technology

Cell Phones

Some people get a little confused when trying to make an international call. Here’s a couple quick tips:

  • If you are making a call to a US based phone (either home or to a US cell phone, anywhere) just dial like you normally would. Your home location follows your phone wherever it goes, like a bubble.

  • To phone a number outside the US, dial “+” (which is the same as 011, the exit country code) then the area code and number. So, let's say the tour director is from England and you want to call her. You'd dial + (exit code) 44 (country code for England) and then the number (area code and number) Incidentally, the US country code is 1, which is why we dial 1 with our numbers.

    • FYI, don't be thrown off by foreign phone numbers. In many other countries, they separate area code and number differently​

      • e.g. An example of a phone number you might call in England would be: +44 7986 70580 - still 9 numbers; just spaced differently​

Electricity Adaptors and Convertors

You'll want to make sure you bring along a power adaptor. Your electronics won't plug into the outlets in England or the European Union without one:

  • A power adaptor will work with any dual voltage appliance. You can tell if something is dual voltage, if somewhere on the appliance it reads something like, "voltage 110/240v". If it does, you're good. If it only reads, "110v", it will burn out very quickly without an additional power converter. There are some adaptors that are also power converters, that cost a little more. Most laptops, tablets, cell phones, flat irons, curling irons, and camera battery chargers ARE dual voltage.

  • It's always a good idea to have a small power strip that fit's easily in your bag. Outlets in hotels are always a crap shoot, no matter where in the world you are. Here are a few we like.

Apps

Translate

Some kind of translate app. Both Apple and Android have one that is excellent, and have mics to translate in real time.

Polarsteps

Parents, family, friends, enemies, casual acquaintances, and total strangers can follow along with us as we trek across Europe.

The app will track all of our movements on a map of Europe so you can see where we are at any given time, allow the group leaders to post pics and use the metadata from the pics to organize them by the cities and days they were taken, and allow us to blog a little about our experiences, things we learned, or anything else we think you might find interesting.

Click HERE to see the last time we took this tour

Postcard App

With this pay app, you can snap a photo with your phone and turn it into a custom postcard, which will be printed and sent via snail mail to anywhere you want. Various digital postcard apps (including fCards) will let you email your postcard instead.