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It is the Spring Break in the United States and everybody is busy planning their spring or summer vacations. There are always those last minute trivial items that get into your bags no matter how much you plan ahead. But did you know that having some of the below mentioned devices or apps may make your vacation a lot smoother and make your trip an extraordinary one? So here are my list of tech tips for smooth travels for you, I hope you like them and it makes it a little easy for you.
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Tech Tips For Smooth Travels
How To Access the Internet while on the road
A lot of my friends have always had this question of what is the best way to access the web while on the go, maybe while driving down those long trips or maybe even at the airports or inside a train. There are 2 main ways to access to the internet – WiFi and Cellular Data. With WiFi you can log on to the local public hot spots like cafes or hotels and restaurants or even on a flight or train or even a bus these days.
You can hook up your laptop or tablet or even your smartphone to the public WiFi by searching for one and joining in, some of them may require a pass-code. Make sure you have an anti malware program downloaded on your device before logging on to keep the intruders away!!!
If you ask me, I would limit my web surfing to the minimal on public WiFi, maybe like reading the news or checking the local weather or just stream videos on YouTube. For any website that requires a sign in like checking your email, or bank balance, or paying a bill I would always log back onto the Cellular Data.
Another secure way to connect to your internet to make your mobile phone a hot spot and logging on to it from a laptop or a tablet. But of course this will add up towards your data consumption and if you are in another country then your data roaming charges may apply.
What is the Best Storage for All the Pictures and Videos I take during my vacation
I personally take a lot of pictures even while on a day trip, and when on a week long vacation, I easily empty the free space on my Apple iPhone 7 Plus. I can easily see how this might be a cause of concern for everybody who tend to be camera-savvy.
There are several options for saving all those pictures and videos and never get into a situation where your memory is full or you have to delete some older ones before having to take new pics. Let us review what those tech tips for smooth travels are when it comes to storage and uploads.
- My best option would be to sign up for any cloud storage options like Box, DropBox, Amazon cloud, Google Drive, One-drive etc. All these services offer free storage up-to some couple of giga bytes and anything more than that you may have to sign up with a nominal fee. Once you have your cloud service in place, you can auto-upload all the pics and videos from your smartphone to the drive. That way you can keep your free-space available on your smartphone. I have signed up for Apple iCloud, which comes with the first 5 GB free and for an extra 50GB I pay just $0.99 a month. The cloud storage option allows you to backup your pictures and videos so you do not have to worry about losing them while on the go.
- If you are planning to take your laptop or tablet with you, you can make use of the storage available in those devices as well. Connect your smartphone via the charging wire to your device and search for ‘DCIM’ on your phone. That is where all your media is, just copy them and paste it on your local hard drive. This also acts as a backup in case you lose your phone or damage it during the vacation.
- Some of the Android smartphones allows Micro-SD card to be inserted in them. If you happen to have one of those phones, then it makes sense to take a couple of extra Micro-SD cards with you. You can switch between them during your trip and never run out of memory. But make sure you save those small chip cards safely so as not to damage them.
What Smartphone Apps one may need on a vacation
There are several apps available on your smartphones that one can find it overwhelming these days. So which ones are the best and must-have ones while on a vacation? I would personally recommend these
- If you are traveling to another country, I would recommend you to have one of those language translator app on your smartphone. I do like the Google Translator which allows you to copy and paste into the app or even speak into it and translate it to any of the 30 different languages it supports. It particularly comes in handy when you are out shopping on the streets or even when at local restaurants. Here is a screenshot of the App:
- How would you calculate your currency conversions when on a foreign land? That is when the XE Currency app comes in to your rescue. You can have up to the minute exchange rates for all the currencies in the world at your finger tips. It helps you to calculate that 15% tip you would like to add to your bill or even make sure the local vendor gave you the proper change back after your purchase.
- How will you find your way about in an international location? I would recommend you download Waze GPS app for some good resolution maps and directions. Waze is a traffic-sourced GPS app for the smartphone which has lot many features like finding nearby restaurants and gas stations. You can also compare prices and stop at the most economical gas station thereby saving you money and also some anxiety during your drive.
How To Keep My Phone Charged Through The Day
With smartphones, the main problem everyone has is the battery life, they tend to drain out so fast that you realize this drawback when on the road or maybe relaxing at a beach. By afternoon your phone is almost out of charge and there are no charging points nearby.
So how to overcome this issue? I would suggest that when not in use, you put your phone on a low-battery mode (available on iphone). This will restrict the battery usage to a minimum and most of the background processes will be stopped. It will still be available to receive calls and text messages. However, your mails will not get auto-sync and your social media apps may not refresh. This will definitely prolong your battery life through the end of the day.
Another simple way to save battery charge on your phone is by using the Airplane mode when you are not expecting any calls. Anyway you are on a vacation and you will not want to be reached out from your work place for sure, so what else can be of an urgent nature.
But what if you do not want to do either of these two methods and would like to keep your phone fully functional through the day and still save enough battery life to last all day long? There are simple devices available like the External Battery Power Bank which acts as a backup battery for your phone.
Over To You
I hope this article helped you to a certain extent in getting ready for your next vacation. Is there any other specific question that you have in mind? Do leave a comment below if you think we can add more to this list and thereby adding more value to this article. I wish you safe travels and a happy vacation. Go tech-savvy!!!