Ah, summer holidays. A chance to kick back and indulge in some much needed rest and relaxation. Once you’ve got the whole thing organised, that is. From booking a flight, organising car hire, ordering your holiday money and then actually getting all the right documents together, we’ve realised there’s a minefield of identity-related challenges to overcome. So we asked the GBG team what they’ve learned from their experiences this summer that would help make it all so much easier next time around. Overwhelmingly, it was “make better use of apps” – so here are our top three takeaways from our collective travelling over the recent summer.
1. Save time with an airline app
Many airlines have mobile apps, which make booking and managing flights so much easier – from browsing and booking flights to checking in and getting live flight information and traffic alerts. Lufthansa’s latest addition sets the standard for pure convenience. Once you’ve downloaded the app, not only can you can check-in and download your boarding pass really easily, its new Passport-Scan function (built on GBG’s IDscan technology!!) allows you to fill in passport details simply by using the camera. It saves loads of time and avoids any horrible delays at security caused by having typed in the wrong name or date of birth in a rush from the car park!
2. Automate the car hire process
Forget the stress of waiting for public transport or getting ripped off by taxi companies late at night. We much prefer to take the hassle out of getting to the hotel or resort by simply jumping in a pre-booked hire car. Car hire companies, like Avis, have automated many of their processes and are now able to offer really fast data capture and automatic ID and driver checks. This approach means no more hanging around while the customer in front completes a lengthy form and no need for the car hire company to photocopy your identity documents. Personal details – name, age, address and licence details – are all checked instantly over the app, making it much quicker and easier to start relaxing!
3. Be finance savvy
Lots of us now have bank accounts or credit cards that allow commission-free foreign currency. But the rates aren’t always great and for major purchases or transactions that require hard cash – especially if travelling ‘off the beaten track’ – a foreign exchange service such as PremierFX can make life so much easier. You can sign up online from anywhere in the world – identity verification is done instantly via a smartphone – and with some providers you can even scan in a passport or driving licence for even faster service. The money can then be accessed instantly over the app – in the local currency – uniting you with that ‘must have’ souvenir!
The only thing we haven’t found an app for yet is making sure you’re covered in sunscreen – that’s still down to you, but we’re sure someone’s already working on it!