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5 Best Tech Tips for Traveling Teens

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by Rhoda Venture
Education TripPerformance Trip

Let’s face it.  Teens and tech are pretty much synonymous.  So when it’s time to travel, let’s (safely) embrace the tech to make our adventures even more epic!  Here are our 5 best tech tips for traveling teens.

1. Download Apps

We live in a world dominated by apps and easy access. We use apps to find our way around, order food, shop, entertain ourselves, organize schedules, etc. They make our lives easier and so much more convenient. Travel is no exception.

 

Travel Apps

There are lots of great travel apps for student groups that can help make planning and executing your student trip simple and fun! Here are a few great options…

Remind lets you communicate faster with real-time messaging for the group. You can schedule reminders or provide updates to the itinerary as needed.

Groupme is an app that works on every device and functions like a private chat room for your group. It’s free group messaging for quick updates and alerts – perfect for traveling student groups.

Group Travel Videos™ is one of our favorite student travel resources. They have an app that allows you to upload and share photos while you travel! These photos will be used to create a masterpiece of memories as a hard copy digital video AND a streaming digital version that can be stored on whatever media you choose. You can even provide your own performance music or live video clips to be added at no charge!

Group Travel Videos™ has also added a geo-mapping and messaging feature to their app as well. It allows the teacher to view where the class is while on tour and can message a single traveler or the entire group. It’s an outstanding communication tool for travelers and a huge reassurance for nervous parents.

Payment Apps

Grandparents love to shower us with “a little bit of spending money for the trip.”  But flashing a wad of cash isn’t necessarily a great idea while you’re traveling.  Set up a mobile payment app like Apple Pay or Venmo for easy access to your souvenir fund.

2. Embrace the Latest

travel tech
photo credit to Stefano Paltera

QR Codes

Many attractions and restaurants have added an easy way to enhance your experience simply by scanning QR codes.  These “Quick Response” codes (did you know that’s what it stood for?) give you access to detailed information using your smartphone’s camera.

AR

Augmented Reality (AR) brings a new era of endless possibilities and activities.  It’s a completely immersive experience using just a smart device that takes you from visitor to active participant.

AR layers virtual elements on top of real images for a thrilling mixed reality.  This past summer, my son spent his 19th birthday exploring the Greek island of Delos.  Using a smart tablet, he was able to view the actual ancient ruins AND what they looked like in 590 BC.

5 Best Tech tips for traveling teens

AR gives us an expanded view of places, cultures, histories, and even foods. Making the most of the AR available in a destination gives us a complete and incredibly satisfying travel experience.

3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Using public Wi-Fi makes you vulnerable to hackers waiting to swipe your data and personal information.

My daughter recently traveled with her school to Florida and promptly paid for Wi-Fi on the flight there.  Hackers just as promptly gained access to her credit card and racked up significant charges before we realized what had happened.

Keep your private information private and set up a virtual private network (VPN) that allows you safe and secure access to the internet.

4. Don’t Be a Victim of Juice Jacking

Juice jacking happens when users plug into USB ports or use USB cables loaded with malware. The malware then infects your phone (or another mobile device), giving hackers access to your data, passwords, accounts, etc. It can also lock up your device so that you can’t access it all.

juice jacking

When you plug into USB charging kiosks at the airport or other public places, power is not the only thing that can be transferred. Your data can also be transferred through those same sources. It only takes a minute.

Fortunately, if you travel by motorcoach, many companies now have outlets in each seat – so charge up during the long rides and avoid the risks of juice jacking!

Click Here for More Important Teen Travel Safety Tips

5. Set Aside Tech Free Time

While tech is an important part of every teen’s, well, existence, there are times when it’s appropriate to put it away.

Consider collecting phones when visiting memorials or especially solemn locations.  Turn them off when group leaders are giving important instructions.

guided tour

Pocket them during an interactive guided tour.  There’s not much that’s more frustrating than looking at a group of downturned heads… teachers can certainly appreciate that view!  There will be plenty of time for pics once the guide has finished speaking.

5 Best Tech Tips for Traveling Teens

Teens and tech go hand in hand – especially when they’re on the go!  Make the most of what tech can bring to your trip while keeping kids safe.  Happy travels!

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