, and you’ll be able to show authorities what they look like.
Document Your Documentation
Take a picture of your passport and any other important travel documents you will need on your trip. This way if your items become lost or stolen, you’ll have a reference point and immediately have access to that information. It also saves you a lot of space/weight in not having to print out all your reservation info. Just make sure your phone’s battery is always charged (and bring an external battery charger in the event you’re running low on mobile juice).
An important thing to note before doing any of these things, is that you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to track your phone and erase its contents remotely in the event your phone becomes lost or stolen. Programs like ‘Find my iphone’ have allowed me to not only track where my missing phone was, but also lock and erase it’s contents in the event I had sensitive information on it.
Have any more travel photography tips or clever ways you like to use your smartphone’s camera for? Share them with us in the comments below!