With Florida jumping to second in the nation for volume of airline passengers, here are some handy airport tech hacks to make your life easier and earn you the title of Master of Travel.
Store your laptop/tablet in an easy-to-access place
You don’t want to be the person holding up the security line because you buried your iPad at the bottom of your huge carry-on case. Make sure to pack the electronics last, so they’re easily accessible and you can pull them out with ease. It also helps the flow when you can just as easily slip your laptop back into its spot after it rolls through that giant X-ray machine. Trust me, everyone behind you will appreciate how smoothly you handled the whole ordeal.
Bring spare Ziploc bags
Everyone knows when you go through security at the airport, you need to meet the TSA’s requirements of certain liquids in clear bags. But did you know having spare Ziploc bags can also be used to organize your handbag, keep your cell phone dry at the beach or waterpark, and prevent any of those aforementioned liquids from spilling all over your iPad or laptop in your carry-on? Yep, those little plastic warriors are useful for a lot more than satisfying the TSA.
Check airport real-time conditions
First, make sure you know your exact flight number. Then simply Google that flight number to get up-to-date information about any gate changes, airport issues, etc. For example, if you’re flying American, your flight number will look similar to AA1332 (AA stands for American Airlines, UA for United Airlines, BA for British Airways, etc). Do not just Google the numbers, you have to include the prefix letters as well, or else Google won’t know what you’re looking for. Most times, Google will have an update before the announcement comes over the loudspeaker at the airport.
Carry a portable battery charger
A lot of larger airlines have installed charging ports in the cabins of their planes, but quite a few still do not have easy-access plugs to charge your devices. The easiest fix is to purchase a portable battery charger to keep your devices charged throughout the day without having to worry about finding an outlet at the crowded airport. Just make sure the portable charger is actually charged the night before. You don’t want to be sitting at 2% battery life on your phone and then realize you forgot to charge the charger, now do you?
Download offline Google Maps before you fly
Remember the old days when there were these bizarre paper things that had roads and streets printed on them? Oh yeah, maps. Well, instead of going to the antique shop down the road to find a paper map, download the area you’re visiting from Google Maps. Make sure you download it as Offline. That way, if the airport doesn’t have trustworthy WiFi or your signal isn’t strong enough, you still have a map in your hand to navigate around when you land.