Travel Tech Tips
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PDF file

Travel Tech Tips updated July 20 2024.pdf

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1) Going to Europe? You now won't need an ETIAS VISA Waiver till next year.
ETIAS waivers were supposed to be required starting January 1st of this year, but that requirement has now been postponed till 2025.
ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, and the EU created it in an effort to identify any risks associated with visa waiver-exempt visitors — including Canadians —travelling to Europe.
An ETIAS Visa Waiver will cost €7 which is about $10 CAD.
Canadians under the age of 18 or 70 years of age and older will not have to pay for an ETIAS Visa Waiver, but will still need to get one before travelling to Europe.
However, the start-up of the program has now been delayed until 2025.

ETIAS for Canadian citizens | ETIAS authorisation for travel to Europe

Everything you need to know about ETIAS for Canadian citizens including when the European visa waiver will be introduced and why you need to apply

2) Staying connected while in the USA — without going broke
For a while, most Canadian carriers were offering Canada/USA roaming at no extra cost on their more-expensive plans. Rogers was the first to offer this to everone migrating over from Shaw Mobile.
But that really started to eat into the big money the carriers make on roaming charges.
As a result, in early 2024, most carriers quietly stopped offering Canada/USA service, and included the USA only in their most-expensive Canada/USA/Mexico plans, which start at $100/month. In early April, Telus resumed offering a Canada/USA plan, but they charge $95/month for that plan, which includes a massive 150GB/month of 5G data.
If you go often to the USA or make lots of calls to the USA, there are still alternatives to paying daily roaming fees, which are currently in the $12-$14 per-day range…
One good option is to switch to Canada's 4th national carrier, Freedom Mobile, which is owned by Quebec-based Vidéotron. They're currently including Canada/USA calling and data roaming in all their plans costing $34/month and higher…
Brian and I and our wives all switched to these plans a year ago along with friends, and are very happy with the coverage. Freedom is building its own 5G network (they already have seven towers up and running in this area), and when you're beyond the range of one of their towers, you seamlessly roam at no cost to you onto the Rogers network in Canada (it'll say "Nationwide" in the corner of your phone screen), and AT&T in the USA. It worked flawlessly for us in Hawaii during Spring Break.

Freedom Mobile

(If you'll be travelling beyond North America, check out "Roam Beyond" plans in item #3, and Airalo in item #4)
Another option is to use a test-drive from a US carrier
  1. You can get unlimited calling within the USA, unlimited global texting, and 100GB of 5G/4G data good for 30 days, via Verizon's new Test Drive program. You keep your current number and add a Verizon second number via an eSIM barcode for free, so you can compare their coverage. I've created a step-by-step guide on how to do this, and it's below. You can only use this free Test Drive once every 12 months.

PDF file

Verizon eSIM Test Drive.pdf

279.1 KB

  1. Alternatively, T-Mobile is offering a free three-month trial of its network, with unlimited calling within the USA, unlimited global texting, and 50GB of fast 5G/LTE data. You keep your current number and add a T-Mobile second number via an eSIM barcode for free, so you can compare their coverage. This is a one-time offer. More here.
3) Canada's first global roaming plan just got even better!
Last November, Freedom Mobile became the first Canadian phone provider to offer a global roaming plan called "Roam Beyond". It originally covered 71 countries, and then in February, 81 countries.
Freedom Mobile has since explanded the coverage of its two "Roam Beyond" plans to include 11 more countries, for a total of 92 countries.
Here's the full list, with the 11 new countries in bold: Albania, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bonaire, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Czechia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Phillipines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, Ukraine, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), USA, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam.
There are two "Roam Beyond plans from which to choose:
  • $45/month for 15GB of 5G data per month, plus unlimited calling to, from, and within the 92 countries, plus unlimited global texting, as well as 5G data roaming in those 92 countries.
  • $65/month for 60GB of 5G data per month, plus unlimited calling to, from, and within the 92 countries, plus unlimited global texting, as well as 5G data roaming in those 92 countries.
You have to be on either of these plans for at least three months, and there's a $30 fee to switch to a cheaper plan after that. These plans will be available at these prices for a limited time only, but Freedom will honour the rate as long as you remain subscribed to it.

Freedom Mobile | Canada's First International Roaming Plan

Our affordable Roam Beyond plan can provides you with data for roaming and includes unlimited talk and text in Canada and 73 destinations.

If there's a country that's really important to you, we suggest you call 611 before you subscribe, to find out if there are any cities not covered. For example, in India, Freedom's mobile partner there, Jio, currently does not offer service in Delhi or Mumbai. They're working to switch to a different partner to rectify that.
If you're going to be away for less than a couple months, you could instead buy a Roam Beyond Pass, which is good for 30 days…
A 1GB roaming pass is $20 and good for 30 days in the same 92 countries, while a 5GB roaming pass is $30. Or you can buy the new 101-country pass which is $30 for 1 GB or $50 for 5GB, both good for 30 days. The 101-country Pass adds coverage for Belarus, British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, Macao, Malta, Mongolia, Montenegro, and the United Arab Emirates. On either option, you could buy a second pass if you'll be travelling for more than 30 days.
4) Airalo Global is a great way to stay connected when travelling beyond North America, without changing carriers.
Airalo is a free smartphone app which lets you add a second number as an eSIM for travelling.
They have two types of eSIM's — data-only service which you can buy on a country-by-country basis or by region (i.e. Europe, or Africa, or Latin America, or Asia), plus now now, Airalo Global, which works in 127 countries, and also includes texting and phoning as well as data.
We recommend Airalo Global, because you can activate it and test it before you leave Canada, and be assured that it'll work when you arrive in another country.
Here are screenshots of the current Airalo Global rate options…
They also have options which, for a few dollars more, lets you send some texts and make phone calls.


Global eSIMs for Travelers | Data, Calls, Texts | Airalo

Coverage across 130 countries. Data, calls, and texts. Instantly connect to a mobile network. Affordable eSIM plans. 100% digital installation. 24/7 support. World's largest eSIM marketplace. Download your global eSIM now.

I've created instructions on how to use an Airalo Global eSIM, including which Settings to change both going and coming, and you can download and print those instructions below…
5) Canadian online travel agency FlightHub is offering clients a 200-country eSIM for $25.
Montreal-based online travel agency FlightHub has come up with a great way to attract new clients — offer them a cut-rate eSIM which will keep them connected in 200 countries around the world.
FlightHub is partnering with CeliTech to offer the service, which Canadian travellers can now easily add an eSIM to their flight with one click on the confirmation page after checkout. Additionally, customers have the flexibility to book an eSIM at any time and from any location through the “My Trips” page on FlightHub, even after they have booked or commenced their journey.
SFlightHub says an eSIM with 5GB of unthrottled 5G/LTE data that'll work for two weeks in 200 countries is just $25 CAD.


New eSIM Offering From FlightHub Provides Canadian Travellers With up to 80% Savings Through Partnership With CELITECH

FlightHub™, a Momentum Ventures subsidiary and a leading Canadian online travel agency has announced the launch of a new eSIM travel card in partnersh

6) Many foreign SIM/eSIM providers include international calling, including back to Canada
If you're going travelling outside North America, and if making phone calls -- locally and back to Canada -- is something you'll want to do often, look for a mobile service provider that'll sell you a SIM or eSIM which includes a number of minutes of international calling.
In most countries, you can get 200 minutes of Canada/USA/Australia calling for a nominal surcharge -- an extra €3 ($4.40 CAD) in most Nordic countries, for example.
Ask someone you trust at your destination which mobile provider would be best, and if you don't speak the local language, see if they'll go with you to a mobile service provider shop or kiosk.
7) Rogers has added Caribbean countries to its North America roaming plan
March 2024: Rogers has added most Caribbean countries to its North American roaming plan…
Rogers says the eligible Caribbean destinations are: Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas, Aruba, Antilles, Barbados, Turks & Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua & Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Netherlands Antilles, St. Lucia, Martinique, Anguilla, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Trinidad, Antigua, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Dominica, Haiti and Cuba.
However, this Caribbean coverage add-on is only available on the Roger 5G Infinite Premium Canada/USA/Mexico plan, which costs $105 per month with 150GB of data, and there are more strings attached, too. This feature can only be used for up to 90 days per calendar year. If you use it for more than 90 days a year, you’ll start paying for daily coverage. Also, you'll need to stay on their $105/month 5G Infinite Premium plan for 12 consecutive months. If you switch to a lower plan, they'll retroactively charge you the daily rate for the Caribbean roaming.

iPhone in Canada Blog • Leading Tech News for Canadians

Rogers Adds Free Caribbean Roaming to North American Plan • iPhone in Canada Blog

Rogers' North American plan, which includes U.S. and Mexico roaming, now has added select destinations in the Caribbean for talk, text and data. Of course, this free add-on for Caribbean roaming is only available on the Roger 5G Infinite Premium plan, which costs $105 per month with 150GB of data. Rogers says eligible Caribbean destinations

If you'll be heading to the Caribbean, you'd pay a lot less by switching to Freedom Mobile and either going on their Roam Beyond plan if you'll be making lots of trips (see item #3 above), or buying a Roam Beyond 30-day pass`.
8) Make sure your phone will work overseas
If you're taking an older smartphone or cheaper travelling with you, and are planning to use a foreign SIM card or eSIM in it, check before you go to see if your phone can use the frequencies used in the country(ies) where you're headed.
Many countries use newer, high-quality mobile frequencies which older and/or less-expensive phones don't support.
We discovered this when we got a SIM for a homestay student from Türkiye; her three-year-old Samsung phone only supports one of the 14 frequencies we use here in Canada, so she had to get a newer phone.
The easiest way to check is to use the online Kimovil Frequency Checker, which is here.
Select your phone and the country you'll be going to, and it'll tell you if your phone will work there…

Will My Phone Work in Canada?

If you have ever wondered if the mobile you are thinking of buying will work in Canada, this is the right site to answer your question. You can also find out if your mobile phone is compatible with the frequency bands that are used in Canada, or with the mobile phone operator you are going to use in Canada.

For example, here's the result for a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone to be used in Australia…
You'll see from the results above, that coverage on that phone would be spotty, because the phone does not receive several of the frequencies which Australian carriers use.
9) Use ArriveCAN to pre-clear Customs when returning to Canada
You can use the ArriveCAN app (or website) to quickly pre-clear Canada Customs, if you're arriving at the Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, or Halifax airport -- but NOT yet in Victoria.
The time it saves is enough to enable you to make a tight connection if your incoming flight is late!
When you scan your passport at an Immigration kiosk, it skips the Customs part and gives you a receipt, and you're on your way.
Make sure you have the latest version of the ArriveCAN app, also, make sure you know your ArriveCAN account password, as the app signs you out after 10 days, and you'll need your password to sign back in if you're going to be aware for more than 10 days!
The ArriveCAN app is avilable free on the Apple and Google App Stores, and you can also submit your CBSA Declaration in advance online…the link to do that is in the webpage below…

Use Advance Declaration to save time at the border

Travellers arriving in Canada at certain airports can save time at the border by submitting their customs and immigration declaration in advance using this app.

10) Use MPC app to pre-clear Immigration when heading to the USA
If you're heading to the USA (including Hawaii and Alaska), US Customs and Border Protection has a free app which you can use to save a lot of time at the border — and this can be especially valuable if you have a tight connection.
It's called MPC (Mobile Passport Control) and it replaces the third-party Airside Mobile Passport app.
It can be used by Canadians and Americans, and it can also now be used at airports like Vancouver, where you pre-clear Customs and Immigration when flying to a major US airport. More here.
11) Use "YVR Express" to zip through Vancouver airport security
If you're flying out of Vancouver International Airport to an airport in Canada or the USA, you can now skip the security lineup by "booking" a screening using their free YVR Express service.
YVR Express allows you to schedule a specific time to enter security screening and avoid waiting in line prior to moving through the screening process. Travellers within Canada and to the USA can schedule their time to enter security screening through YVR Express up to 72 hours ahead of their flight departure time. More here.
YVR EXPRESS is currently available for passengers travelling from the main Vancouver terminal:
  • within Canada with flights scheduled between 6:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.; and
  • to the U.S. with flights scheduled between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
(They plan to expand it to include flights out of their international terminal in the future)
12) Think twice about booking a cheap flight through a third-party travel app or website
If your flight is cancelled -- and that's happening a lot more often now because of staffing shortages and weather problems -- you'll have to deal with that third party to get rebooked, if you can even reach someone, and that can be really stressful.
By all means, search the web for the best fares (see how to use Google Flight Search in the next item), but once you've found the best fare, then go to the app or website of the airline in question and book the flights there.
13) Use Google Flight Search to find the cheapest airfares
There are a tonne of airfare search tools out there, but the one which consistently finds the cheapest fares is Google's Flight Search tool at ​​. Start by putting in your To/From cities and then your ideal travel dates. I've picked Orlando from Dec. 29-Jan. 7 as an example…
There are a couple of built-in tools in the lower right of your search results that can save you a lot of money. One is the Date Grid, which lets you see which days have the cheapest fares. You'll see, in our example, below, that we could save $434 per person by going a day later! And if we could go on New Year's Eve and come back on Jan. 10th, we could save $672 per person!
…the other useful tool is the Price Graph, which shows you what happens to fares if you shorten or lengthen your trip, or if you change your dates. In our example, if we were to change our travel dates to Jan. 14-23, our initial price of $1146 per person drops to just $404 per person…
Google Flight Search also lets you filter prices to show what's important to you, such as non-stop flights, or avoiding long layovers. And living in Victoria, you can also easily check to see if it's a lot cheaper to fly from Vancouver or Seattle. In our case, if we pick the cheapest travel dates from Victoria but change to departing from Vancouver…
…the price drops by $52 to $352 per person, but, if we were to change our dates to Jan. 13-21, it drops to just $235 per person! That's an $911 per per person saving from what we started with!
Once you find the best fares, you can then book directly with the airline, or you can forward the results to a travel agent and pay them to book it for you. We do not recommend booking with an online travel site like Expedia or SkyScanner — especially for flights overseas — because you don't want the stress of having to try to contact someone at those sites if your flight gets cancelled, and there are a lot more cancellations these days than in years past, especially in the winter.
14) Air Canada's mobile app now lets you track your baggage
Air Canada has added real-time baggage and mobility aid tracking to its mobile app.
The system is based on the same tag scanning info that Air Canada employees use at each stage to handle these items.
Currently available to customers travelling within Canada, the tracking feature will be expanded to Air Canada's USA flights later this year and, over time, to select international destinations.
The tracker's "What's Next" feature tells you the next step for your belongings, including info on where to pick up your bag, such as an airport baggage carousel number, either at a transfer point or the end of their journey. More ​here​.
15) Aeroplan members can text for free onboard Air Canada flights
Aeroplan members can now send and receive messages for free from onboard all Wi-Fi-equipped Air Canada flights (including Rouge and Air Canada Express flights), as part of a partnership with Bell.
You can use Apple's iMessage, Meta's WhatsApp and Messenger, Rakuten's Viber, and Messages by Google. More here.
16) How to pre-pay for gas in USA with a Canadian credit card
If you’re driving in the USA and go to fill up your vehicle, the gas-station pay kiosk will ask you to type in your zip code before letting you pay with a credit card.
But if you're Canadian, we don't have a zip code. Before you get frustrated and head inside and hand over your card to pre-pay for your gas, do this…
Use the three numbers from your postal code, followed by two zeros, and it'll authorize you credit card. Tell your friends!
17) Travel tip: shoot a walk-around video of a vehicle you're renting
"Tech Talk" listener Tom (a retired police officer) offers this tip: use your phone to shoot a walk-around video of a vehicle you're renting before you drive off the lot.
That way, when you return it, if they try to charge you to repair a dent or scratch or other damage which they claim you caused, you can show them the video to prove it was there when you picked-up the vehicle.
18) for cheap flights if you're date-flexible
If you want a cheap holiday and have flexible travel dates, has a free app for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
Use it to find some amazingly cheap flights, but grab them right away if you find a good one as they often sell out within hours!
Be sure to click on the Canada tab to find flights departing from Canada.
19) Airble app lets you book seats on empty private charter flights
There's a new way to find an affordable plane flight: an app called Airble (note the spelling).
Among other things, it lets you book seats on the empty leg of a chartered small plane.

Airble - Book Charter Flights & Air Tours Instantly

Charter helicopters, seaplanes, and piston-engine light aircraft on our centralized marketplace.

20) Don't let foreign credit card terminals convert to $CAD
If you use a credit card outside Canada (incl. in the USA), decline if the payment terminal offers to convert the price to $CAD.
If you say yes, an extra 4-6% “convenience fee” will be tacked-onto the total, and the credit card company will split that extra fee with the merchant!
21) Don't let foreign ATM's lock-in the exchange rate for you!
If withdrawing cash at a foreign ATM (‘Bancomat’ in Europe), decline the default option to lock-in the exchange rate, because that option includes a surcharge of usually an additional 3-4%!
22) Passport update: you do not have to renew your passport six months before it expires, if you'll be visiting the USA.
Many countries will not admit you if your passport will expire within six months of your arrival.
But, the USA has a little-known "Carrier Liason" agreement that lets Canadians travel to the US as long as your passport will still be valid on your scheduled date of return. A list of countries covered by that initiative is below…

PDF file

Six-Month Passport Validity Update 20220316.pdf

179.1 KB

For travel to other countries, if your passport will expire within six months, renew it now. If you're not sure when it expires, pull it out and check!
Passport office staff say they're constantly encountering panicked people who were sure their passport was still valid, only to have discovered when they went to go travelling, that it had actually expired months ago.
You can usually get a passport renewed within a few weeks, but if you need it sooner, you can pay $50 extra for Express service which will get it to you within a week, or you can pay $110 extra for Urgent renewal which will enable you to pick it up within three business days, or if you have proof of travel booked in less than that, within two days including weekends. If you need to pick it up on a weekend, you have to pay the cost of a staff-person coming down to the Passport CEntre to open it up on the weekend.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has an excellent website on Passport renewals and applications…

How to renew a passport in Canada

Learn how to renew your adult passport, including the specific steps you need to follow, the documents that you need to submit with your application, and how to submit your application in Canada.

Even if you're not planning to travel outside Canada, it's still a great idea to have a valid passport, which can be invaluable as photo ID if you lose your driver's licence or BC ID card.
24) Use your phone to take high-quality pics of your ID
If you're going travelling (especially if you're flying), use your smartphone to take high-quality pictures of the front and back of your passport and other photo ID.
And travel with your passport (kept separate from your wallet or purse) -- even within Canada.
That way, if you lose your wallet or purse, you still have a way of proving your identity at a bank, or to get on a flight home.
25) Credit card shields and RFID-blocking wallets are a ripoff
RFID-blocking wallets, passport shields and credit-card sleeves are inconvenient and a waste of money, because they solve a problem that doesn't exist!

CSO Online

Why you don’t need an RFID-blocking wallet

RFID wallets, sleeves and clothing are security snake oil. You don't need RFID protection because there is no RFID crime.

26) How to avoid jet-lag the way pilots and flight crews do
To minimize the effects of jet lag on a long airline flight, as soon as you’re aboard the plane, manually change the time on your smartphone / tablet / watch to where you’re headed.
Your phone/tablet will change time automatically when you get there, but if you wait for that, your brain, by then, will be firmly set to where you came from, and you will be jetlagged!
Make sure you change the time on every device you might look at on the flight.
If there's one that still displays the time where you left, even if the others show the destination time, your brain will stubbornly cling to that time rather than change its internal clock.
27) How to phone for help anywhere in the world
If you're travelling outside North America and need help, call 112 on any mobile phone (even if it doesn't have a SIM card in it) and you'll quickly be connected to local emergency services.
The phone system will automatically re-route the call to the appropriate number — 999 in the UK, for example, or 000 in Australia, 112 in most of Europe, 190 in Brazil, etc.
28) Use the Find My Car app to find your way back to any spot
If you want to be able to easily find your way back to some spot, use the free Find My Car app.
You don’t need to actually have a car; if you want to find your way back to your hotel or AirBnB, for example, set the location of your "car" when you leave, and off you go.
You can even snap a picture, and add notes to the saved location.
When you want to find your way back, tap the "Find my car" button in the app, and choose whether you want walking, driving, or transit directions back to that spot.
29) Never use a public USB charging station or kiosk
This is not a new problem, but a lot of travellers are unaware of the security risk: never use an airport USB charging station or kiosk to recharge your smartphone or tablet.
Quite often, the USB ports are connected to computers which try to siphon info out of your phone — especially Android phones — while charging them.
And don't use a charging cable that someone has left behind, either, as it may contain a chip that'll unleash malware, even on iPhones.
Plugging into a public USB port or using a left-behind charging cable is like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth — you have no idea where that thing has been!


Why You Should Never Use Airport USB Charging Stations

Stop! Plugging into that airport USB charging station could put your personal data at risk.

30) Make sure all your apps are up-to-date before travelling
Before going travelling, make sure all your apps — especially travel-related ones — are up to date, so you don't use a lot of data updating them when away.
This is especially important for airline apps, as you won't be able to watch inflight shows if you have an out-of-date version of the app.
Apps are supposed to self-update, but with literally billions of app users, it can often be days if not weeks before that actually happens!
On an iPhone or iPad, open the App Store, tap on the account icon (usually your initials or a picture) in the upper-right, then pull down in the middle of the screen and you'll see a wheel briefly spin at the top-centre of the screen. Now, scroll down and tap on "Update all".
On an Android device, open the Google Play Store app, and tap on the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner of the screen. Tap on “My apps & games”, and you'll get a list of apps that have updates available. Tap “Update all”.
31) Use an iPhone to quickly see the status of any flight
Here's a great (iPhone only) tip if you're flying, or are expecting someone who is:
Text yourself your flight number(s) (i.e. AC1900).
Then, anytime you want to know updated departure/arrival info, just hold your finger on the flight number and tap "Preview flight" and you'll see everything you need…
32) How to minimize Phone data use when travelling
If you will be using a data plan with a limited amount of data when travelling, before you leave, we suggest you go into your phone's Background App REfresh settings, and turn off cellular access to non-essential apps.
Make sure you leave on cellular access for travel, financial and messaging apps!
It's up to you, but social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and X are huge users of data. If you turn off cellular access, you'll only be able to use them on Wi-Fi. The same for music and video apps like Spotify and YouTube.
On an iPhone, go to Settings, then to General, and then to Background App Refresh.
On an Android phone, go to Settings, then (depending on your OS version), tap on either General or Apps & Notifications. Next, tap Background App Refresh or Mobile Data & Wi-Fi.

If you have an iPhone and will be using a data plan with a limited amount of data, before you leave, we suggest you do one of two additional things about your photos:
  1. go to Settings, Photos, and make sure Optimize Storage is turned off
  1. or, if you have lots of pohotos and videos on your iPhone, go to Settings, Cellular, and scroll down to Photos and and turn off Cellular access.
Here's why: if you have Optimize Photos on, your iPhone stores a low-resolution copy of each photo and video, and when you go to view photos and videos when you're not on Wi-Fi, it uses cellular data to download a high-res version of each image you can view.
That can use 3MB of data per photo, and much more for videos, which can easily eat through your data.
Turning off Optimize Storage before you depart will use your Wi-Fi to pull high-res versions onto your iPhone which will use up a lot more space, but avoid data usage later.
33) Use Trainline app for booking train & bus tickets in Europe
If you're going to Europe and are going to be taking trains and/or busses, use the free Trainline app or website to book tickets.

Trainline | Search, Compare & Buy Cheap Train & Bus Tickets

Trainline, your quick and easy way to book train and bus tickets across Europe. ✓ Save 61% on UK Rail ✓ Search train times ✓ Get the app ✓ 200+ operators

34) Use TripIt app to keep all your travel info at your fingertips
If you're going on a trip, TripIt is an excellent free app and website that puts all your travel reservations and notes in one place.
They have a paid version, but for most people, the free basic version will do just fine.
35) If you're a VISA card-holder, check to see if you can use the new VISA Airport Companion app to get free airport lounge access
Holders of select VISA cards are now eligible for up to six free visits a year to more than 1,200 Airport Lounges around the world, including many here in Canada.
You access the lounges using the free VISA Airport Companion app available for Apple and Android devices.
Find out if you're eligible by going to VISAairport

36) If you own Carnival Corporation shares, you can enjoy hefty onboard credits when cruising any of the many cruise lines they own
As well as owning the Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation owns Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Cunard, Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises, and P&O Cruises.
And if you own at 100 or more shares of Carnival Corp stock, you can use the StockPerks app to submit proof of that, and get onboard credits of up to $250 per stateroom per cruise on any of those lines. More info is here.
Thanks to Bill and Diana for this info; they cruise frequently and have saved several thousand dollars this way!
37) If you own Norwegian Cruise Line shares, you can also enjoy hefty onboard credits when cruising
As well as owning Norwegian Cruise Lines, NCL Holdings Ltd. also owns the Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruise Line brands.
And, similar to Carnival's shareholder benefit offering, NCLH shareholders are eligible to get onboard credits of up to $250 per stateroom per cruise on any of those lines if you own more than 100 shares of NCLH stock.
Carnival shares are currently worth about $16.25 USD a share, while NCLH shares are $15.75 USD a share (as of May 18, 2024), so you'd have to spend between $16K and $18K to be eligible for these onboard credits.
More info on the NCLH shareholder benefit offering is here.
38) If you like cruising, try enthusiast-created is a fairly new website which was created by a small group of cruise enthusiasts who weren't happy with any of the existing cruise search / deal list sites.
It offers a suite of tools to help you find the best cruise at the best price. It's completely free and unbiased… is not afilliated with any cruise line or company; it's run by a small group of cruise enthisaists…



CruisePlum offers quality tools and unbiased information to help you find your ideal cruise.

39) If you're going to Waikiki/Oahu, I've created a list of some great hidden places to visit and where to find great and affordable eats
The list includes tips on how to enjoy popuar events like the free Aloha Friday Fireworks, the new way to get free tickets to visit Pearl Harbour, and how to make a mandatory reservation to climb Diamond Head. It also includes some hidden gems — both sights and dining!
You can download and/or print it by clicking on the arrow-in-square icon in the upper right, below…

PDF file

Alan’s Oahu Tip Sheet.pdf

315.9 KB

If you have any additional places you'd like to share, I'd be glad to add them to this list! Email me at
40) Air Canada has followed the lead of Porter Airlines and is now offering free beer, wine, and snacks on Canada & USA flights
For at least the rest of 2024, Air Canada is offering a free snack, as well as complimentary beer and wine, to all passengers on all Canada and USA flights. $5 spirits will also be available for purchase.
41) Meet Wayther, an iOS weather app designed just for road trips
A new iOS app called Wayther wants to help you better plan your road trips by giving you real-time road conditions and weather forecasts along your route.
Created by indie developer Axel Le Pennec, Wayther gives you weather forecasts along your route up to 10 days in advance.
Wayther works in all countries where Apple Weather is available, and supports both metric and imperial units. Wayther can also be used for trips by motorbike, RV, truck, bus, or bike — even walking!
Wayther offers a free trial that gives three trips for free. After the trial period, if you like it, pay $20 a year and get unlimited usage.
42) Heads-up if you want to take a dog into the USA: new paperwork is required starting August 1
Starting August 1, dogs being taken into the USA by air, sea, or land will have to be at least six months old, be microchipped, appear healthy, have proof of having received a rabies vaccination within the past three years on or after being microchipped, and owners will have to fill out a new CDC Dog Import form, which includes a picture of the dog showing its face.

Travelling to the United States with your dog? Here's what you need to know

The U.S. is implementing new rules for dogs entering the country on Aug. 1. All dogs entering the U.S. from Canada will need to be microchipped, at least six months old, and accompanied by a new import form, among other requirements.