Prepping your smartphone for your trip is just as important as knowing what to pack in your suitcase. Andrew Moore-Crispin, Director of Content at Ting Mobile, a top-rated mobile service that aims to save people money on their phone bills and be smart about phone use, shares savvy phone tips below to ensure stress-free travel during the holidays.
· Secure data and personal info: Enable your phone’s screen lock feature and use a strong password to protect your information on the go.
· Plan ahead: Some airlines are already removing their seatback screens, so be sure to download all your favorites movies for your next flight. Two of the most popular online video services, Netflix and Amazon Prime, both let you download movies to your device.
· Take your maps offline: If you end up in an area without cell phone reception, you don’t need to use your cellular network to navigate with Google Maps. Download entire regions of maps in advance over a Wi-Fi, and you’ll be able to access turn-by-turn navigation, location searches and establishment info without using data.
· Check services you already have: Extra-long security lines at airports coupled with very iffy airport Wi-Fi with sometimes massive dead zones are leaving travelers particularly frustrated. Look at travel programs like airline loyalty programs to get some VIP treatment. Some credit cards offer credit to access premium Wi-Fi for free or at a reduced cost.
· Monitor and limit app usage to avoid huge data charges: Apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook all see upticks through extensive usage. Control your data in the app’s setting. You can set how much data the app can use, and you can prevent photos from loading in your feed until you’re on Wi-Fi.
· Charge your phone faster on Airplane Mode: If you’re low on battery life and in a crunch for time, put your smartphone on Airplane Mode to cut down the time needed to charge your phone.
· Use your phone as a GPS tracker (for friends or children traveling with you): Google Maps has a cool feature that lets you share locations in real-time, so you can see where your travel companions or kids are. This is an awesome safety tip for parents of slightly older kids who might want to do their own exploring.
· Be more mindful: Decide before you leave to change your behavior. Put down your phone and unplug every once in a while. Take that walk on the beach without bringing your phone or get some much-needed rest while you’re flying. Your phone will thank you too.