Monday 20 April 2015

My number one travel app..

I was recently chatting to someone about my trip to Thailand and Cambodia and they informed me that they hadn't been to Asia since the 1980s and she laughed about how hard it was for her to organise the trip herself, telling me that she booked BnBs by sending Postcards to them and hoping the booking was secured when she arrived.

I seriously could not fathom travelling that way! I am a big pre-planner when I travel. I need to know where I am going, where I'm staying, when I'm leaving and everything in between. Sometimes it's a little annoying and I wish I could be a bit more 'fly by the seat of my pants' but it's just not me.

With the invention/introduction of the Internet booking and planning travel has never been easier, and now with smart phones everything is literally at your fingertips. You can find any information you need, book flights, accommodation, everything, in an instant, almost anytime, anywhere.

There are countless apps that you can download to suit your every travel need but when I travel there really is only one that I use, without fail, every single day....

I must confess.... I am a chronic Googler!! (it's not in the dictionary but I am sure it will be soon with the definition going something like... "one who relies solely on Google for all the answers to their daily dilemmas")

During my recent trip I used Google countless times to help me and decided to share some of my Google searches.

Here's 5 of my Google searches from my trip, why I searched it and the answer just in case you were wondering too!

1. Who does iPhone duplicate HDR photos?

This was driving me nuts while overseas! I, like most people, carry my iPhone with me everywhere and relied on it a lot for photo taking when I couldn't be arsed carrying around my Canon DSLR. I had the HDR (High Dynamic Range) function turned on auto. So when my phone decided to take a photo using HDR function, it would automatically save the original version as well. This meant that my phone was always running out of storage space and I was having to find things to delete (I am terrible at keeping photos on my phone despite having downloaded them to my laptop and I HATED deleting!). So I Googled why it duplicates the photos and how to stop it.... Driving you nuts too? Here's how to turn off the function.

1. Open Settings
2. Scroll down to find 'Photos & Camera'
3. Scroll right to the bottom to find HDR 'Keep Normal Photo' and switch to Off

Problem solved!

2. Why do funerals in Cambodia go for 7 days?

One day when we arrived home from our volunteer placement a marque had been set up a few houses down the street from our house. We assumed at first that it was a wedding, these marques would pop up randomly in the street, blocking the road (even more than usual) but would only last a day, maybe 2. We asked the locals who lived at our volunteer house what was going on as the music and chanting started REALLY early in the morning (like 4am early!) and went on for hours. They informed us it was a funeral and they usually go for about 7 days! What the...! So intrigued by this I went to Google to find out why...

This excerpt is from a website called Ethnomed...

"In Cambodia, when a person dies, the care of the body is undertaken by family. The body would be brought home, washed, dressed, and placed into a coffin. The body is not to be dissected and organs are not to be removed because it is believed that would affect one's rebirth. The body is not embalmed. Traditionally, the body is kept in the house for seven days or longer before cremation. Today, it is common that the body is kept for only three days. Monks come to the home and recite sermon every evening by the body. On the third or the seventh day, a funeral procession is organized to carry the body to the temple for cremation. The crematorium is usually on or near the temple grounds. On some occasions such as the death of celebrities or high officials, a crematorium is built at some other place to accommodate the crowd."

I guess this one was more of a traditional one, because they did stop after three days, but then started up again and went for the 7 days. Hopefully he is now resting in peace.

3. How to change from Blogger to Wordpress?

I managed to get a fair bit of blogging in during my trip and evaluating and re-evaluating what I am doing here and what I hope to achieve. One thing that has popped up a lot is whether to make the shift to Wordpress from Blogger. I was curious to know how "easy" it was and whilst there are plenty of tutorials and blog posts from fellow converts attempting to convince me, there really doesn't seem to be anything "easy" about it for this non-tech person! For now I think I'll stick with what I know!

4. How to get to Raffles Hotel?

I had a 5 day stop in Singapore on my way home and no trip to Singapore is complete without a trip to the famous Raffles Hotel, home of the Singapore Sling! So of course I jumped on Google to find the way.

The train system in Singapore is super easy to navigate! Similar to the Tube system in London, if I can do it, anyone can. To get to Raffles, catch the train to either Esplanade or City Hall station and Raffles is a short walk across the street (or through the Mall and across the street if you get off at Esplanade). Sit back and enjoy the delicious cocktail and try not to choke on your peanuts when you get the bill (about $35 Singapore Dollars or $33AUD)

Enjoying my Singapore Sling inside the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel

5. Where is seat E on a Singapore airlines flight?

When you have a long flight home, being comfortable is paramount and I am an aisle seat lover from way back. For some reason, I'm blaming tiredness, I totally forgot to request an aisle seat when I checked in.... ROOKIE ERROR!! I was automatically assigned a seat and headed to the departure area. It was a little while before I realised my error and attempted to Google where an 'E' seat was on a Singapore flight to prepare myself. Of course I knew it would vary from plane to plane but took comfort that in one picture 'E' was on the aisle. Much to my disappointment it was not the case on my plane. E was one in from the aisle in the middle row of 4 seats and I was even more annoyed at my error when I discovered I was going to be sitting next to 20-something hair-flicker girl and kick-your-legs-out-in-your-sleep toddler! (To give him credit he was very cute and probably dealt with the long flight better than I did!). I think I eventually fell asleep 7 hours and 30 minutes into my 7 hour 40 minute flight... hello jet-lag.

So there you have it, I confess to being a chronic Googler!
Your turn... are you a chronic Googler?
What was that last thing you Googled?

Do you have a favourite Travel App I need to know about?
Please share in the comments below!

Linking up with Agent Mystery Case for I Must Confess and One Mother Hen for Open Slather

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