For many of us, travelling across borders means having to keep track of a multitude of tiny but vital bits of paper, or risk being turned back and stranded. Passports, tickets, boarding passes, purchase receipts – the list is almost endless. Sadly, this makes it all too easy to forget some small detail and land yourself in a high-stress situation, often completely undoing all the good work of a well-earned vacation.
The good news is that technology is catching up, finding simpler ways of solving old problems, and the smartphone revolution is gradually making travel an easier process. Digital boarding passes for airlines have been around for a while now, but the introduction of services like Apple’s Passbook shows that streamlined, paper-free travel is making the move into the mainstream.
And it’s not just managing tickets that your smartphone can do for you these days. Maps, phrase books and guides to the local sights can all fit into your jeans pocket, and there are more innovative applications, too. The Simply Declare app is a fine example of this later category, elegantly solving an old problem, and it’s one of the finest travel apps we’ve reviewed at Best Mobile Contracts.
In a nutshell, the Simply Declare app allows you to keep track of everything you buy while travelling, so you can easily declare the value of your purchases when you arrive back home. The genius of the app is in its simple implementation of complex functions.
All you have to do is set your home currency and your maximum allowance. The app automatically converts foreign currencies into your native coinage and keeps track of how much you have left to spend. If you’re trekking across multiple countries, no problem – just enter the currency you paid in and Simply Declare does the rest.
With every entry you make, you can snap a picture of the receipt with the iPhone’s camera to store alongside it. Perhaps best of all, you can easily email the entire record to yourself or a third party for safe keeping!
We haven’t quite reached the point where you can hop around the world without a short novel’s worth of paperwork, but we’re moving in the right direction. If developers keep coming up with apps like this, we’ll be paper-free and stress-free in no time.
Thank you to: Liam Hemming