Spring Break Travel Tech

Spring break is fast approaching and many families are making travel plans. If your kids are old enough to appreciate international adventures, like sightseeing in Europe, you might need to be more organized than in the days when a Mexican all inclusive would do. If you’re truly taking the kids on an international adventure, you should consider a few travel technology tools to help you along the way.


Keeping in Touch Abroad

If you’re on a contract with a Canadian wireless provider, chances are your phone is locked to that carrier. This means that if you’re traveling aborad, you won’t be able to purchase and use a local SIM card. While carriers are legally bound to unlock phones after 90 days, they do charge a fee of about $50 for this service. If you’re not set on using your own phone, buying an unlocked phone might be a better bet. The upside of an unlocked phone is that if it gets lost or stolen while you’re traveling, you’re not losing all your valuable information.


Using an unlocked phone, you can purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM card in your final destination and enjoy the comfort and security of being in touch while avoiding the exorbitant costs of international roaming. You’ d be surprised at how handy it is to have a phone with data to use maps and look things up online.


Maneuvering Language Barriers

Now that you’re all set up with a phone, you can pair it with Google Translate to maneuver language barriers on your travels. Using Google Translate, you can speak or type in what you’d like to say in English and the app will provide you with the written or spoken translation. Recently, Google Translate added a new feature that allows you to take photographs of text, such as signs and menus, and have the app translate them.


All in all, this app comes in handy when you’re in a non-English speaking country. It’s also free and available for both Android and iOS devices.



I consistently forget to do my research and pick up a power adapter before a trip. Naturally, they tend to be more expensive if you need to pick them up during your trip. To help you avoid this traveling pitfall, I recommend that you do your research to find out what kind of adapters you’ll need in advance. Better yet, pick up an all-in-one adapter, like the McCally International Power Plug Adapter, that works in over 150 countries. Just remember that an adapter will not convert voltage, so if you’re visiting a country that uses 220V you’ll also need to invest in a converter.


Do you have any spring break travel tips or tricks? Tell us about them in the comments section.


By Mike Agerbo

February 17, 2015