Travel prices are up over 18% compared to pre-pandemic costs. Then there are the flight cancellations and extra long waits to camp. To help, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best travel apps for 2023. Check out the list here.
Oh, and before you leave your house, be sure to arm your security system. Don’t you have one? Alexa can do it for free if you have an Amazon Echo.
Here are more of my best tricks to save you time, money and headaches before you hit the road or the air.
1. Know where your bags are
You’ve seen those pictures of dozens of suitcases sitting at the airport. Don’t let that be you. Many major airlines (including United, American, Delta and Air New Zealand) allow you to track your luggage in real-time through the airline’s official app.
I throw an Apple AirTag in checked bags for extra peace of mind.
I also put one on my dog’s collar, in my cars and in everything my husband owns.
2. Choose the best flight
Delays can pile up as the day goes on, so your best bet to make sure you get on the plane is to pick a flight before 3 p.m. Wednesday is one of the cheapest days to fly, so there’s your plan: Wednesday before 3.
Pro tip: You can check where your plane is to know if your next flight will be delayed. The airline you fly may show this in the app, or you can use Flight Aware. Enter your flight number to get details about the aircraft and its status.
3. Flying internationally? Get this app
Mobile Passport Control is a free US Customs and Border Protection app that helps you get home faster. Unlike CLEAR or TSA PreCheck, you don’t need pre-approval.
All you have to do is download the app and fill out the forms when you land, then go to the “Mobile Passport Control” job at the airport. Sweet.
Download for iPhone or Android.
4. Snap pics before you go
You should always carry identification when you travel, but having a digital backup is wise. Worst case, you lose your wallet. Coming home will be much smoother if you have pictures of all your important documents.
The easiest way to do that on an iPhone is to use the handy document scanner built into the native Notes app.
- Open Notes and tap compose icon bottom right of the screen.
- Above the keyboard, tap the + sign and then the camera icon.
- There you can choose a photo you have already taken, take a new photo or scan documents.
On an Android, snap some photos and mark them as favorites in your photo gallery or scan them in with the Google Drive app.
Pro tip: Save your identifying documents as PDF files to send to another device or two, such as an iPad or Kindle. Download to get them offline in advance and send a copy to your travel partner.
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5. No more paper boarding passes
If you don’t already, you will thank me. Stop fumbling with a printed boarding pass and access a digital version.
You can log in to the airline’s website and have your boarding pass sent by email or download your airline’s app to access it. From there you can add it to your phone’s digital wallet.
- When you receive your boarding pass by email, Apple Mail can automatically add it to your wallet. Otherwise, open the email attachment and tap Add to Apple Wallet > Add.
- On Android, use the Google Wallet app. Follow the instructions here.
Keep up your technical knowledge
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Find it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click on the link below for a recent episode.
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Plus, will ChatGPT take your job? I spoke with Matt Schlicht, CEO of Octane AI and a leader in the chatbot space, about the future of AI in the workplace and how to make it work for you. Child predators target children’s webcams, Hawaiian tourists’ GPS errors and make sure your security camera doesn’t break the law.
Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Hjoed” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
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