Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
We all have our favorite ways to keep in touch when traveling outside the USA and want to avoid costly fees. I tend to be a bit frugal when it comes to calling. I don’t need my phone to work everywhere on the planet; I simply put my phone in airplane mode then I can get by with SKYPE and WiFi hot spots when I need to call or e-mail. I don’t turn airplane mode off until I am back on American soil.
But a HUGE word of warning. Since you are hooked up to WiFi, there are times you phone may try to update. You know what happens when you reboot after such an update? Often times your phone will restart with airplane mode OFF then what happens next? Yep, it attempts to connect to the nearest cell tower no matter where you are – Ruh Roh; you may all of a sudden get dinged with a big roaming charge before you can click airplane mode back on!
I had just such an update attempt to push on me during almost my entire stay on Grand Cayman and had to click no-no-no-no-no each day all day long (gosh, that is annoying)! Once home I at last ran the updates. Even when in the USA, I wait till I get home to run updates as you never know what can go wrong. Once I lost my “free” WiFi sharing after an update on the road – ugg!
Since I am on a geek day, how about some other neat stuff I have been playing with lately and you might like as well:
1) Do you know what time it is RIGHT NOW in India, Sweden or Australia? Well this simple web site makes it so easy to know that we should never wake someone up and say I had no idea what time it was there. Love it!
2) Ever wonder if a web page is really down or if it is an issue with YOU? Wonder no more as this web site lets you type in the web page and tell you if it is down or just you!
3) If you are an Android user you may have noticed the elegant and simple “Talk” app has been replaced with the horrid and useless new “Hangouts” app. It is a simple thing to go into the settings for Hangouts and log-out. Then, I really like the “Intelli Im” app as a replacement option.
4) Just how many Skymiles and MQMs will I earn for whatever trip? What if I have a trip in 1st on the way out and coach back (booked starting via Kayak.com then to Delta since you cannot search for this kind of ticket on Delta.com). How can I estimate the points? There is a simple and yet powerful tool on this web site here you can check out from CWSI.net. While not perfect, it will be very close (I have found most times within a mile or two – yep, that good)!
5) We all know all phone companies have their pros and cons. I have stuck with Sprint forever as they met my needs. But I hate that they want to upcharge me to share my internet connection with say my laptop or tablet. PDAnet+ to the rescue and I just share out via Bluetooth. I can then have either my cell internet or whatever WiFi I have (say hotel ones that only let you have once device hooked up at a time) shared with as many devices as I want.
Keep in mind Delta does not allow Bluetooth devices in-flight so no you should not use this trick with GoGo to have more than one device online (EDIT: It looks like under the new rules Bluetooth should be OK so will test this next flight). But speaking of GoGo they do have an app for faster log-ins!
So there you are. This is my short list of Rookie TECH stuff I use all the time and some cautions to save you money when on the road! Have some others that we need to know about and are just tops? Let us know with a comment below on the blog – René
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