21st century travel essentials

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Being old fashioned, my understanding of a vacation was limited to a break from day to day work life and chores. A break in a serene locale with good books and thoughts; and efforts limited to learning the local culture  and developing new tastes. However, a recent visit by a close friend from college days opened my eyes to the true meaning of travel in the new age. I suddenly felt like I had not done justice to my vacations over the years and here I am, keen to share my newly acquired travel skills with the uninitiated. 

In true travel guide fashion, I will start with the ‘planning for the trip’ advice. Whether you are going independently or in an organized tour, make sure to choose an itinerary that covers the most destinations. This is of utmost importance because TripAdvisor has a cool new app that lets you pin cities that you have been to. Now, whether you are traveling nationally or internationally, be sure to take as many connecting trains and hopping flights on the way to your destination as possible. TripAdvisor does not ask for specifics of your visit, whether you stepped out of the port. Be sure to take advantage of this and plan to use as many pins as possible.

Once you have chosen your destination, please Google each and every nook and corner you are planning to visit. Please note down the minutest details especially if they seem curious or novel. For many large cities, Google even has street views and doing your homework well will ensure that you do not have any surprises when you visit including any awkward ones or otherwise.

Now on to the trip itself. Please make it a point to avoid all interior areas and far flung places. There are hundreds of apps available to make your trip hassle free and it is essential that you have good broadband coverage at all times. Since you will be using your smartphone extensively, you will need to charge it  at least twice a day. So, please remember to carry the phone charger with you at all times. 

Please take as many pictures as possible so that you have options to showcase the best. This may mean that you will have to see the sunset through the lens rather than with your eyes. But really, isn’t the sun harmful to your eyes anyway?

Everyone must be aware of how user friendly Facebook is when it comes to sharing pictures with the world. But also keep in mind some other up and coming ones, such as Pinterest. An essential account to keep handy is Instagram, to touch up and hide the wrinkles. Photoshop is perhaps better but not as quick, making instantaneous sharing cumbersome. 

Now on to the post trip wrap up. Your vacation will be incomplete if you don’t blog about it.  Since memories in the digital age are short lived, it may be more practical to post entries on a daily  basis while on vacation rather than leave it all to after your trip. If you are not good with words, an option is to videotape your entire vacation and post it on YouTube. Be sure to turn off the webpage view count, whether it is your blog or the videos. Or, you could visit your own page as many times as possible. Just remember to do so from different computers.

Happy travels!

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