Technology is great. Tech and travel – that’s just awesome! We all LOVE our phones, right? I know I do. Come on, admit it. You check your phone multiple times throughout the day.
Seriously, what would we do without them? They are a vital part of our everyday lives. They hold all of the contact information for friends, family members, and acquaintances. We can check our personal and work emails at a glance. Interacting with friends and family from around the globe through social media is a breeze. And, using one of the best apps, especially for travelers is a cinch. Yes, I’m talking about the built-in GPS.
That tiny map icon on your phone can be a lifesaver, whether you’re road tripping across the U.S. or wandering the streets of Paris in search of the perfect decadent dessert. Macaroons anyone?
Let’s face it…we’d be lost without the GPS on our phones! Sorry. I can’t help it. The puns just come out sometimes. Ahem. Back to the topic at hand – cell phone GPS. It really is a great invention, Unless, of course, it stops working – in the midst of your journey. This is exactly what happened to us a few weeks ago.
Our recent road trip lead us to Montreal, Canada. We had driven from Florida with only a few directional hiccups along the way. Has your GPS ever taken you in a circle? Ours did. Literally, a circle. And, it was not the first time it had ever done that. Let’s just say that our family and GPS.
Anyway, we made it all the way into Montreal and almost to the hotel. Then,it happened, just as we were rounding the curve on an overpass – Bam! The GPS was gone.
There we were in another country on unfamiliar roads with no directions. Did I mention the road signs were in French? Oh, and none of us speak French,- a few words in Spanish and a little Latin, but no French. Well, let’s just say, that was an interesting dilemma.
Luckily, for some strange reason, my husband’s GPS would work. He quickly entered the hotel’s address and we were back on track.
After settling in at our hotel, I decided to call our carrier to find out what happened with my phone. Funny, I could make a call. I just couldn’t access any data.
A remarkably short wait and a few questions later, it became evident that I really should check the settings on my phone more often. Apparently, I had not activated my roaming feature. In my defense, I had no idea I needed to do that in order for my phone to work in a country that was included in my plan. Because my roaming wasn’t turned on, I wasn’t able to access a local tower. Thus, the reason my GPS had disappeared.
A quick few taps on my phone later and we were back in business.
This little incident taught us some important lessons that I thought I should share with you:
Travel Tech Tips
- If you travel to another country, make sure you ask your provider for any special instructions to access phone service and data. Seriously, go as far as asking, “Which buttons do I push?”
- PRINT A MAP (or driving directions)! I know this sounds a little old school, but it can save you a lot of unnecessary drama.
- Save your directions to use offline. Yes, it is possible. You can save a specified area of a map just in case you lose data.
Are we the only people that have crazy luck with our GPS? Have you ever experienced driving around in circles? Been given crazy out-of-the-way directions? Do you have any travel tech tips? I want to hear from you! Be sure to drop me a line in the comment box.