Many of us have avoided travel throughout the the past couple years of Covid craziness and are now ready to get moving again. Maybe you and the family have been waiting to explore a new destination, or you’re excited to see distant loved ones that you’ve been unable to visit. Perhaps you’re finally able to attend a work conference in person. Wherever you may choose to wander, here are a few tech tips for smooth travels during your journey.
It may be great to have a triple-monitor setup and network of connected devices at home, but only pack what you really need for your trip, and what you can carry around. If you’ll be going on a road trip or doing hiking or camping, keep in mind that devices left in the car will get hot and can become permanently damaged. If you must leave any devices in a warm spot like a car or a tent, turn them off, put them in a cooler, make sure they’re in shade, leave windows ajar, and/or consider a solar-powered fan for aeration.
Keep the Kiddos Safe
On the subject of hot cars, it goes without saying that your kids and pets are an even bigger concern than your devices. New Cabin Awareness technology can detect heartbeats and breathing if someone inadvertently gets left in the car—but it’s not in vehicles yet, so be extra sure that you’ve got everyone with you in the fresh air.
If you’ll be in crowded places and you want to safeguard against kids getting lost, one idea is to give them GPS-tracking watches. There are a variety of options, ranging from location tracking only to capabilities for communication and games as well.
Be Ready to Charge
If you don’t already have a power inverter for your car’s cigarette lighter, know that that’s what the cigarette lighter is there for today. There are several that have an array of outputs for whatever you might need. Use driving time to charge up a portable battery pack that you can use during longer bouts out in the wilderness. And have an AC to USB adaptor or two on hand, since using random USB charging ports in public areas can make your devices more vulnerable to hacking. Workwise, if you have access to a Cloud PC, you can run a remote desktop client for your work and save battery life on the device at your fingers.
If you need internet during stops, use guest Wi-Fi when you can instead of your cell data. (Just be aware that these networks are not necessarily secure, so don’t use them for any sensitive information. If you have Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, it provides a VPN for secure mobile browsing on iOS & Android devices.)
When you need Wi-Fi and don’t have access to a cafe or hotel, use your phone as a hotspot for laptops and tablets. If that’s something you plan to do a lot, you might consider adding a separate hotspot such as T-Mobile’s SyncUP DRIVE to your data plan. Or, to save data and not rely on Wi-Fi, download podcasts, movies, or audiobooks to your devices ahead of time. Then you’ve got plenty of entertainment without needing any internet connection. Maps can also be downloaded ahead of time in case you lose cell service during the trip.
Work on the Go
Ideally you would be able to take time off of work and fully immerse yourself in your vacation. But if that’s not possible—or if doing some work on the go means you can extend your travel time—come up with a plan to make the most of it. With your hotspot set up and that power inverter in your car, you might be able to have your partner drive while the kids read a book or listen to music with headphones or earbuds in the backseat. Then you’re all set up to do a work meeting, and maybe your colleagues can even get a glimpse of some roadside landmarks you’re driving through. Meeting or not, having some space-saving wireless bluetooth earbuds on hand can make everyone happy if you need quiet to get work done—two people can even share a set without getting tangled up together.
Back Up to the Cloud
Make sure those amazing vacation photos don’t get lost or deleted—back them up to a cloud storage account like Google Drive, iCloud or OneDrive. Any work you may need to do can also be more easily accessed from whichever device you have with you if files are stored in a cloud account. And if you lose essential documents like passports, it can be a lifesaver to have a copy of them that you can access anywhere.
Take a Vacation from Tech
The best way of all to save battery life and cell data while soaking up the scenery is to turn your devices off. While you may need to check in at times, don’t forget that vacation is also about checking out. Read a book on a plane, take a nap on a train, or connect with your family through games, songs, or stories in the car. Putting your phone on Do Not Disturb, setting your Teams status to Out of Office, and having an automatic email reply ready can let people know that you’re not available. (Just don’t put too much personal data in your auto-reply message, because that could end up as feed for phishing scammers.) With all of that taken care of, you can do what you really want to do most: relax and enjoy.
Wherever you may be headed on your journey, our team at Infused Innovations wishes you safe travels and great experiences you won’t forget.