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Tips to Travel Paperless

JalanJalanMen! - Who doesn't know this: Before a trip you print out the ticket for the train journey to the airport, there you get one or more flight tickets handed to you at the check-in counter and then there are already printed slips of paper with vouchers for the hotels in your backpack anyway, the rental car, directions and directions, information about places and sights and other important information for the trip. 

Ok, I exaggerated that a bit. But I'm sure it's something like this for all of us. You don't just travel with your clothes and camera, you also go on vacation with a load of paperwork. And that is not only not very environmentally friendly, but also really annoying and takes up space in your luggage.

But now back to the smartphone and why it can also be a helpful and practical companion when travelling. I will now introduce you to a few apps that I personally use regularly and have found to be good. There are certainly a variety of other apps. But I would like to recommend you only those that I stand behind out of conviction. My opinion is also not influenced by advertising, cooperation or the like.

Buy tickets for train, plane & Co.

It starts with buying tickets in everyday life. Instead of buying your bus or subway ticket from the machine, you can also download the appropriate public transport app onto your cell phone. As an example: I live in Hamburg. The HVV app can be used free of charge. In addition to the timetable information, there is the option of buying your ticket directly via the app. This is then stored in the app. The controller can scan the ticket using a QR code. Never again will you have to search for that little paper ticket in your pocket and be careful not to lose it.

And by the way, don't make sure you always have cash with you - preferably suitable for the bus driver.

Flight tickets

When traveling by plane, you can not only avoid standing at the check-in counter for a long time by checking in online on your PC at home, but also the annoying carrying of the tickets in paper format with you. You can easily avoid this by using the appropriate app. All well-known airlines have their own app. With this app you can easily manage your booking on your smartphone. Regardless of whether you booked your flight on the website or directly in the app, with the booking number and your last name you can call up all important information at any time, carry out the online check-in and then have your boarding pass displayed. When you are at the security check or boarding at the gate, all you have to do is pick up your smartphone, retrieve the boarding pass and hold it over the scan field. It doesn't get any easier than that, does it?

However, you have to consider one thing, if you not only fly with hand luggage, but also have to check in luggage, then you cannot avoid queuing at the check-in counter. However, if you have already checked in online beforehand, all you have to do at the counter is show your boarding pass on your mobile phone and your luggage will then make its way to the aircraft without any problems. You will then no longer be given a paper ticket. What is new is that more and more airlines are offering the so-called "self drop-off". Here you can label your checked baggage yourself with the correct label and then place it on the conveyor belt.

How can you do without paper printouts during the trip?

I often hear: "How do you do that on the road if you need directions?" or "How do you remember which places and sights you want to see?". Of course, it would be easy to print out all this information at home and take it with you when you travel. But there is another way. Without wasting a lot of paper and printer ink. Here, too, the magic words are: smartphone and apps.

Google Docs

I work a lot with Google and the features it offers. One of them is Google Docs. In this area you can manage documents on the computer, similar to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In the run-up to every trip, I read and research a lot about the destination country. I first write all the important information in a document in the classic way. I can access these embroidery points at any time during my trip via the Google Drive app.

Google Maps

Anyone who knows me knows I swear by Google Maps. Because Google Maps has so many great features that are very helpful for every traveler. These are in detail:

There is an option to save locations in both the desktop version and the app . In this case, a star is placed on the map as a marker. This is not only helpful for remembering places that you would like to see, but also for marking accommodation, airports or train stations, for example. If you then want to check where your hotel is located or what the address is during your trip, you can use the set marker to find it quickly and, if necessary, be navigated directly there. This means that tiresome printing out of directions, addresses, etc. is no longer necessary. 

Directions was a good bullet point that leads straight to the next essential feature when travelling: navigation . If you use Google Maps, you need neither printed maps nor paper maps or an extra electronic navigation device for the car. The Google Maps app on your smartphone can do all of this. Enter your start and destination and start planning your route . 

But traveling is not that easy. Because here in Germany, we have enough data volume from a wide variety of mobile phone providers to use Google Maps from time to time without our mobile data only being throttled at the end of the month. But there is a trick how you can use Google Maps for your route planning when travelling . 

To do this, you use the " offline maps " function, which is only available via the app and not in the desktop version of Google Maps. As the word suggests, you can download map sections and use them in offline mode when no internet is available or in flight mode. I will now explain step by step how to activate an offline map:

  • best to be on the wifi
  • Open the Google Maps app on the phone
  • Enter the place that should be in the map section of the offline map in the search mask
  • select the function "offline maps" in the menu
  • Click on "Custom Map".
  • select the desired map section (you can use two fingers to reduce or enlarge the section and also move it)
  • Download map

Selected map section is now available "offline", i.e. you can easily find places, navigate etc. in this area of the map in offline mode. You can download a variety of offline maps depends on your free storage space on your phone

Book accommodation with your smartphone

In most cases, you do not need any printouts for your accommodation either, which you have to show at the hotel or similar. I usually book my accommodation through the Airbnb and Booking.com portals. Both providers have a smartphone app that is very user-friendly and also includes all the important functions of the website version. 

If you book your accommodation via one of these two portals on their website, you can easily access and manage your booking in the app. It is important that you are logged in with the same customer profile both on the website and in the app.  

Both in the Airbnb and the booking . com app you can get the address of the accommodation and directions. For hotel bookings via Booking . com only had to give her my name and, if applicable, the booking number. Proof of the booking in paper form was never necessary.

When it comes to paperless travel, I could now go into even more detail and explain to you, for example, that I have my international health insurance with me via an app when I travel. But in this article I only wanted to name the most important tools that each of you can use to save a lot of paper during your vacation and thus enjoy your trip without paperwork flying around in your luggage.

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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