Step one: Download a few handy apps.
Tripit this itinerary builder is a game changer especially if you are building your own schedule. Set it up and let it do the work for you. All of your plans will be in one place.
Flightboard will keep you up to date with arrivals and departures at any airport. You can keep track of friends or keep up to date with your own plans.
Your airline. We can not stress this enough! Ensure that you are logged in with an account to your airline. If something goes wrong you are already one step ahead of everyone else!
Find my phone. Yup. This should be on your phone and your fellow travelers phone. Solo travelers can share with someone back home. I was once in Universal Studios and my phone went missing. My son opened the app and we found it within seconds. We asked a park attendant to retrieve it for us and we were back in business in no time.
Facetime (or whatever app you plan to use to call back home)
Twitter: We know you think we are crazy but hear us out. Become friends with your airlines on Twitter and use the DM feature if anything goes wrong. From lost luggage to cancelled flights, this may be the quickest way to remedy your delay.
My TSA: this one is a huge help when making your airport plans. The app will let you know what the average TSA wait is at any given airport and at any given time. It also has live updates.
The app to any public transport, sites or museums that you plan to visit. They are full of maps, special event announcements, and insider tips. Many are also offering audio guides through your device so you don’t have to rent a separate piece of equipment. Most of all, you can buy your tickets directly from them instead of through a third party site.
Step Two: Check your storage.
Nothing, and we mean nothing, is more annoying than going to take a picture of the best thing you’ve ever seen only to have your phone tell you there’s no more storage. Simply go into your settings/general/iPhone storage to see where the damage lies. There are a couple of choices here including offboarding apps that are not used very often and reviewing big text message files. While your at it…
Clean out your text message files by choosing the edit feature at the top of the screen. Simply click on everything you don’t need and delete. If you are a podcast listener, you may also want to ensure that you don’t have a massive amount of downloads that you’ve already listened to. To get rid of them, open your podcast app, choose library/ downloaded/ three dots at the top/ remove all downloads. Since you are deleting stuff…
Go down memory lane then delete any photos you don’t need. Upload them to whatever cloud you use or get rid of them. It’s fine to have a highlights album but you don’t need to keep a picture of every dinner you ate for two weeks in Italy (even though they were life changing!) Instead, try Amazon photos or something similar to make all of your great photos your TV screensaver.
Step Three: Get your documents game together.
Take a picture of your passport. Yes, you are bringing it but if the worst should happen, a photo is a good first start to get you back on track. While you’re at it, screenshot the address of your local embassy or consulate. It’s easily deleted on the way home but it’s handy to have should you lose your international ID. Speaking of taking pictures…
Screenshot it all! Every QR code and barcoded ticket from air travel to carousel rides, if it’s in your photos, it doesn’t matter if you are connected online. Simply delete as you use or store them in your Tripit app. P.S. if they are uploaded to your app, you can always access them from another device if you need to.
At the airport, take a quick photo of those barcodes that just got put on your suitcases before you say goodbye to them. If you run into any trouble, use the old Twitter trick and send them the photo. Luggage can be tracked in as little as five minutes.
Step Four: Support your phone with these items.
A quality portable charger. Choose one that works fast, is not too heavy to carry around, and recharges quickly.
Wireless headphones. Use them to watch or listen to your faves mid flight, get informed with app based audio guides, and drown out the noise that’s distracting you.
Optional items include a portable, rechargeable light ring for videos, an Airfly adapter for long haul flights, an international adapter, and some sort of small stand. All of these items should fit into a small sealable bag.
Last but not least: Make sure your iPhone is a good photographer!
You’ve cleared room, you’ve got your documents squared away and you’ve ensured you’ve got a plan B for almost any situation. Your digital assistant is in fine form, but can she take good pics? Here are a few tips from some resident experts over on YouTube.