Vacation Tips For Mobile Devices
Going on vacation requires a lot of planning for flights, hotels, and excursions. We often map out all of the fun things we plan to do, but we tend to overlook taking care of the electronic devices that we use to capture and share our vacation fun. Our vacation tips for mobile devices offer some great advice to help keep your vacation on track!
A Cool, Dry Place
It’s common sense to store our devices away from water when we’re boating, water skiing or swimming. Sure, some newer devices are water resistant, but they can still develop problems. Batteries can overheat and ruin the device or even worse, you could get injured if they explode. It is a good idea to keep your devices stored in a cool place. Nothing puts a bummer on a vacation like a blown up phone and losing your favorite photos.
While on vacation there are some preventative measures you can take and items you can purchase before you travel to ease your concerns. It’s no fun spending vacation time looking for replacement screens or searching for a repair shop. Check with your phone carrier for recommended items such as a good screen cover that can help protect your device from getting scratched or cracked as well as additional chargers.
When you purchased your phone or tablet, your provider most likely offered insurance to cover theft, loss, or damage on your device. Did you buy it? Do you have it? Do you need it? You may not remember. Talk with them to discuss what coverage you might have or need.
It may be difficult and time-consuming to find replacement accessories for your phone. A car charger, wall charger, and an extra USB charging cord are important to bring with you on vacation. One of the most common phone accessories to fail on a charger is the USB connector. It’s best to take a brand new one with you just in case you have charging problems.
Passwords and PINs
Should you lose your phone, tablet or laptop, you definitely don’t want anyone using it. If your electronics don’t already have a pin or password be sure to implement one before you leave. It is best to have a different password for each device in case they are lost or stolen together. It makes it harder for thieves to crack your pin code or password by using complex codes that aren’t easy to decipher. The “Find My Phone” application may come in handy while you're traveling. A lot of people turn off their location feature on their phones to save battery power. Your “Find My Phone” app must have your location setting turned “on” to be able to work.
In the continental U.S., there are some areas that don’t have service due to lack of cell phone towers. Your cell phone provider may be able to give you information on the areas that you are visiting and let you know what services they offer. Letting your family know in advance that you may not be accessible by phone or email while you are away will definitely help with their peace of mind. Consider leaving them with a physical itinerary of your anticipated locations so if there is an emergency they can contact you via a landline closest to your location. (IE, your nearest Forest Service station, local police, etc.)
Before you travel out of the country, check with your provider to see if you can use your current device at your destination. Some companies have plans that give you free calling and text messaging in countries such as Mexico and Canada. If international roaming isn’t already isn’t included, you may want to discuss upgrading your calling plan.
There are other options available to you outside of your current provider. If your phone is unlocked, you might consider purchasing a sim card in the country you are visiting. You could also buy or rent a prepaid phone when you arrive. Another great option is downloading WhatsApp messaging app into your current device before you leave. It’s a good way to keep in touch with your friends and family without using your monthly allotment of texting. Whatsapp can only be used between other Whatsapp users. You can use WiFi or your data plan to access the app and it allows users to text, chat and share media, including voice and video messages. Whatsapp is available in over 100 countries including Mexico, Russia, Brazil and throughout continents such as South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
If your device is lost or stolen and it is unlocked because you have not set up the security features previously mentioned, the photos of your vacation and other personal photos could be downloaded and publicly used online. In this situation, you may find yourself having to use a public internet cafe or a hotel computer. If this is the case, make sure that when you’re online that you watch for others around you who may or may not appear to be paying close attention to what you are doing. Someone near you could be attempting to access your passwords. Be sure to log out of each window/website when you are finished and delete the computer’s cache and cookies. This will remove your browsing history and the next person to use the computer cannot see what you have been doing online. Here are the steps to clear out your online activity:
- On the Click Delete under Browsing History.menu bar, click Tools > Internet Options.
- Select the General tab.
- Click Delete under Browsing History.
- Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files.
- Click Delete Cookies.
- Click OK.
Many businesses such as coffee shops and libraries offer free wifi. If you choose to use it, be aware that you could be exposing yourself to potential hackers. It’s a good idea to disconnect and remove the wifi address from your device when you leave the establishment.
If you typically keep your wifi off to save battery power, you should know that your “Find My Phone” app requires data access in order for it to work. This is why it’s a good idea to have a strong data plan so that you can easily locate your lost device.
When traveling away from home, keep in mind that it is better to post pictures of your vacation upon your return home. This ensures that fewer people know that you are away while on vacation and that your home may be left unattended. Erring on the side of caution can protect you, your home and your family.
It’s very popular to “check-in” on Instagram and Facebook especially when you’re traveling. That too can be done after your trip when you are uploading your photos. Simply upload the photo and click the ”location” icon. Type in the name of the location you want to use and choose the correct one.
Don’t forget to share your positive and unfortunate experiences on Yelp, TripAdvisor and other review sites.
Leaving feedback for places that you visited on vacation is a great way to guide others. Many people choose vacation locations, hotels, restaurants and theme parks based on the reviews they find online. Your review could be just what someone else needs to ensure that they have fun. Many destinations have a Facebook page so if you're an active user, that may be a great place to rate and review.
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