While traveling is often a lifetime adventure, it’s not easy, and seldom goes without at least a few hiccups. We’ve been there: We’re travelers too. That’s why TravelVoc was born. We could tell you many different unexpected stories of our own travels: from backpacking around Europe making coach travel connections in deserted bus stations in the dead of night, to facing lost train tickets, having credit cards stolen while on city breaks, dealing with flight cancellations due to bad weather and then feeling like an extra in the classic film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Sound familiar? That’s because all of these things actually happened to team members here at TravelVoc. We know how stressed you can feel when in a foreign land and confronted with these unforeseen problems, which travel companies tell us are just common issues and a normal part of foreign travel.
We disagree: We don’t think that feeling lost is normal, especially when a solo traveler, faced with no local cash notes in your wallet, and roaming costs racking up just so that you can check flight cancellations, find alternative travel routes, book emergency last minute accommodation, or sort out a problem that really should be sorted out for you by the company.
This is where TravelVoc came from. We’ve been there. We’ve experienced those travel problems. We’ve felt just as lost, stressed, and irritated with those travel helplines and booking hotlines that never seem to connect, and play hideous music as a backdrop that always seems to add an air of the ridiculous to your travel emergency – when you least need it.
So we’d like to just say, we understand, and we’re here. Here’s how TravelVoc can help you:
What is TravelVoc?
TravelVoc is a free mobile call app for smart travelers, allowing users to speak directly with travel and hospitality service operators worldwide, without roaming costs.
How does TravelVoc work?
TravelVoc is the all-in-one travel problem app that can help you solve the most common travel issues:
1. We have a whitelist directory that lists the numbers of travel and hospitality service operators worldwide, all of which have been verified by the TravelVoc team to make sure you get the right number first time, every time, to save you searching for numbers when you need them right away, and stop your calls being transferred over and over, wasting time and money by being placed on hold.
2. All calls to these numbers are free to call through the TravelVoc app, meaning that if you never need to worry out of credit problem – you can still get the help you need without worrying about running out of credit or racking up huge phone bills.
3. There are no roaming charges: 'free calls' means free calls.
4. TravelVoc works on your phone, and your call will always be connected through the app as long your phone is on Wi-Fi/3G/4G data plan.
How do I use TravelVoc during my trip?
Call with ease without incurring any unnecessary international roaming cost using TravelVoc’s call function.
1. Download: Download and install the TravelVoc app on iOS or Android.
2. Launch and search: Launch the app and search through the directory’s categories (e.g. travel agents, tours, airlines, hotels, airports, embassies), for the specific service operator you wish to dial to.
3. Click and connect: Click on the verified telephone number listed and get instantly connected to the service operator. No more long waiting times or running through the automated dial selection process.
Many transport operators and hotel booking services have their own apps, it’s true. Yet as seasoned travelers, we know they often crash at that vital moment. (Plus it’s always tempting to start deleting those apps as soon as we’ve taken one too many videos of smiling camels, photographed every meal we’ve eaten at strange roadside establishments, and recorded hours of film out of train windows to show everyone back home the scenery.) TravelVoc is many apps in one: it lists numbers from all major hotels, transport companies, and emergency services worldwide.
This is great for three reasons:
1. You can be safe in the knowledge that you can always access the numbers you need in an emergency with just one app – quickly and efficiently.
2. Feedback from experienced travelers says that, in a travel emergency, it’s always easier to phone a company directly than to rely on emails and company apps: Your problem gets sorted quickly, once and for all.
3. You can take as many camel photos as you like.
We also know that there are many calling apps around to choose from. What makes TravelVoc different is that it’s free compared to calling apps like Skype, and it even works for landlines and toll-free numbers, which many other apps won’t.
Here are just a few common travel problems that team members at TravelVoc have also faced, and why they believe the TravelVoc app would have saved them a whole load of trouble!
Travel Problem 1: Help, I’ve lost my credit cards!
‘Okay, so this one time, I was traveling from one city to another in France, and I was a bit late for the train. I only had my rucksack with me, so I stuck my purse in my coat pocket after I’d showed my ticket to get through the gate rather than stop, take it off, unzip it… you know how it goes. So I ran, jumped on the train, stowed my stuff in the overhead, and it was fine. The only problem was I’d totally forgotten about my purse. There weren’t many other travelers, so I don’t think it was stolen or anything, and probably just fell out of my pocket. But just in case, I had to call two different companies and cancel all of my cards. It wasn’t a major drama, but it did take me a while to get through, and I was on hold for ages. I’m just really glad no one had chance to use my cards before I noticed and managed to call, or I don’t know what I would have done. The TravelVoc app would have been really useful, as it would have made it all a lot less stressful – just knowing that I was prepared if anything like that ever happened again. I think that’s the main reason I really love working on it. Facing the unexpected is always one of the most worrying things for me when traveling now after that, so knowing that the app is there is quite reassuring for people; you know you have a back up for emergencies. It takes a lot of the stress out of planning for a trip. It would have been really handy for calling the local police as well. I didn’t bother putting a report in, so I wonder if I’d have been able to get my money back if any had been stolen, as I know you have to put in a crime report for the insurance company if your luggage is taken, and things like that.’
‘There was this time I was traveling to Switzerland, and when I arrived my suitcase just didn’t appear on the carousel. The airport staff were helpful, and found it had been put on the wrong flight to somewhere else. They took all the details of where I’d be staying, and said they would let me know when they’d rerouted it from the other airport, and then have it delivered by taxi for me. I waited for the call, but in the end I had to keep calling them for updates, and I do wonder if that’s how I eventually got it back. I mean, would they have bothered following it up if I hadn’t kept calling?
Since I gave airport staff my mobile number when filling out the form, I could not change SIM card (as it would have meant they couldn't contact me) to make calls with a lower rate as a local.
The app would have been really useful for that, as I kept having to call over and over for a few days, and it ended up costing a lot. I got back all of my stuff, but I did have to wear the same clothes for 3 days! I could have had them call me through the app for free as well with the paid version, which would have been cool. It worked out in the end. At least I didn’t have to buy all new clothes though, that would have cost a lot too, and also meant I would have missed out on sightseeing.’
‘A travel issue? Oh gosh yes! I’ve had a few scrapes, as I used to travel a lot, but the worst has to be when I was volunteering in Africa. I was on my own with a charity, who were great, but I think they were really pre-occupied with the children rather than the volunteers – as it should be really. I was quite a self-sufficient traveler, and was used to the common travel problems people have, but it hit me totally unexpectedly when a bout of civil unrest came about. In retrospect, it wasn’t really a big deal, but there was a lot of rioting, and people went round the streets smashing things up. Being a lone female, I’ll admit I was really scared. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I called my parents and they said they would look into getting me a flight back home. It was a bit of a drama, as I was out in the middle of nowhere and had to get taxis back to the main airport, and book accommodation for the night, and things like that. Luckily my parents did a lot of it for me, but I ended up with a huge phone bill of over £200 – quite a bit as I was a student and wasn’t working. It took me a few months to pay it off with all the other costs that added up from it all – my parents didn’t help with that bit! I think the app would have helped massively, as I know my parents were really worried, and panicking themselves. I would have much preferred to handle the flights and things myself, but in the drama I just didn’t have time to check loads of websites on my phone for the best flights and things, it would have helped a lot to be able to just call the airline and make a booking that way, and the hotels as well. I ended up just walking into a hotel when I arrived, as I was ready to take anything at that stage, so I’m sure I must have paid a lot more than I could have, and I didn’t get to check any reviews or anything. I got back okay, but I think the app would have made me feel a lot safer. And also more independent. I suppose that was a big thing back then for me, as I wanted to be self-sufficient, and prove I could travel on my own, and that being a woman wasn’t an issue!’
In essence, using Travel Voc during your trip is safer. It’s faster. And it’s free. What’s not to love?
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