On our recent family vacation to Branson, Missouri, my husband was trying to figure out which route we should be on for a certain attraction. He eventually realized the map wasn’t drawn to scale and said so. My son heard the negativity in my husband’s voice and tried to encourage him, “Well,” he said. “It says it’s the best map, so there must be worse ones out there!” I looked at the map, and sure enough, that was the title for it, “Branson’s Best Map.” My son had read it over our shoulders and as with all things in life, taken it completely literally and at face value. I love that about children. I laughed out loud and wished for his journal. I like to log things like that away in journals for my children so they can read it years from now and see how cool they were. Of course, I don’t pack all of their journals for one vacation, and I didn’t even have a little notebook in my purse because I had removed them while trying to conserve space for things like the camera. That’s when I got the brilliant plan to take a picture of the map – at least the title – so that when I was flipping through the vacation photos and came upon that one I would remember to log away yet another had-to-be-there family memory.
Of course, I’m not the first person to think of such things. This article on Gadling describes six other uses for your digital camera you may not have considered. I think my favorite is the idea to use it as a night light when you’re searching for something in the middle of the night and don’t want to wake your roommate (or in my case, the toddler – used to sleeping in his own room and whom we barely got to sleep by midnight when sharing a hotel room with the rest of us).
Another great one, though, is to take a picture of where you’re planning to go – that certain museum maybe, and showing it to a cab driver. This is of course meant for countries in which they speak another language. In New York City, for instance, it’s probably easier to just say, “Take me to the MET.”
The main thing I like is the idea that with this one little gadget, you can cut down on baggage. You don’t need the entire guidebook as you walk the city streets – just a picture of the page with restaurants listed. You don’t need twelve internet print-outs of the hand bags for which you’re hoping to find bargains – just pictures of them saved to your camera. You can even make sure for yourself that the sunglasses marked, “(Compare our prices to) GUCCI” actually look like Gucci sunglasses. Your own personal assurance that you won’t get ripped off . . . now that’s a useful tool!