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Travel

7 travel hacks to save you time and money on your next trip

With restrictions being lifted on travel and widespread vaccinations, you may be thinking of taking a trip. Who could blame you? We’ve had a rough year, and everyone could use a little vacation.

Even though people are starting to move around more, the pandemic is not over, and you must still exercise caution when traveling. Tap or click here for 10 things to think about to help make your journey a safe one.

No matter the state of the world, you can always do more to improve your traveling experience. We’ve gathered seven travel tips to help you out.

1. Take photos of your ID, passport, etc.

You should always carry identification when traveling, but if it is lost or forgotten at home, you may still be able to fly. The TSA can have you complete an identity verification process that includes information such as your name and address. If this is confirmed, you will be allowed into the screening checkpoint, where you may have to go through additional screening.

If you don’t want to risk going through that hassle, photos of your identification could help smooth out this process and provide more information if needed. The easiest way to do that on an iPhone is to use the handy document scanner built into the native Notes app.

  • Open Notes and tap on the compose icon at the bottom right of the screen.
  • Above the keyboard, tap on the + sign and then the camera icon.
  • There, you can choose a photo you’ve already taken, take a new photo or scan documents.

Tap or click here for all the details on using the document scanner in the Notes app. Another simple trick is to save any photos you take of your ID as a PDF and save it in the iOS Books app or another similar app for ebooks.

2. Digital driver’s license

You can use a digital driver’s license for any transaction or situation where ID is required, such as purchasing alcohol, showing it to a police officer if you are pulled over, car rental and, of course, traveling. Think of it as a supplement to your physical ID as various jurisdictions figure out how to implement its use.

A digital license can be updated quickly with new information, such as a change of address. It can display just the information needed for the situation. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can remotely wipe the digital ID before getting a new one.

Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming are among the states that provide digital license options or pilot programs.

Getting a digital version of your license varies state to state. For example, Arizona just launched its version this past March in partnership with identity management firm Idemia and its “Mobile ID” platform. That company also provides digital driver’s licenses to Oklahoma and Delaware residents, and all you have to do is download the state-specific app on iOS or Android to get started.

For others on the list above, check official state government websites or run a search with the state name and “digital driver’s license” for more on how to apply.

3. Share your travel details with Google

You can store your trip information in one place using Google. You can manage your information such as upcoming flights, reservations, car rentals, train and bus tickets and more. You also get travel updated travel advisories to help you keep safe. Your travel information is not shared with anyone else.

To use the service, log in to your Google account and go to google.com/travel. As you confirm reservations and bookings through that site or others tied to your Gmail account, the information will show up on Google Travel. You can search options to book directly through the site such as:

  • Things to do
  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Vacation rentals

Once you’ve made reservations linked to Google Travel, they’ll all be in one place. Tap or click here for additional information.

4. Save your boarding pass in Apple and Google wallet apps

Most airlines let you add your boarding pass to a digital wallet. With all the stresses of traveling, it’s nice to stop worrying about losing this important document. You can log in to the airline’s website and have them email your the boarding pass or add its app to access it. Once this is done, you can add it to your phone’s digital wallet.

If you get your boarding pass through email, Apple Mail can automatically add it to your wallet. Otherwise, open the email attachment and tap Add to Apple Wallet > Add.

Android users can sync their Google Pay and Gmail accounts to add emailed boarding passes to the Pay app. Open Google Pay and tap the three bars, then Settings > General, then toggle on Gmail imports and tap Connect to Gmail.

5. Alert your credit card companies that you’re traveling

Few things make your heart sink faster than getting a notification that there’s suspicious activity on your credit card. This is much worse if it happens when traveling. But what if the culprit was you?

Your credit card provider does not know where you are, so if you buy a trinket in Thailand, it could flag your account. This can leave you stranded without access to your money.

Let your credit/debit card provider know you are traveling to avoid headaches. Most of them let you submit a travel notice online or through their app. You can also call the phone number on the back of your card and submit a notice over the phone.

6. Invest in some trackers for your stuff

Losing things is never fun, but it’s even less fun when you’re away from home. Attaching digital trackers to your stuff reduces one of many problems you may encounter when traveling. Use these neat little gadgets to find your phone, laptop, tablet, wallet, luggage, backpack and other essentials.

The Tile Essentials 4-pack comes with various tags to suit different needs and works with Alexa.

Apple’s AirTags were recently announced during the company’s new products reveal. These tags work with Siri. Tap or click here to see what else Apple introduced.

7. Watch out for travel scams

You should always be on the lookout for scams, which is particularly important when it comes to travel. Have you been contacted that you won a free vacation? It’s more than likely a scam. The rule of thumb: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Prechecking does make travel easier, but be careful where you put your information. Scammers will take your money and do the paperwork for you, something you can do yourself without paying heavy fees.

Even worse are fake websites that spoof official ones. They will take your money and leave you with nothing. Tap or click here for more information on spotting these scams.

Scammers are also targeting their victims with fake vaccine passport apps and websites. You don’t need one of these digital documents to travel, and the U.S. government has authorized none, so watch out. Tap or click here for details.

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

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