Modern travelers are lucky to have so much helpful technology at their fingertips. In particular, budget travelers have the opportunity to leverage these devices to enhance their travel experiences in a budget friendly manner. We are big fans of downloadable audio guides / walking tours; it’s like having your own personal tour guide for a fraction of the cost.
Download Audio Guides from iTunes or Tourism Websites
Audio guides can be downloaded on numerous websites, including iTunes or other major tourism websites (including some tourism boards – click here…). Some sites may charge a small fee for the download, but others are completely free of charge! Most downloads are available for multiple devices.
With the advancement of technology, it would be silly not to take advantage of these. In some ways it’s even better than a tour guide because you can go at your own pace and get completely lost in the experience. Plus, we weren’t following some big tour group with a guide holding a giant red flag and talking into a loud microphone! For us history buffs, it’s an awesome way to explore a destination.
For example, we once had a 2 ½ hour tour of both the Colosseum & the Roman Forum – it was incredibly detailed. If we missed something, we could replay it, or if we wanted to sit to take a break and just soak in the scenery, we would have a seat and press pause. We learned so much more than we would have just wandering on our own or fussing around with a guide book. And we downloading the audio guided tour didn’t cost us a penny!
** If you are traveling through Europe, be sure to check out the Rick Steves website. Not only is he incredibly knowledgable and thorough with his information about Europe, but he has a wonderful travel audio guide section with FREE downloads.
Download Additional Apps or Documents for Travels
Lastly, some tourism websites will even have apps or documents that you can download to your mobile device (click here to read Budget Travel Tip #1 about the value of tourism boards!). These aren’t necessarily audio guides, but they are worth mentioning. It’s convenient to have so much information, including maps and lengthly guides at your fingertips and not having to carry heavy books around. It’s also easy to jump around from topics or choose what you are interested in. You can also find a number of language resources to help you learn key phrases. Most downloads are available offline, so you do not need a wifi connection to access while you are traveling.
From guided walks in the city center of Paris, learning Thai on the airplane, or learning about the history of Germany while driving through the Black Forest, mobile technology has really changed the way that we learn and travel. This is perfect for the budget traveler, especially those that really want to get as much as they can out of the experience and connect with the culture. It brings a whole new meaning to the experience and even more vivid memories of your adventures.
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