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How my Apple Watch proved the ultimate travel necessity when I spent a week halfway around the world

I already wear my Apple Watch on a daily basis, so why wouldn’t it be strapped on my wrist when I set off for a trip halfway around the world? Better yet, are there ways the Apple Watch can prove essential when I’m navigating a foreign country?
That’s exactly what I attempted to test on a recent trip to Tokyo, Japan. Having never been to the city before, I knew I would need some assistance finding my way around and making the most of my experience. And while my iPhone 15 Pro Max is certainly a great tool for finding restaurants, capturing content throughout the week and more, there are times when turning to my Apple Watch Series 9 proved more convenient.
For example, while exploring Akihabara, I got separated from my travel mates. (It was my fault — I lost track of time in Big Camera, one of the most incredible technology superstores I’d ever seen. (It’s like a Target on steroids.) My iPhone battery was running low and my hands were full of shopping bags. So, to find my friends, I used my Apple Watch to text them, learn where they landed for lunch and get directions to the restaurant via Apple Maps. Thanks to my watch, I arrived just in time to enjoy a memorable tempura lunch.
To that point, I probably used the Maps app most during my trip. If it wasn’t for turn-by-turn directions navigating the bustling streets of Harajuku, it was figuring out whether the bullet train offered the fastest journey to my next destination, or if I could get there on foot instead.
I also relied on Apple Pay for Apple Watch quite a bit to pay quickly for my bounties at convenience stores. With my hands filled with gummy candy, bottled coffees and unconventionally-flavored potato chips, tilting my wrist to the tap-to-pay terminal was much easier than juggling my phone.

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