Traveling now means that your tickets, maps, hotel, car rental and much more are stored on your phone. But what if that disappears? Here’s how to find your phone when it’s lost – even if the battery is low.
The other big phone emergency? Your battery is running low and you have to go to the airport. Oops! Tap or click for smart ways to get more life out of your battery.
Traveling can be stressful, but these hacks can make a huge difference.
1. Track (digitally) your stuff
Digital trackers help you keep track of your valuables and find them if you lose something. I put the Apple AirTag on my dog’s collar, keychains, bike and car. Here are 10 smart ways you can use AirTag.
AirTags use signals from other iPhones to determine where they are. With the Find My app, you can see the location of each AirTag associated with your account. It is a good idea to throw one in your checked baggage. This way you can see if your bag is reaching your destination.
But the AirTag will be useless when your luggage passes through the airport’s inner conveyor belt. There is usually not enough iPhone nearby to run AirTag. But once your luggage comes out, you’ll know exactly where it is.
Want to take a few now while you think about it?
- Apple’s AirTags are ideal if you have an iPhone, Mac or iPad.
- Tiles 2-pack is compatible with Android and has a tracker for your luggage and one for sliding in your wallet.
THERE IS AN APPLICATION FOR THIS: Top 10 Travel Apps to Plan Your Next Adventure
2. Track flights the easy way
Here’s a handy trick for the iPhone if a family member or friend picks you up at the airport. Send a message to the airline you are flying with and your flight number, such as Southwest Airlines 1175.
The person can touch the message to open the flight tracker. They can see the progress of the flight and the estimated time of arrival without looking for the flights online or on a tracking site. Easy!
If your trip uses Android, they can search the network for the airline and flight number to see the same information.
This travel hack is great! Uber has a new way of waiting for you when you land. Your Uber driver will track your flights. Here’s my 60-second tip on how it works.
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3. Take these photos on your phone
There are important photos I have on my phone. In the worst case, you will lose your wallet. It will be much easier to go home if you have photos of your basic documents.
Remember to include at least your license, passport and health insurance card.
The easiest way to do this on the iPhone is to use the handy document scanner built into the native Notes app.
- Open up Notes application. Create a new note by clicking the icon that looks like a square with pen located in the lower right corner of the screen. Tap camera icon at the bottom of your new note and select Scanning documents.
Take photos on Android and mark them as favorites in your photo gallery, or use the Google Drive scan feature:
- Open up Google Drive app. Tap plus button in the lower right corner.
- Tap Scanning and allow access to your camera if you have not already done so. Follow the on-screen prompts to take and save your photos.
Professional advice: I also recommend saving your credentials as PDFs and saving a copy to your iOS books, Android eBooks app, or even sending them to your Kindle. This way you can access them offline. You may also want to send a copy to your travel partner.
SMART STEP: Take my advice and upload these 9 photos that you should always have on your phone at your fingertips. You will thank me later!
4. Check your rental for hidden spy cameras
It happened to me. I rented an apartment, settled in and realized how many cameras were watching me. It was very disturbing.
If you rent through Airbnb, cameras are allowed in public places and common areas, but not in bathrooms or bedrooms. They cannot be hidden and must be revealed in the description of the list. VRBO completely bans indoor cameras, although outdoor cameras are allowed for “reasonable observation”
Larger cameras are easy to spot, but anyone can easily hide smaller cameras behind furniture, vents or decorations. Then there are the hidden cameras that can be disguised as anything from Roku to an extension cord. Seriously, you’ll be shocked to see these things.
An easy way to spot most types of cameras is to look for lens reflection. Turn off the lights and slowly scan the room with a flashlight or laser pointer for bright reflections. Scan the room from multiple locations so you don’t miss a camera aimed only at specific locations. Also check the ventilation openings and any holes or gaps in the walls or ceilings.
You can also get RF detector. This gadget can take wireless cameras that you may not see.
If you can connect to a wireless rental network, a free program like Wireless Network Watcher shows what widgets are connected. You may be able to spot connected cameras. Just keep in mind that the owner may have placed the cameras in a second network or they may be wired or just for recording.
If you find an internal surveillance camera that has not been revealed to you, pick up the phone and call the police. Tell them that you have direct evidence that your landlord is spying on your rental home without your knowledge or permission. Use exactly this phrase.
Document the situation with videos and photos on your smartphone. Once you receive your police report, contact the hiring site.
5. Find the most comfortable seat
If you’re tall, you know how important a few extra inches of legroom is in flight. It can be the difference between being comfortable or cramped for hours.
Google Flights is a great way to find the cheapest flight, but you’re taking an extra step to find the most convenient place.
- Get the Chrome browser extension called Leg space for Google Flights. When using Google Flights, you will also see how much legroom there is for your chosen flight.
- Another solid option is SeatGuru.com. Enter your airline and flight number and you will see a map of the best places with the most legroom. No download required.
Have you tried one of these “buy now, pay later” services? Many buyers love this setting – but it will now appear in your credit report. Speaking of shopping, you can buy a vertical mouse or life-saving headphones. (Yes: a gamer’s headphones saved him from delusion.) In this episode, I’ll share AirTag news and a great new Zoom trick that lets you talk with your hands.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just look for my last name, Commando.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Either tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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