If there is one thing that most people in the world can agree upon, it’s that vacations are fun. You’re off from work or school with nothing but clear skies and adventures ahead of you. Unless you’re going to North Korea, chances are you’re incredibly excited about whatever destination you’re heading to.
But not all is so rosy with the entire vacation process. While going on vacation is the fun part, sometimes planning the vacation is the part that’s a drag. Browsing through flight options, hotel reservations and packing are like your vacational penance.
While we can’t offer you a ton of tips on the packing part (although socks inside your shoes is a great way to save space), there are a number of tech things you can do both before and during vacation to make sure you have the best time possible.
Airplane Mode is Your Friend
Surely you’ve heard pilots or flight attendants say, “You must switch off all of your technological items or put them in airplane mode.” But what exactly is airplane mode? Basically, it turns off your device’s ability to connect to anything. That means your data, WIFI, Bluetooth and GPS will all be turned off.
Not only is airplane mode a great way to avoid the ire of flight attendants, but it’s a great way to save your battery.
If you’re going to be out touring a city during the day, you may not get a chance to charge your phone whilst you’re taking pictures and looking up restaurant recommendations.
Put your phone on airplane mode when you’re not using it and save some battery. In addition, your phone will charge faster while it’s on airplane mode.
Buy an External Charger
If flipping in and out of airplane mode really isn’t your style, then an external charger is the way to go. External chargers are quite affordable and many can fit in the palm of your hand.
They’re perfect for fitting into your pockets, bags or purses and offer 24/7 charging for any of your devices. The majority of them work with whatever device you have, but some are not universal so make sure you double check before buying.
Download and Screenshot
We take our phones with us everywhere and they serve just about any purpose we can think of. They are not perfect, however, and everyone has experienced a moment where your phone just won’t connect to your data or a WIFI connection.
That’s why you need to download any relevant information before you start traveling. Most navigation apps have a way of downloading the city’s maps before you arrive, so you’ll be able to check where you are even if you don’t have a strong connection.
Make a screenshot of your hotel reservations, flight information and any other reservations. It’s much easier to pull out a picture on your phone and show it to someone than trying to connect to WIFI or a network and access the information through the internet.
Take Your Entertainment With You
Everyone has that one series they’re blazing through these days. So what better way to continue watching than to take your entertainment with you?
If you’re traveling internationally, you might be surprised to know that Netflix in the United States is not the same as Netflix in the UK. Certain shows have different rights in various places and unfortunately, they’re not going to be the same everywhere.
Look into a streaming device and an alternate streaming service that isn’t bound by international rights issues. Many of those streaming devices need minimal setup to work, so you could be good to go in no-time.
Know Your Phone Plan
This tip is only for international travelers, but if you’re looking to be able to make calls and receive texts while out of the country, you’ll want to investigate phone plans.
While your native carrier might have options, many of them are quite expensive and charge exuberant rates to connect to a foreign network.
Buying a local SIM card is always an option, and typically much cheaper. This is always a great idea if you are planning on staying for more than just a week or are planning a study abroad semester.