Traveling this fall? Guest author and frequent flyer Christine Henderson has 9 tips to be a tech savvy traveler
If you’ve ever traveled, you know there are plenty of things that can go wrong. From flight delays to dead phone batteries, we’ve all experienced the pitfalls of being on unfamiliar ground. Avoid some of the travel headaches and follow these helpful tips before you go:
Tip #1: Track Your Flight
Remember to pack your patience if you’re flying to your destination. It’s not uncommon to have a delayed flight, altered connecting flights, or even a canceled flight. Install the Flight Track Pro app on your iOS or Android device.
Flight Track Pro gives you the real-time status of delays, cancelations, gate changes, as well as on-time history. Predict flight issues by viewing weather radar images, or sync it with your phone’s calendar for detailed planning.
Tip #2: Protect Your Identity
It’s becoming increasingly popular for identity thieves to strike while you’re vulnerable on vacation. You may not realize it, or maybe you forget, but most of our credit cards, passports, and enhanced drivers licenses emit a radio frequency that can be picked up easily by a scanner. Prevent access to your information by traveling with an Identity Stronghold case that will block the signal.
Another way to protect yourself is to use LockBox for secure file sharing. If you need to send files for business or simply want privacy in your sharing, LockBox will encrypt your files and keep them secure.
See also: How to Encrypt Your Files
In addition, don’t forget to inform your credit card companies and bank that you’re traveling. This helps avoid any complications in transactions away from home.
Tip #3: Scan Travel Documents
Losing important travel documents can be disastrous for your vacation. Scan your essential documents and export them to a cloud drive for safe keeping before you travel.
See also: How to Travel with Electronics
Another option is to give an electronic copy to a friend or family member back home as a precaution. Genius Scan, available on Google Play and the App Store, is a great app for this.
Tip #4: Protect Your Devices
Snorkeling, swimming, or hiking? So fun. Ruining your phone in the process? Not fun. Protect your devices with reliable cases that can brave the elements.
LifeProof offers waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof cases for tablets and smartphones. Seashell has cases for your digital cameras and smartphones that you can take diving. Then share photos on the Seashell app when you return to land. The Griffin Survivor + Catalyst is also waterproof and submersible down to 3 meters.
See also: What's New with Device Protectors?
Tip #5: Get Remote Access to Your Favorite TV Shows
Ever go on vacation, only to get stormed in or worse, sick? Of course this only becomes more aggravating when you can’t even watch all your favorite shows and 5-year-old movies are $15 a pop in your hotel room. Services like Flex View from Verizon, allow you to have access to shows and movies from FiOS on demand, access to pre-recorded content on your DVR, in addition to your favorite streaming providers, such as Hulu, Netflix, or HBO Go.
As long as you have a WiFi connection, you’ll be able to stream from any laptop or mobile device, and more importantly, forget about your troubles for a while.
Tip #6: Keep Your Phone Charged
When you’re away from civilization, or outlets of any kind, there are still options to keep your smartphone charged. iBattz Mojo case for your iPhone backs up your power with a removable battery pack. Mophie Juice Pack also attaches to your phone like a case but acts as an incredibly useful backup power source. If you’re roughing it, you might want to invest in the Goal Zero Nomad. This power pack is a solar panel that can charge your devices connected with a USB. All your friends will be jealous and think you’re some kind of techie-nature expert.
Lastly, to avoid data roaming charges, try to connect to a WiFi network or VPN (like StrongVPN) as often as possible so you don’t come home to find a surprise in your monthly phone bill.
Tip #7: Bridge the Culture Gap
If you’re far enough away from home, you might need a translator. Translator with Speech is a great app for easy translations and Google Currency Converter can translate prices for you. Both can be found on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.
Tip #8: Back-Up Photos and Videos
Want to document your trip? Make sure those memories aren’t lost by properly backing up your data. Depending on where you are, you may not always be able to back up to a cloud. Therefore, make sure to take an external drive with you, like WD My Passport.
Personally, I use a Drobo Mini. This is a raid-based device that takes 4 Solid State Drives, so if one fails or you run out of space, you can “hot-swap” for another drive. In addition, it supports Thunderbolt, so if you’re a Mac user, get ready for some blazingly fast speeds. Lastly, it also comes with its own carrying case, so it was designed to travel. The downside? It can be rather expensive. So if you’re not a professional, stick with a WD.
Tip #9: Organize Your Trip
Use Tripit before you depart. You can add maps, directions, travel notes, photos, your calendar, and then share with friends and family – it basically acts as your all-in-one itinerary, and it’s available for most smartphone devices.
Perhaps you already consider yourself a tech savvy traveler? If you have some of your own ideas or tips, feel free to share them below in the comments!