Smartphones ease travel stress

Optimize your phone for your next adventure

By StatePoint

Smartphones ease travel stress

There are so many things to gain from traveling, including making new friends, seeing new sights and enjoying new experiences. But traveling can be stressful, too. For some, flying in particular has become more challenging than ever.

As you make your vacation plans, remember that one of your most helpful tools on a trip is your smartphone. Here are some tips to optimize your phone for your next adventure.

1 Maximize storage. Cell phone cameras are more powerful than ever, and the average smartphone holds thousands of photos and videos of your cherished memories. You don’t want to run out of storage space, so get the right MicroSD card for your phone before you depart. You can also set up cloud storage services so your pictures are automatically uploaded and secured.

2 Use travel apps.
Apps like FlightAware, Google Maps and LoungeBuddy can keep you apprised of gate and flight changes, estimate traffic and plot travel routes, and help you locate the best places to rest before your flight. There are even apps like SitOrSquat, for locating nearby bathrooms. Download the ones you want before your trip.

3 Let accessories assist.
When you’re playing the balancing act with your luggage, wallet and other travel gear, it’s that much easier to drop your device. Keep your smartphone safe with a screen protector and a case that’s sturdy and practical. Some cases have non-slip materials that make them easier to grip and include storage for credit cards. There are also collapsible phone grips that double as a built-in stand (one brand is PopSockets). They come in handy if you’re watching a movie on the plane or in your hotel room.

4 Check your mobile plan.
Some mobile plans have designated perks for travelers. For example, T-Mobile One’s plan is among options on the market that provides international travelers unlimited data and texting in many countries along with flat-rate calling in others. That means no wasting time or money searching for public Wi-Fi or purchasing an international SIM card. If you are flying, check your plan beforehand for any costs of accessing internet or sending texts and picture messages in the air. Talk with your carrier before you leave, and mention you want to avoid overage fees. (As always with any plan, read the fine print and read reviews if you are considering switching.)

5 Bring your own entertainment.
There’s always a chance your flight can get delayed. Download some shows and movies before your trip (especially key when traveling with kids) so you can watch when Wi-Fi is unavailable. You may want to find a few games that can be played offline, too.

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