Preparing for a travel holiday involves a huge amount of planning. In today’s world where many things have become faster and easier to achieve with the aid of modern technology you'd think there would be less to consider when going away, but technology can actually add to the list of concerns rather than shortening it.
So before you head off on your travels, consider these 10 tech tips that can help make your holiday safer and less costly while still staying connected.
- Roaming Fees
Check that your mobile is going to work internationally. Even if you don’t intend using it’s there in case of emergencies. Contact your carrier to see if they have a calling plan for the country you are visiting. For example, some phone carriers offer travel packs or roaming options for most places you might visit. Spending between $20-95 initially, dependent on location, can end up saving you hundreds of dollars expense when roaming without a plan.
- Controlling Data Usage
Apps running in the background can eat away at your data and run up expensive charges without you knowing. Going through every app and adjusting data usage settings is a big task, so switching off data roaming completely and only using apps when connected to Wi-Fi is a simple way of keeping data costs under control.
- Wi-Fi Safety
Using public networks in coffee shops, airports and hotels can help you stay connected, however caution should be taken when connecting to them. Avoid disclosing any sensitive information when using a free Wi-Fi hotspot, including banking, credit card information or other personal data. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) — software that protects your data by encrypting it — so that when using public Wi-Fi networks your data can’t be intercepted.
- Audit Apps
Make sure that you update all the apps on your device before leaving home. Also, take the time to remove the ones that you no longer need, they may be using valuable space, consuming power or using data in the background.
- Security Software
The most important software for your protection online is an antivirus app, as it will help keep you safe when browsing for tourist information on the go. If you don’t already have one, you should install one like AVG AntiVirus for Android.
- Anti-theft Software
Enable and register your device to protect it against theft. AVG Antivirus for Android has an anti-theft option that allows you to lock, locate and, if necessary, wipe your device if it is lost or stolen.
- Location Data
Switch off location based services for apps that don’t need them. Posting a picture online with location data switched on can reveal to burglars that you aren’t home. It may also reveal to pickpockets and thieves your exact location and make you a potential target.
- Credit Cards and ATMs
Inform your bank that you'll be travelling and where you're travelling to. This will avoid any transactions being declined because they’re outside of your normal banking habits.Unfamiliarity with the environment might tempt you into using ATMs in locations that aren't necessarily safe. If possible always use an ATM at a bank. Also, watch out for devices or odd attachments on ATMs — they might be devices that criminals use to skim (copy) your card.When shopping try and use a credit card instead of your debit card that connects to your bank account. If you have new wireless payment cards consider getting a protected wallet.
- Using the cloud
Using cloud storage for your data can be really convenient. If someone steals your device it means you can still have access to your data, be it photos, travel documents or flight itineraries.
- Lastly, use your instinct and have a great vacation.
December 14, 2015 by Tony Anscombe