How to Save Money and Reduce Stress on Summer Travel with Smart Tech Tips

Travel Prices Surge as Flight Cancellations Increase

Travel prices have skyrocketed by approximately 18% compared to pre-pandemic rates. Alongside the rising costs, travelers are also facing flight cancellations and long wait times. To alleviate some of the stress, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 travel apps for 2023 that can help you navigate these challenges. Additionally, before leaving your home, it’s crucial to activate your security system. If you don’t have one, you can use Alexa for free if you own an Amazon Echo. Here are more valuable tips to save you time, money, and headaches before embarking on your journey.

Travel prices are up about 18% compared to pre-pandemic costs. Shutterstock

1. Keep Track of Your Luggage

Don’t let your suitcase end up among the dozens of unclaimed bags at the airport. Many major airlines, including United, American, Delta, and Air New Zealand, offer real-time luggage tracking through their official apps. For added peace of mind, consider using an Apple AirTag in your checked bags. These small devices are especially useful if you own an iPhone, Mac, or iPad. Alternatively, the Tile Essentials 4-pack provides various tags for your keys, wallet, luggage, or other belongings. You can even attach one to your dog’s collar or your car.

Apple’s AirTags are ideal if you have an iPhone, Mac, or iPad.

2. Optimize Your Flight Selection

To minimize the risk of delays and ensure a smooth travel experience, it’s best to choose a flight before 3 p.m. Delays tend to accumulate as the day progresses. Additionally, Wednesday is often one of the cheapest days to fly. Therefore, aim to book your flight on a Wednesday before 3 p.m. To stay informed about potential delays, check the whereabouts of your plane. Some airlines provide this information through their apps, or you can use Flight Aware by entering your flight number.

3. Expedite International Travel with Mobile Passport Control

If you’re flying internationally, make sure to download the Mobile Passport Control app from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This free app allows you to expedite your return home without requiring any pre-approval like CLEAR or TSA PreCheck. Simply fill out the necessary forms upon landing and proceed to the designated “Mobile Passport Control” lane at the airport. The app is available for both iPhone and Android users.

Mobile Passport Control is a free U.S. Customs and Border Protection app that lets you get back home faster. CBP

4. Safeguard Your Important Documents

While it’s essential to carry identification when traveling, it’s wise to have digital backups as well. In the unfortunate event of losing your wallet, having photos of all your important documents can significantly ease the process of returning home. iPhone users can utilize the built-in document scanner in the native Notes app to easily create digital copies. On Android devices, you can either take photos and mark them as favorites in your picture gallery or use the Google Drive app to scan and store them digitally.

You always need to carry identification when traveling, but having a digital backup is wise, too. Google

5. Embrace Digital Boarding Passes

Say goodbye to fumbling with printed boarding passes and embrace the convenience of digital versions. Most airlines offer the option to email your boarding pass or provide access through their dedicated apps. Once obtained, you can add the boarding pass to your phone’s digital wallet for easy access. iPhone users can have their boarding pass automatically added to their wallet through Apple Mail or manually by opening the email attachment and selecting “Add to Apple Wallet.” Android users can use the Google Wallet app following the provided instructions.

Kim Komando

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Pro tip: Save your identifying documents as PDF files to send them to another device or two, like an iPad or Kindle. Download them beforehand to access offline and share a copy with your travel partner.

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Traveling in 2023 comes with increased costs and potential challenges such as flight cancellations. However, by utilizing the recommended travel apps, staying informed about flight status, and taking advantage of digital solutions like mobile passport control and digital boarding passes, you can navigate these obstacles more efficiently. Remember to safeguard your important documents by creating digital backups and consider using tracking devices for your luggage. With these tips, you can save time, money, and headaches during your travels.

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