10 Reasons why you need an iPod Touch while traveling

Posted on November 24, 2009 in Articles

The iPod Touch with accompanying microphone and remote is almost essential for anyone who travels. I have currently carted my iTouch to over 20 countries (Cuba, Thailand, UK, Canada, India and the States to name a few) and I have used it literally every single day. Whenever I meet a fellow traveler I demonstrate to them how useful I find this little hand held device. Here I have detailed the top 10 reasons why you need to have an iPod Touch while traveling.

1. Writing Notes

Whenever you travel to a new country there are always tidbits of information you want to quickly jot down or remember. Address’s, hotel names, tourist destination info can all be quickly imputed into the iPod Touch’s notes app to be retrieved at a later needed date. Whenever I hear of a good hotel from a fellow traveler, I quickly make a note of it.

2. Recording Memos

Similar to notes, memos are used to record (iTouch Mic needed) quick bits of info. In countries where English isn’t the primary language I have found voice memos to be extremely handy to pass messages between two native speaking individuals. I just get one local to speak directions and then play them to another local. Every traveler knows the headache of accidentally pronouncing directions wrongly and being taken to an undesired location.

3. Your Music!

What is an iPod without the tunes it carries?! Having your favourite tracks while traveling heightens the experience. Whether you want to listen to songs to become less homesick, or a little reggae on the beach, the iPod Touch is a must. The iTouch’s external speaker allows you to share your tunes with the travelers you meet. Warning – playing catchy songs may lead to a party – believe me I know!

4. Exchanging information with other travelers

Having an iPod Touch is like having the worlds Rolodex in your pocket. The simple stock address book that comes with every iTouch is very handy for recording other travelers information. The best thing about traveling is the wide variety of people you meet along the way. These connections are extremely valuable to keep and the iTouch facilitates the process. Now with applications like Bump you can simply touch hands to trade contact info – no need to reach for the pen and paper.

5. Currency Exchange Rates

I would say the ability to see live up to date currency exchange rates is my most used travel feature of the iPod touch. I find the currency app to have all the functions I need.  When I was traveling around South East Asia I was constantly crossing borders and changing money. Being able to know exactly what the price of your currency is on a certain date can save you an upwards of 10% by allowing you to shop around.

There was a time I actually found a currency exchange giving a better rate then the real market price. I unloaded all the money I had on me at the time and was able to pay for a week of hotels with the profit!

6. Skype and other VOIP

When traveling an expense that can quickly add up is the cost to phone home. Skype and other iTouch VOIP applications make cost mere pennies to call home. These days even 3rd world countries are starting to have city wide wi-fi access. I have been in rural jungle Asia speaking crystal clear back home to North America – every time I find it amazing!

Further reading – How to convert your iPod Touch into an iPhone with Skype

7. Being able check and store email

Checking your emails goes without saying since everyone traveling wants to stay in touch with loved ones back home.

I use the email function at a different level – data storage. Before I go on a trip I email myself a copy of my passport, my health insurance, bank numbers and anything else I may need in case I get robbed or lose my documents. In one of my experiences I was at a border crossing and forgot a copy of my passport. I presented my iTouch with my passport displayed on the screen and the border attendant was able to use that info to let me into the country!

8. Passing time

The Apple app store is jam packed with all sorts of games that are a savior when waiting for a bus, train or plane.  When traveling there is a lot of downtime and the iPod Touch can help make that time fly by. Puzzle games like Line Up and Flood it have killed many of my waiting hours.

9. Keeping up to date on current events

Another category of Apps that the iPod Touch has zounds of is news aggregators. With a wi-fi connection you can instantly download all the stories of the day into your pocket. Also you can subscribe to podcasts that allow you to keep mentally sharp and globally up-to-date. When traveling I always have the need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the country I am traveling as well as back home.

10. Journaling and scrap-booking

When traveling, you are constantly facing new situations and running into new ideas – basically you are creating memories. It is common to record your experiences so that you can look back and relive you travels.

The iPod Touch has a bunch of apps that allow you to clip webpages, write journal entries and even blog your experiences. I make sure to keep a log of the tips I pick up while traveling so I can help others and learn along the way.  Other travelers I have met kept detailed web clippings of every place they stayed.

Bonus: Maps

The iTouch map apps allow you to know where you, where you’ve been are and where you are going. There have been times when I was completely lost and the map features helped me navigate out of a bind. Although some countries are not yet fully Google mapped, you can usually get a general idea of your surrounding area.

A common unknown about the iPod Touch is that it has GPS like capabilities so you can always see where you are on the map.  Super handy wherever you go!

In short my iPod Touch has been a great asset throughout my travels. Now I am almost dependent on it and I cannot see how some people manage to travel without it!

If you are in the market to purchase a 3rd Generation iPod Touch Amazon is currently offering them at the best price here.

Are there any valuable ways you have used your iPod Touch while traveling that we have missed?

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5 Responses to “10 Reasons why you need an iPod Touch while traveling”

23.01.10 at 20:02
Posted by Jono

In your add you say “A common unknown about the iPod Touch is that it has GPS capabilities so you can always see where you are on the map.”

This is not true! How can you advertise such a falsehood?

24.01.10 at 06:46
Posted by admin

Jono – Sorry if you felt wrongfully led in this blog post.

It is commonly unknown that the iPod Touch has GPS like capabilities. Whenever I travel somewhere I download the map of an area through my wi-fi connection before hand. Then when I get there, through the iPod’s localization technology, and wi-fi hotspot triangulation (works off of both open and closed networks) I am able to see my current location. It is surprisingly accurate.

You are correct though, the iPod Touch doesn’t have true GPS. Maybe sometime in the future?

25.01.10 at 14:00
Posted by moonman239

I highly doubt Apple will include a GPS. The iPhone has one and if they put one in the iPod touch people will probably go with iPod touch instead.

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16.04.11 at 18:02
Posted by Paul Jenkins

I travel extensively and have used my iPod Touch very much like you – I haven’t tried the maps trick but am always amazed at how accurate the localization works. I use Groundwire app to run my phone service as well. Awesome – my local phone number works anywhere I have wifi.