Ho! Ho! Ho! It's holiday travel time again.
The spirit of the season can quickly turn distressfully sour when you're stuck in the midst of holiday rush traffic or worse, dealing with other travel calamities that are entirely outside of your control. To put some joy back into the joyous travel time of the year, I turned to a couple of seasoned travelers who also happen to be the founders of a startup (MobileQubes) on a mission to ensure that a dead mobile battery does not disrupt our busy lives (again). With locations in 15 cities across the USA and business operations in Asia, Sean Carrigan and Jason Palmer, CEO and CTO of MobileQubes are rarely in the office and have logged over 250,000 miles this year. Flying home to New Orleans on Christmas Eve from Hong Kong and dealing with long flight delays due to weather, is just one of many travel stresses they have encountered since founding the company.
To help entrepreneurs and business travelers who are headed home this holiday season stay connected, productive, and avoid unnecessary stress, Sean and Jason offer these practical travel tips:
No Wi-Fi on a flight? Be prepared to maximize productivity. Save all the articles and documents you have wanted to read using Pocket and knock them out on the flight. Type up those emails you have needed to clear out and save to send folder, they will all be blasted out once you reconnect.
Enjoy The Layover!
Have a few hours layover after a long international flight? Find out what services are offered at the airport and try to access a lounge with a shower so you are refreshed for the final leg of your trip. LoungeBuddy is a great app to find out what you will have access to.
Get Smart On The Road.
Skipping the lines at the airport and renting a car to get home? For the long drive, download the audio version of the best-selling book you have been meaning to read so you can stay productive while behind the wheel. Be sure to pack a car charger and audio cable since some rental cars will not have these capabilities built-in. Wunderlist is a great cross-platform app to keep track off all the things you need to bring on a road trip.
Navigating The Inevitable Travel Problems Ahead Of Time.
Got to your short connection flight and concerns about what happens if your flight is a few minutes? Often times it is much quicker to snag the last seat on the next flight via the airline customer service phone number rather than wait in line at the airline service desk. Gather a list of alternative flights ahead of time so that you know what your options are when speaking to a customer service representative.
Save Your Energy!
Midway through your travel day and phone battery is at 20%? You need to conserve as much power as possible, so turn off Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi if you are not connected. Lower the screen brightness and turn off background app refresh. Set your mobile device to only check for emails when manually requested to do so as opposed to pushing data or automatically syncing.
Avoid The Floor When You Want to Power Up.
We've all done it: found the only open power plug in the whole airport and sat down on the dirty floor to power up. If possible, be prepared and have a back up battery pack fully charged and with you--or an extension cord. And yes, MobileQubes plans to be the go-to option for on-demand power. Our vision is for travelers to be able to find MobileQubes kiosk in any airport, train station, hotel or event venue across the country, so they can rent a portable battery pack, and charge up on-the-go.
Should you trust free public Wi-Fi?
Public WiFi hotspots carry some risk, however it can be mitigated as long as proper security protocols are followed and you know who is behind the hotspot you are connecting to. Make sure to turn off automatic WiFi connecting on mobile devices so you are aware and able to confirm the network you are connecting to. Setting up a VPN (virtual private network) on your laptop and mobile devices is the best way to ensure your data is secure. VyprVPN and ExpressVPN are 2 recommended service options and for less than $10 a month, you can have peace of mind that your data is secure when you're on the go.