Following nearly two years of off-and-on again restrictions, lockdowns and fears of catching COVID-19, millions are back on the road again. Whether it’s jetting off on a business trip, flying with the fam for a beach getaway, or simply a road trip to visit family, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) predicts domestic travel and tourism will rebound significantly in 2022 – even exceeding pre-pandemic levels. If and when you head out, consider packing a few of these following techy “travel hacks” to save you time, money and aggravation.
And be sure to share any of your own “shut the front door” travel tips and tricks by posting on social media (links at the top of this article).
Store documents on your phone Before you leave home, digitally scan your passport, driver’s license, health card/insurance information, vaccination proof, and roadside assistance cards – and keep these images on your smartphone – in the event any or all of these are lost or stolen.
You may need to scan the backs of these documents, too. On a related note, add your credit cards to your Apple Pay wallet (iPhone) or Google Pay (Android), in case they’re misplaced. And if your smartphone becomes lost, stolen or damaged, make sure it’s locked with a password or PIN, and keep an extra copy of these scanned documents on a password-protected cloud account – so you can access them on another device.
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Take a photo of your boarding pass When checking into your flight online, opt for a boarding pass sent to your phone – whether it’s via text message, email or to be opened inside an app – but take a screen grab of your boarding pass on your phone to create an offline version, in case the Internet connection isn’t good at the airport you won’t hold everyone up behind you.
Download your entertainment ahead of time
Many streaming movie services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime allow you to download TV shows and movies to watch offline – so be sure to do this over your Wi-Fi before you leave on vacation. That way, you won’t incur any roaming charges while the kids stream movies in the backseat of a road trip. Downloading also works for many music streaming services, like Apple Music and Spotify.
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Instant standing desk
Miss your standing desk at the office or home office? Open the closet in your hotel or motel room and chances are there’s an ironing board in there. Open it up and place it somewhere with good lighting. It’s the perfect height for you to prop up your laptop and start typing away.
Use TV’s USB for charging
If you left home without your smartphone plug but you still have the cable, plug it into the hotel room’s television and it will charge up your device. There should be a powered USB port on the side or back.
A few more travel hacks: If your hotel room doesn’t offer an iron for your wrinkled clothes, the old “shower trick” really works. Hang your clothes on the bar above the tub, turn on a hot shower and point the shower head against the wall. Close the bathroom door for 5 to 10 minutes.
When you return, your clothes will seem perfectly pressed. Are the drapes opened just a crack and the sunlight is disrupting your sleep? Take a clothes hanger from the closet – the one with the clips – and clamp both sides of the curtains together.
If your hotel gave you a disposable shower cap you don’t need, use it to put your shoes in your suitcase to keep everything clean. Is the room super dry? An instant hack for increasing the moisture in the room is to hang a wet towel in front of the room’s radiator – perhaps laid out over a suitcase rack – and the heat from the radiator will evaporate the water over time. If you don’t have a kettle in your room but want to boil water – say, for a cup of ramen –you can fill the coffee maker with water and run it through to heat it up.