The tech travel hacks that will transform your holiday

By Caroline McGuire for MailOnline

There are now a wide range of travel hacks for holidaymakers to use when heading on vacation. Photo / iStock
There are now a wide range of travel hacks for holidaymakers to use when heading on vacation. Photo / iStock

Technology has made every aspect of life easier, from ordering late night food to buying a last minute wedding outfit, but one of the best areas of innovation is in the travel market.

Holidaymakers have a range of tech hacks at their disposal to improve their vacation.

The following tips include ways to surf social media sites like Facebook in restricted countries and make free phone calls back home.

Use Google Maps without racking up a huge phone bill

Google Maps can be downloaded before going to a place.

To do this, open the Google Maps app and search for the area you are travelling to, then tap on the menu button and select 'Offline'.

By tapping the plus button in the bottom corner, you then zoom into an area that you are looking to save, before selecting 'Download.'

The Google Translate app can also be used offline.

Delete your cookies to get cheaper flights

Your browser history tells sites you are surfing what you have previously been looking at.

As a result, it has been widely reported that airlines and booking engines use cookies to show higher air fares on routes that you have already been searching for on your computer.

The way to get around this is to delete your browser history, but also to use a different computer to book a ticket.

For example, search for the tickets on your laptop, then book the tickets on your smartphone.

Nab the best seat on the plane

TripAdvisor's SeatGuru website publishes aircraft seat maps, seat reviews, and a colour-coded system to identify superior and substandard airline seats.

Each seat is colour-coded, with green being a "good seat", red being a "poor seat", and yellow being a "be aware" seat, meaning that there is some information that you should know about the seat.

Order a 'special meal' while booking your plane ticket

When buying your plane ticket, order a 'special meal' like the vegetarian or gluten-free option online.

While it isn't foolproof, there is a good chance that your meal will arrive before the main options are handed out to guests.

Find free WiFi easily

There are some clever apps online that help travellers find free WiFi areas.

One of the best for this is FourSquare, which also allows travellers to locate a good pace to drink or eat.

By simply typing "Free WiFi airports" into the search engine, users are given a range of tips on the shops and even boarding gates that offer free access to the internet.

Use What's App or Facetime in WiFi zones for free phone calls abroad

Calling home is an exorbitant expense when travelling abroad, but there are now clever way to avoid big phone bills.

To make a call for free, do it on Facetime or using Whats App, as they use data instead of minutes.

Just make sure that your phone is WiFi only while doing this, so you aren't inadvertently using your mobile data.

Get a VPN (virtual private network) so you can surf social media and other sites in restricted countries

Many countries around the world restrict access to sites like Facebook, Twitter and even news websites.

In these countries, locals get around the blocks by using a VPN (virtual private network) app.

The software uses encryption to provide provide secure access to a remote computer over the Internet.

- Daily Mail

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