Should you take your smartwatch with you when you travel? Smartwatches and travelling go hand in hand. Your smartwatch packs too many useful features to even think about leaving it at home.
Here are some of the best travel-friendly features on smartwatches that should make you take yours with you.
#1 Mobile Payments
This feature is a godsend. Being able to avoid an awkward situation with a language barrier to overcome with a simple boop of the wrist is convenient and just plain cool.
Having your cash on your wrist is more secure than having cash sticking out of your pocket. If you’re somewhere that generally takes contactless payments, you might be able to leave your wallet or purse in a safe place too – so one thing less to worry about. Generally speaking, if a shop or bar accepts contactless, it’ll accept the tap from your smartwatch. If you can stand the idea of going without it, you might not even have to take your phone.
Some excellent options are:
#2 Travel tickets and boarding passes
How many times have you printed a ticket or boarding pass and either lost it along the way or realised you’ve printed the wrong thing?
You can load your travel tickets and/or boarding passes onto your smartwatch and use them at the barriers as you would your phone. The best app for this is, unsurprisingly, Apple Wallet. But, Wear OS does offer this, too (see the Samsung Galaxy Watch for this).
Nothing can cause more panic than getting lost. Luckily, many smartwatches have GPS built-in which means you have a map on your wrist. This is perfect if you’re out and about exploring. The smartwatches for navigating will have either Garmin Connect or Google Maps onboard.
The perfect watches for explorers are:
You have to pay a little more for this function, but many smartwatches have built-in storage for music. The Apple Watch Series 6 has 32GB worth and don’t need to be connected to wifi to enjoy it. You do need a Bluetooth pair of headphones, though.
A lot of smartwatches will allow you to connect to Spotify, Deezer or YouTube. The Apple Watch will play what’s in your iTunes.
#5 Fitness tracking
If you’ve been partying too hard and taking in more of the local cuisine than is good for you, you might want to get walking. Or, if you’ve been pounding out the miles on your adventures, it’s fun to know precisely how many steps you took on the journey. You can set yourself a goal to walk 10,000 steps in Budapest or 20,000 up the hills of Tuscany. It all counts toward your health, which is really key when you’re away from home.
Having instant access to things like your heart rate and stress levels can be a real motivation to keep going. There are so many brands offering this health monitoring function, such as Garmin, Samsung and the pioneering Fitbit.
As well as your activity, your downtime is important too. Nothing messes with your body clock quite like travelling. Your smartwatch can tell you about your sleep cycles so you can figure out how to improve the quality of the sleep you’re getting – a possible game-changer for fighting that awful jet lag. Some offer vibrating alarms to gently bring you away from the land of nod so you’re woken up in such a way that you’re ready to take on another day of adventure.
Some of the best smartwatch sleep monitoring apps include Sleep Time and Sleep Cycle.
The most well-respected brand for this capability is Fitbit. Check out our comparison of all current Fitbit models.
#6 Notes and Reminders
The name of a beer you loved, a place you want to go to during your trip, maybe someone’s phone number. Note-taking on smartwatches is becoming a common feature as many now have tiny microphones built in. Talk to your smartwatch and it’ll keep a note of what you’ve said.
Smartwatches with digital assistants integrated like Siri, Google Assist and Bixby are the ultimate anti-forgetfulness tools, and there’s no scrabbling around for a phone.
Fitness trackers with smart capabilities are the ultimate travel buddy because they’re waterproof (great if you’re hitting the beach or exploring a waterfall), dust and scratch proof (no need to worry about burying it on the beach, just keep it on).
Smartwatches are called that for a reason. Just like smartphones have changed the way we do, well, everything, smartwatches are very quickly catching up and making life even more convenient.
Look after your smartwatch while you’re travelling, and it’ll look after you in return.
Last Updated on December 13, 2020