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April 22, 2014

Summer Getaway Tech Tips: 7 Tips to Help You Have a Better Vacation

If you missed the first two installments of our vacation technology tips series, be sure to start here to learn about planning your vacation, and then check here for some great tips on the booking process.

All of your bags are packed, and you’re ready to go, but technology isn’t done making your vacation easier just yet! In fact, some of our best tech tips have to do with actually being on vacation. After all, long days of travel and settling into a new place can be stressful, which is the exact opposite of how you want to be feeling during a getaway.

To get the relaxing vacation you planned, check out these tips for using technology while on vacation:

  1. Check in Ahead of Time: Rather than wait in long line at the airport, use online check-in to access and print your boarding pass. You can even register to check a bag online so the airline agent will only have to print off your bag identification tags, rather than gather all of your information.

  2. Take Pictures: Having lost luggage is one quick way to derail a vacation. While there might not be much you can do to prevent such an inconvenience, you can make it easier for the airline to find your bag once it’s missing. Snap a picture using your camera or phone so you can remember specific characteristics of your bag to describe. Take another picture of the airline tag on your luggage so you’ll have the routing information and can double-check the code for your destination airport.

  3. Keep your Itinerary Online: To avoid having to keep track of itinerary printouts, email all of your confirmation codes and important travel information to yourself. That way, you’ll be able to access everything easily on the go through your smartphone or computer and won’t have to worry about misplacing the important details of your trip.

  4. Bring your Own Entertainment: Even if your flight has an in-flight movie option, there’s no guarantee that it will be working. Pack your eReader or a mini-DVD player so you’ll still be able to entertain yourself. eReaders like the Kindle or Nook also allow you to pack more books without taking up valuable suitcase space.

  5. Choose Online Reviews Over the Concierge: Though the concierge at your hotel might have some valuable dining suggestions, he or she may also be making commission from various restaurants he or she recommends. To get a more sincere recommendation that is more likely to align with your tastes, check out online reviews. Sites like Yelp.com or Google reviews can give you more honest expectations.

  6. Skype: If you’re traveling out of the country, don’t bother with calling cards or paying high cell phone rates. Instead, you can easily download Skype to your computer, tablet or phone and make free calls to other Skype users. Or, if the person you need to call doesn’t have Skype (and can’t download it quickly), then you can also call landlines for a small fee. You can even choose a video option if you have a built-in webcam or attachment to get a visual on your loved ones back home.

  7. Download Travel Apps: There are any number of travel apps you can download to make your trip more accessible and enjoyable. For starters, add your destination to your weather app so you can easily check the forecast each day. If you’re in a location where you don’t speak the language, check out iLINGUA’s downloadable phrasebook to make communication easier. You can also use your smartphone for GPS and looking at maps, checking currency exchange rates and taking pictures of all the great sites you see.

As helpful as technology can be when you travel, don’t forget to unplug and take in the sites around you. Enjoy what you’ve read? For more helpful information like this, subscribe to the Kendal Northern Ohio blog!

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