We’re approaching the busiest travel time of the year. The number of travelers is expected to rise significantly this holiday season from Thanksgiving and New Year’s, especially after the past two years when travel was at its lowest.
If you’re planning to visit family or friends in a different city or state this year, be sure you’re prepared for the chaos that will likely ensue. Here are the CyberGuy top 5 tips for traveling this holiday season.
1. Set up a personal hotspot wherever you go
The world has become more remote-work friendly, but there are also just times you need to browse the web in a more remote area.
If you’re traveling somewhere off the grid and want to stay in touch with your family and friends, setting up a hotspot in all sorts of locations where wireless signals are available is the way to go when free, safe WiFi is nowhere in sight.
You may be able to set up a hotspot through your phone carrier or turn your phone into a hotspot itself. Either way, be sure you never get disconnected again.
If your cell phone wireless carrier offers the option for Personal Hotspot, follow these steps to use your iPhone or iPad (as long as it has cellular service) to get WiFi.
iPhone and iPad (WiFi + Cellular):
- Go to Settings
- Tap Cellular
- Tap Personal Hotspot
- On some iOS devices, you’ll see Personal Hotspot directly under Settings
- If you don’t see an option for Personal Hotspot, you can contact your cell phone company to add it to your plan.
You will then have the option to Allow Others to Join, and a WiFi password will be displayed. Next, open the WiFi settings on the other device you want to connect to the internet. Select the iPhone or iPad you have your hotspot set up on from the list of WiFi options, and enter the password displayed.
2. Get the latest travel accessories
From the travel tech to stay connected no matter where you are to the must-have coziest gifts to make those long trips easier.
Some of my personal favorites include the best Travel Dual USB Charger which is this Anker 36W dual USB-C charger. These compression sac sets will change your packing game completely and make it a breeze for the whole family. It is more difficult finding a blanket onboard most flights than hoisting a heavy carrier in the overhead bin. Don’t leave home without this $14 flannel fleece throw blanket to keep you warm.
3. Convert currency right on your smartphone
Now that it is easier to travel internationally, don’t worry about the stress of having to mentally convert different currencies when you get to your destination. You may want to check the price of something before purchasing it abroad, but you’re not sure how much it costs in USD. Instead of looking up the conversion rate and figuring it out yourself, use your phone’s camera or a simple app to get all of your currency conversions right on the spot.
iPhone currency converter
If you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 16 or later, the Live Text feature in the camera can read information your camera sees. That means if you open your iPhone camera and point it at any text or number, it can read it live. Use this feature for currency conversion by opening your camera app and pointing it at the price tag. Once the camera sees the numbers, tap the live text key which looks like this:
Then on the bottom left you’ll see a box pop up that contains the number – tap that, and you’ll see a conversion right there.
Android currency converter
If you’re traveling with an Android device and want to stay up-to-date with the latest currency conversions, download the Google app. It’s available for free on the Google Play Store and has lots of tricks your regular browsers don’t.
Just open the Google app, type “Convert [insert the price of what you’re converting here] to USD” and the number will pop up automatically based on the current global market.
4. Be ready to rebook a flight if you’re delayed or canceled
Have you ever wondered how certain people always seem to be able to rebook a canceled or delayed flight way more easily than you? The next time a glitch gets in your way, these travel tools can rescue you fast.
Canceled flight? Use the ITA Matrix flight search that shows other airlines which could be a better flight recovery option if your flight gets scrapped. Airlines would rather accommodate you on a later flight on the same company aircraft to save money. Fact is, you can often nudge your way into an airline confirming travel on a competitor in order to resolve a failure that sits on their shoulders. Search flights on ITA Matrix here.
ExpertFlyer site could be the best rescue tool to see every flight available along with the number of tickets remaining to be sold. It has a powerful feature that also shows what the airline is saying behind the scenes about your flight. Frequent fliers use this as an essential must-have subscription that reveals far more than any airline wants you to know.
More of my Travel Tips are found by searching “travel tools” at CyberGuy.com
5. Use a VPN to protect your privacy
Whether you’re logging onto the WiFi at an airport, a hotel or somewhere else while you’re away from home, your privacy and information are at high risk if you’re not using a VPN. A virtual private network helps encrypt your data so hackers sharing these public WiFi networks can’t access it as easily.
Unless you’re at home on your own safe WiFi network, you can’t be sure that you’re on a secure network so make sure you’re browsing with a VPN and have an Antivirus software set up. I’ve reviewed the top VPNs at CyberGuy.com.
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