For some, a vacation is a vacation at home. If you have free time, do yourself a favor and organize your messy photo collection. Touch or click to find out how I can work.
Are you visiting family? Find your favorite old photos hanging on the wall or stored in albums. Tap or click an app to scan without looking.
And if you’re laughing at the word “overtime”, I’m here for you too. Here are some simple ways to spend the holidays with a smile.
Stop arguing about when to go
Classic Christmas battle. When should you leave home early to get to your destination on time and avoid traffic?
Take the guesswork out and let traffic prediction algorithms make driving easier. Google Maps and Apple Maps offer options to help you plan your trip.
You can get a fairly accurate traffic forecast for a future date based on what the conditions will be like that day and time. You can then adjust your departure time to find the perfect time to travel along the way.
Here’s how to set your travel time and date in Google Maps:
• Open Google Maps and tap the search box here .
• Enter a destination and select from the results.
• Tap Help , and then tap the three-dot button to the right of your location field.
• Click Set departure or arrival time .
• Select ” Exit ” and enter the date and time, then click ” Finish”. You will receive several route options and details such as time and distance.
• Select a track and tap Start .
Tap or click here for the best Apple Maps departure times and activities based on when you want to arrive.
Check your luggage
Losing a bag on a plane is a burden, and even worse when gifts are put in a bag. It’s easy to know where your bag is if there is a tracker inside.
Apple AirTags are quarter-inch tracks that use other iPhones’ Bluetooth technology to locate them. You can view the location of each AirTag associated with your account using the Find My app.
Tiled tracks work the same way and are a good option for Android users.
It would be nice to put one in your checked baggage. This will let you know if your luggage has reached its destination. But there is a case when the search engine is useless. when your luggage is moving through the airport’s internal conveyor system. When your luggage is taken out, you will know exactly where it is.
I have Airtags on my keys, car and dog. Click or tap to find out how you can get the most out of these handy little tracks.
Make virtual meetings fun
Not all family members can be seen every year. Arranging virtual meetings is much easier, as we are used to during the pandemic.
Don’t waste your time calling Zoom or Google Meets trying to convince everyone to stop arguing about politics. Here are three easy ways to spice up your online meetings.
• Give everyone time to speak. Select a message and ask your family members to be ready to talk for a few minutes. I propose a time limit so that your more talkative relatives do not delay. What I enjoy most is asking about funny family stories.
• Play together. Bingo is always a big hit and you can get free tickets on this site . If you like games like Pictionary, try Drawasaurus. Up to 16 people can play.
• Organize a talent show. If your family is full of artists, invite them to take part in a small show. I can guarantee lots of laughs and even a knockout performance or two.
Jingle Bell Rock together. How to create playlists and share them with loved ones.
Don’t overpay on Amazon
Have you ever wondered if the price you see on Amazon is the best price or will that price drop at checkout? But camel camel camel.
This is a price comparison site that tracks the cost of millions of items on Amazon. You can use this to check if the item you are looking at is a good price or if you should wait for a better deal. How it works?
• Visit camelcamelcamel.com. Enter the Amazon product URL in the search bar, then press Enter or the search icon .
• View graphical trends. You may notice that a product often goes on sale during certain months or holidays.
To make it easier to find deals, install the Camelizer extension for the CamelCamelCamel browser. Tap or click here for a direct download link and instructions for use.
For everything else, compare prices here.
No one has time to go from place to place or to different shops to find the best price for something. Let the Google Store be for you. It’s easy to use and displays the prices of just about any retailer you can think of.
• Go to shopping.google.com.
• Browse popular products or find what you’re looking for. Press Enter to find out where to buy it, price and shipping options.
• Use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down your search results. You can filter by sales, nearby products, and more.
Here’s a nice bonus. If you have payment information associated with your Google account, you can buy items there without creating a new account. Select the “Buy Google ” filter to see the options.
Google Smart: 10 Search Tricks to Find What You’re Looking for on Google Faster
My Choice of Podcasts: AirPods as Headphones, PayPal Notifications, Twitter Alternatives
In 30 minutes, you’ll learn: 1. How to find hidden privacy reports on your phone, 2. How to remove scammers from your Netflix account, and 3. My proven method for cleaning up your cluttered gallery.
Try my Kim Komando Today podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Learn about the latest technology at The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim joins the council on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. His daily tips, free newsletter and more can be found on his Komando.com website.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
This article first appeared in USA Today. From saving money to tracking luggage: how to make your vacation easier