Over the next few days, I’d like to share a few tips from my book 101 iPhone Travel Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Apps.
This book is a compilation of some of the best travel- and tech-related tips, tricks, hacks, and workflows I’ve learned. It is the product of 60,000+ kms of travel road testing over 700 iPhone and Android travel and productivity related apps. Although the book is iPhone focused, most tips will apply in exactly the same way to the iPad.
While you can find many iPhone tips and tricks online, the book isn’t a collection of random tips. 101 iPhone Travel Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Apps is specifically designed for people who want to take their iPhone use to another level in a travel and mobility context. That is, it’s for people who want to use their mobile device as a mobile device.
Some of the tips are long, others are brief. In all cases, they’re designed to be useful.
And where possible, I endeavour to go beyond the obvious. I’m aware most people know about popular apps like Skype, so you won’t find tips in the book about saving on phone call charges by using Skype. I prefer to focus on some of the features or applications of those services that you probably don’t know about and that would be useful to you. Also, a lot of the tips are focused on how you can get the most out of your iPhone (or iPad), in terms of tweaking the settings to make it do something useful in a travel or mobility context.
Here’s tip No. 6.
6. Set up a reminder to use online check-in
Many airlines now allow you to check in for your flight somewhere between 24 and 48 hours before the departure time. Sometimes this will extend to a few days earlier or even to the time of booking. Check your airline’s website or the terms and conditions on your itinerary to see what the situation is for your particular airline.
By setting up either a reminder in the built-in Reminders app or a calendar entry, you can be notified when check-in opens so you can nab the best available seats on the flight.
If you’re traveling with only carry-on luggage, checking in online means you usually skip the check-in process and the bag drop at the airport. (When traveling internationally, you’ll still have to get your documents reviewed by an airline staff member.) If you’re traveling domestically, you can turn up a little later at the airport.
GEEK ALERT: Ever noticed that unusual little SEQ number (“SEQ 138”) on your boarding pass? That’s called the sequence number. It represents the number in which you’ve checked into the flight. When the gate attendant can’t scan the barcode on the boarding pass, they’ll call out that number for the other attendant to enter it manually into the computer to register you as boarded. You might even get a little smile if you got No. 001! (For the real nerds – or if you’d like to increase your chance of getting one of those smiles – you can actually login as soon as online check-in opens to see if you can get No. 001. Note that some passengers (like groups) get checked in before online check-in opens so you can’t always get SEQ 001. Good luck!)
Also, if you get a really high SEQ number on an aircraft that has, say, a 180 seat capacity, you know the flight is going to be full. Given this information you can get to the gate early if you want to make sure you have space to stash your bag in the overhead storage bins. Likewise, when you get to the airport late and have a low SEQ number, you’re probably going to have room to stretch out.
You can download a sample or pick up a copy of 101 iPhone Travel Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Apps on Amazon.com