Is it just me or did we all just basically blink and suddenly it’s the end of November? I mean, I don’t have anything against the end of November, especially since it includes my favorite meal of the year and my and my son’s birthday, but wow time has gone by quickly this month. While I’m over here busy dreaming about all the food I plan to devour on Thursday and the birthday cake that will go straight to my belly where it belongs, I have a feeling a lot of other people are coming up with a strategy for their holiday shopping and maybe some travel plans. Regardless of what we’re all up to I bet we all have one thing in common and that’s that we won’t be leaving home without our smartphones. Seriously, my Samsung Galaxy S7 is my favorite accessory and I feel no shame about that whatsoever. How did we ever get by this time of year before we had devices to help us with all our travel needs and party planning? Boy, those were prehistoric times, weren’t they? Okay, enough talk about how old I’ll be on my birthday because it’s time to get serious about how we can be using our smartphones to their fullest potential this holiday season. If you’ve got a to-do list a mile long (who doesn’t?) or you’re planning to hit the road to visit family I’m hoping my tips will help ease some of your stress so you can focus on fun, family, and food. All the food.
4 Tips to Use Your Phone’s Camera & How to Never Forget Where You Park
- Take a photo or a screenshot of directions if you’re going on a road trip. Not only will this come in handy if you don’t have GPS in your vehicle, but it will also lengthen the life of your phone’s battery because you won’t need to be using data to search for directions and navigate using your phone.
- Snap a picture of the inside your fridge and/or pantry before going to the grocery store. I prefer to walk the aisles with a shopping list, but if you don’t have time to write a list, this is a great way to see what you have on hand and what you need to buy. Don’t you just love technology?!?!
- Take a photo of where you parked. This is one of my favorite tips, especially when parking at the airport before boarding a flight for a vacation. We always do this so we don’t have to worry about trying to remember where we parked when we’re tired and just want to get home after a long day of traveling. This is also a good habit when parking at a big shopping center, like a mall, especially during the busy holiday season.
- Take pictures of your itinerary, photo ID, and passport, so you’ll have them stored in your phone. You can then email them to yourself, so you’ll always have them handy when you need them.
Smartphone Hacks to Ease Holiday Stress
If there is one time of year we should all be getting the most out of our smartphones, it’s during the holidays. Here are a few more tips to help you stay organized and keep your phone charged so you can focus on getting things done faster and enjoying more time with family and friends.
- Use the note feature in your phone to keep track of your growing to-do list. I often misplace sticky notes or the scrap pieces of paper I write on, so having everything in my phone means I’ll always have my list with me wherever I go without having to stress about where I put my handwritten list.
- Did you know that charging your phone in Airplane Mode is a great way to conserve your battery while also speeding your charge time? I didn’t and I think this trick might come in quite handy since my phone seems to die much faster lately. Yay for longer battery life.
- Set up location-based reminders. I didn’t even know I could this, but I’m thinking it will be a game-changer this holiday season. I don’t know about you, but when I have several stops to make while running errands something as simple as an unexpected phone call could throw me off track so I love the idea of using my phone this way. It’s as easy as using the Reminder feature in iOS or Google Keep on Android to set up reminders that will sound when you’re near someplace you need to stop. Seriously you guys. This is like having a personal assistant in the car with you. Please tell me I’m not the only person who didn’t know this feature existed? I can’t possibly be the only one?!?!
One final and very important bit of advice I have is to make sure you have a Parent Child Cell Phone Contract signed and ready to go, especially if you’re allowing a new driver to do some of the driving this holiday season. You can personalize it to suit your family’s needs so everyone is on the same page where mobile device rules are concerned.
So tell me, do you have any travel plans this holiday season? Aside from visiting family that lives fairly local to us we plan to stay close to home. It feels pretty good to know we won’t be doing a whole lot of driving, but it’s getting quite cold here so I’m certainly dreaming about a vacation (preferably someplace with palm trees).
Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.