Here are 3 technology tips you must know before your next trip

Mar 17, 2024, 5:00 AM

(Pexels File Photo)...

(Pexels File Photo)

(Pexels File Photo)

I love to travel. I love tech. As I write this at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kyoto, Japan, I have come to rely on a few tricks I bet you’ll find handy, too.

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Get your docs in a row

By now, you probably have all the apps you need — airline, customs, rideshare, maps, train tickets, translations, and more. Now make a “just in case” folder if you somehow lose your wallet or break your phone. Hey, crazier things happen. Make sure it’s saved somewhere you can access from any device, like your tablet or laptop.

Scan your driver’s license, passport, TSA or Global ID, and health insurance card at minimum.

On an iPhone, the Notes app is my go-to. Bonus: It’s built-in and saves notes to the cloud.

  • Open the Notes app.
  • Click the icon that looks like a square with a pen located at the bottom right of the screen to make a new note.
  • Tap the camera icon at the bottom of your new note and select Scan Documents.

On an Android, try the scan feature in Google Drive:

  • Open the Google Drive app.
  • Tap the plus button in the bottom right corner.
  • Tap Scan and allow access to your camera if you have not already.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to take and save your photos.

Go the extra mile and save a copy of all this as a PDF. Add that to your ebook app or even send it to your Kindle so you can access it offline. I also keep records of my flights, where I’m staying and reservation details in a Google doc.

Set your inbox to “see ya” mode

About 40% of us (including me) answer emails on vacation. If you can, turn off all email notifications or even disable your email accounts on your phone. Put an out-of-office reply on your email. The trick, though, is to keep things simple. So many people say way too much and it just ends up annoying their contacts.

Make it simple. Here’s a template:

“I’m not in the office. I will reply to your message when I return on (this date). And if this is an urgent matter, contact (this person) at (phone number) and (email address).” Give yourself a day or two on that date, by the way. You’ll need catch-up time.

Make sure you have a safe way to charge

Juice jacking is the term for a scary yet clever con. With a quick cord change, someone can turn a public charging station into a way to silently worm their way into your phone.

Why? Money and data, of course. The idea is to upload malware to your devices — then, they ransom your phone or steal your passwords.

For 100% protection, stay away from all USB ports, especially overseas where these attacks are more likely. Hackers can target popular hotel room USB ports to steal data, even if you’re not using a kiosk. Pro tip: There’s usually a slot for a USB cable on the back of the TV. That’s a safer pick.

Wireless charging stations are fine to use, but your best bet is to carry a charger and power bank with you.

If you’re desperate, you can use a USB connection safely with the right cable. You have to plan ahead and pack a charge-only cable for your trip. They’re cheap, compact and don’t allow for data transfer.

Keep your tech-know going

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. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: A financial columnist lost $50K in a scam

Plus, Gen Z slang you need to know, fire ants with a taste for computers, whether it’s cool to be rude to AI, and technology that controls your car’s speed.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or 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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Here are 3 technology tips you must know before your next trip