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Traveling now means that your tickets, maps, hotel, rental car and more are stored on your phone. But what if what disappears? Here’s how to find your phone if it’s lost – even if the battery is low.
Another great emergency phone? Your battery is running low and you have to go to the airport. Oops. Touch or click to get smart ways to increase battery life.
Traveling can be stressful, but these hacks can make a huge difference.
1. Keep track of your things (digital).
Digital trackers help you keep track of your valuables and find them if you lose anything. I put the Apple AirTag on the dog’s collar, keychain, bike and in the car. Here are 10 smart ways to use AirTag.
AirTags use signals from other iPhones to determine where they are. With Find My you can see the location of each AirTag associated with your account. It’s a good idea to throw one in your checked baggage. So you can see if your bag will get to its destination.
But AirTag will be useless if your luggage passes through the airport’s internal conveyor system. There are usually not enough iPhones nearby to operate the AirTag. But once your luggage is out of there, you’ll know exactly where it is.
Want to grab a few now while thinking about it?
- AirTags from Apple perfect if you have an iPhone, Mac or iPad.
- Tile 2 pack is Android compatible and has a tracker for your luggage and one that can be tucked into your wallet.
THERE IS A PROGRAM FOR THIS: Top 10 Travel Programs to Plan Your Next Adventure
2. Track flights the easy way
Here’s a handy trick for the iPhone if you have a family member or friend picking you up from the airport. Send text with the airline you are flying and your flight number, for example, “Southwest Airlines 1175”.
The person can click on the message to open the flight tracker. They can see the flight progress and estimated time of arrival without searching for the flight online or on the tracking site. Easy!
If you use Android on your trip, they can do an internet search by airline and flight number to see the same information.
This travel hack is great! Uber has a new way to keep the car waiting for you when you land. Your Uber driver will track your flight. Here’s my 60-second tip on how it works.
Get serious news about data breaches and security when it happens. Subscribe to my free email alerts.
3. Get these photos on your phone
I have important photos on my phone. In the worst case, you will lose your wallet. Getting home will be much easier if you have photos of important documents.
Be sure to include at least a license, passport, and health insurance card.
The easiest way to do this on the iPhone is to use a handy document scanner built into the native Notes program.
- Open up Appendix notes. Create a new note by clicking on the icon that looks like a square with handle located in the lower right corner of the screen. Click on camera icon at the bottom of the new note and select Scan documents.
Take a few photos on Android and mark them as favorites in your photo gallery, or use the Google Drive scan feature:
- Open up Google Drive. Click on plus button in the lower right corner.
- Click Scanning and allow access to the camera if you haven’t already. Follow the on-screen prompts to take and save photos.
Professional advice: I also recommend saving your credentials as PDFs and saving a copy in your iOS Books, Android ebooks or even send to your Kindle. This way, you can access them offline. You can also send a copy to your travel partner.
REASONABLE STEP: Listen to my advice and download them 9 photos that you should always have in your phone at hand. You thank me later!
4. Check the rental for hidden spy cameras
It happened to me. I rented a house, settled down and realized how many cameras were watching me. It was very disturbing.
If you rent through Airbnb, cameras are allowed in public and public areas, but not in bathrooms and bedrooms. They cannot be hidden and must be shown in the list description. VRBO completely bans the camera indoors, although outdoor cameras are allowed for “smart monitoring».
Larger cameras are easy to spot, but anyone can easily hide smaller cameras behind furniture, vents or decorations. In addition, there are hidden cameras that can be disguised under a variety of things, from a Roku to a power outlet. Seriously, you’ll be shocked to see these things.
An easy way to detect most types of cameras is to look for a lens reflection. Turn off the lights and slowly scan the room with a flashlight or laser pointer, looking for bright reflections. Scan a room from multiple locations so as not to miss a camera aimed only at specific locations. Also inspect the vents as well as any holes or gaps in the walls or ceilings.
You can also get RF detector. This gadget can pick up wireless cameras that you may not see.
If you can connect to a wireless rental network, a free program like Wireless Network Observer shows which gadgets are connected. You may be able to detect connected cameras. Just keep in mind that the owner could put the cameras in a second network, either they could be wired or just for recording.
If you find a CCTV camera in a room you haven’t opened, pick up the phone and call the police. Tell them that you have direct evidence that your landlord is spying on you in the rented house without your knowledge or permission. Use the exact phrase.
Document the situation with videos and photos on your smartphone. Once you receive a police report, contact the rental location.
5. Find the most convenient place
If you’re tall, you know how important a few extra inches of legroom is in flight. It can be the difference between comfortable or tight for a few hours.
Google Flights is a great way to find the cheapest flight, but you take the extra step to find the most convenient place.
- Get a Chrome browser extension called Leg space for Google Flights. When using Google Flights you will also see how much legroom is on the seat of your choice.
- Another reliable option 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 the “buy now, pay later” services? Many buyers like this setting, but now it will be reflected in your credit report. When it comes to shopping, you can buy a vertical mouse or rescue headphones. (Yes: one gamer’s headphones saved him from a stray bullet.) In this episode, I’ll tell you about the AirTag news, as well as the new cool Zoom trick that lets you talk with your hands.
Check out my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or on your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or where you get podcasts. Just find my last name “Team”.
What questions about the digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and click or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Commando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Either click or click here to get Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Commando Show, the largest weekend talk radio show in the country. Kim takes calls and gives advice on the modern digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to hacking online privacy and data. To get her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.