Traveling with Google

 

I want to start off the 2012-2013 year by singing my praises about Google Translate and Maps.

 

Not enough is said about the wonderful – granted, still developing – but wonderful tool of Google Translate. I’ve recently returned from a 6 week vacation in Spain, Portugal and Morocco and Google Translate has been by my side the whole way to help me through a number of situations that would have been a lot more difficult without it, including:

 

  • Buying bus and train tickets online – a number of the website that I needed to use to book my next travel option weren’t in English. By simply copying and pasting the whole website URL into Google Translate, any text on the page (including drop down menus) is translated to your desired language.
  • Reading menus – countless times I used google translate to help me understand some of the foods that I was about to order from various menus – and which ones not to order!
  • Medical help – with my wife and I falling ill from food poisoning during the trip, Google Translate helped us when at the pharmacy to get some much-needed rehydration salts!
  • Hotel and attraction reviews on www.tripadvisor.com – with their built-in Google Translator tool, you can read all the reviews, not just those in your language.
  • Just for fun – during some of our downtime we ended up watching Spanish game shows on TV. Google Translate was great at helping us play along – as long as I could type the question quickly enough 🙂

 

Of course, I should also mention the many hours and kilometres extra walking that were saved with thanks to Google Maps and the directions feature within, helping us to find hotels down winding lane ways in Spain, bus and train stations, and even provide some sense of direction in the medieval, maddening medinas of Morocco.

 

Thanks for the great vacation Google!

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