5 Tech Tips for Your Vacation

Last Updated on June 25, 2015 by Jody Halsted

I try to “unplug” on vacation, but let's be honest -it's hard to do! Smart phones, tablets, laptops… it's rare to not travel with a gadget (or three). So why not utilize those connections to make your trip even better? Use the tips below to make your next getaway hassle free and memorable!

tech tips for your vacation
Your phone camera is as good as any point & shoot.
Disclosure: this list of tech tips for your vacation was sent to my by Skype. Unlike many pitches I receive, I thought these tips were worth sharing as my family uses Skype often when we travel – and I utilize Office 365 products like OneDrive, Excel, and One Note when planning my trips. 

1. Seeing is believing: There’s nothing more horrifying than checking into your vacation rental home and finding that it doesn’t quite stack up to the appealing images you saw online. Before you sign that contract with any vacation rental company, ask your host if it’s possible to get a Skype tour. In addition to looking inside the home, check out outdoor accommodations such as the pool and parking.

2. Personal concierge: People’s smartphones have turned into a one-stop-shop for all things travel, from directions, restaurant recommendations, mobile boarding passes and more. Additionally, mobile digital personal assistants such as Cortana Trip Planner helps take the stress out of traveling so you can kick back and relax. Cortana will let you know when online checking opens up, the latest weather at your destination, and keep an eye on traffic for your voyage to the airport.

3. Plan ahead: Tools like Skype allow you to easily plan a group trip with group video calls and chats to share destination ideas, and even share photos from your trip. Keep the planning details together by storing things like reservations, flight confirmations and itineraries in OneNote.

4. Back up your memories: Most mobile phones have impeccable cameras these days. If you’re using it to take pictures of your travels, make sure you back up your photos to OneDrive before you leave, creating space for all the new ones.

5. Ditch the international mobile plan: Traveling internationally can be expensive, but there are many free and low-cost resources to save you money. As an example, with Skype To Go, you can call home and check in with family for a low calling rate. No data plan required! Or, you can even send texts directly from Skype. Left your phone at home? No problem, you can also connect for free using Skype for Web. Most hotels have a business center so it’s super easy to connect. Just go to web.skype.com and you’ll be instant messaging in no time.

Do you use any ‘tech tools' when planning trips or while vacationing? What do you use? Share your own tips in the comments!

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