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Use Your Cell Phone to Travel Better

Cell Phone Tours
Cell Phone TourAn increasingly popular way to tour a city or attraction, cell phone tours are great for someone who wants to get some in-depth information instantly. Although unreliable reception or the accumulation of valuable cell phone minutes may make this option seem less attractive to some, for travelers who love their independence, the chance to skip a guided tour may be a breath of fresh air.

Many museums and other attractions, such as parks, universities, aquariums and even festivals, offer cell phone tours (sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee, depending on the attraction) -- so bring your cell along the next time you're walking the halls of your favorite art gallery and you may learn something new. Contact the attraction before your tour to find out what number you can call and how much the service costs. Keep in mind that costs may be accrued in addition to your regular cell phone minutes.

Flight Notification Updates
Do you obsessively call your airline over and over again the day of your flight to check its status? Save your sanity and your cell phone minutes -- the next time you book your reservation online, opt to have flight status updates automatically sent to your cell phone via text message.

This feature is available on many airlines (American, Continental, Southwest and Delta are a few) and the drill is pretty much the same across the board. Punch in the details of your flight, such as departure date and flight number, along with your cell phone number. You will be notified via text message (though you can elect to receive a voice mail from some airlines) if changes are made to your flight. Visit your airline's Web site for instructions on how to use the service.

Driving Directions
Get Directions with Your Phone Don't use your cell phone while driving. However, the next time you use the Internet to get driving directions, forward them to your cell phone via text message rather than printing out several pages (or you can text your direction questions to the services listed above). Just make sure there is someone else in the car to fumble with the phone while you concentrate on the road.

This service is available from Yahoo! and is as simple as clicking on the "Send to Phone" icon and punching in your cell phone number. Your cell phone service provider may charge you for this.

Related Links
  • International Calls
  • International Cell Phone Guide
  • Resources for Staying Connected
  • Write About Your Latest Trip
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    --written by Genevieve S. Brown; updated by Caroline Costello
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