How a Smartwatch Could Become Your Next Travel Essential
By Abbi Browning
Smartwatches really started to grow in the market in 2012, when fitness trackers became increasingly popular. So much so, that they are forecast to reach 141 million sales this year. What many people don’t realize, however, is that these can also be used to aid you with all your travel needs.
This isn’t actually a new idea. In 1927, the more tech-savvy among us were using the ‘Plus Four Wristlet Route Indicator’, which was a paper form of a Global Positioning System (GPS) at the wrist. Of course, as technology has advanced, these sorts of directions are all available and stored digitally, in your smartwatch.
Depending on your type of getaway, there are many different ways a smartwatch could be appropriate for you. A fitness watch could be extremely handy if you’re tackling a tedious hike, for example, and want to track your progress. You can view the amount of steps you’re doing a day, to see if you’re moving at the right pace to meet your goal, as well as your calculating your calorie burn from your exercises. If you’re a traveller who prefers exploring the less-taken route, a GPS could prove extremely useful here too, if your path isn’t well known.
If walking isn’t for you, certain watches can monitor your cycling or swimming progress, also, like the Fitbit Ionic.
Smartwatches can be a lifesaver if you need to stay regularly updated on your travels, in case bad weather conditions affect your flights. The Apple Smartwatches are able to show you updated temperatures, weather and even sunset times and moon phases, if they’re of interest to you.
Apple Watches have many third-party apps that can further assist you past their original features, such as Evernote, which you can use to record all your itineraries for your journeys, or Citymapper, which shows the public transport available in your area.
Another great feature for travelling, is having your boarding pass on your wrist. The Wear OS by Google (formerly known as Android Wear), is compatible with many airline apps, such as Delta Airlines. These allow you to display your pass as a QR code, without the hassle of pulling out your papers or smartphone at check-in. By keeping all your important travel documents digital, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to pick up one on your way to the airport again. Apple Wallet can also act in a similar way too, if Android isn’t your style.
Of course, the obvious advantage of using smartphones is that they’re far more convenient. Having a device that is always on you significantly reduces the risk of losing your valuables abroad, like your smartphone. Also, it saves you the time and effort of having to pull out your device from the bottom of your bag, as well as having a screen that still functions in heavy downpour.
All of this makes smartwatches a great little accessory for you when on your travels. Plus, they’re much easier to carry than your smartphone. Smartwatches are also still growing and developing, so there may be many new, great features in the future.