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Quick tech tricks to make the busy holiday season easier

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For some people, the vacations are all about relaxing at home. If you might have overtime in your hands, do yourself a favor and organize your messy photo collection. Tap or click to see how I get the job done.

Are you visiting family? Look on your favorite old photos hanging on their partitions or tucked away in albums. Tap or click for an app to scan them with none glare.

And should you laughed on the words “overtime,” I’m here for you, too. Listed below are a handful of easy ways to get through the vacations with a smile in your face.

Stop arguing about when to depart

The classic holiday battle: What time must you leave the home to get to your destination on time and avoid traffic?

Stop guessing and let traffic-predicting algorithms make your drive easier. Google Maps and Apple Maps offer options to provide help to plan your trip. 

Google Maps. 
(Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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You possibly can get a fairly accurate traffic forecast for a future date based on what the conditions are like on that day and time. Then you definitely can fine-tune your departure time to seek out the best time to hit the road.

Here’s find out how to set a planned time and date for a visit in Google Maps:

  • Open Google Maps and tap on the Search here field.
  • Enter a destination and choose it from the outcomes.
  • Tap Directions after which tap the three-dots button to the appropriate of the Your location field.
  • Tap Set depart or arrive time.
  • Select Depart at and enter a date and time, then tap Done. You’ll get various route options and details reminiscent of time and distance.
  • Select a route and tap Start.

Tap or click here to seek out out one of the best time to depart based on when you desire to arrive — and steps to do each in Apple Maps.

Regulate your luggage

Losing your bag on a flight is a drag, and it’s even worse when you might have gifts tucked in your bag. Knowing where your suitcase is is straightforward so long as you might have a tracker inside.

Apple AirTags are quarter-sized trackers that use Bluetooth from other iPhones to find out where they’re. You possibly can see the placement of each AirTag associated together with your account using the Find My app. 

The quarter-sized Apple device allows users to keep track of their personal items via Bluetooth technology.

The quarter-sized Apple device allows users to maintain track of their personal items via Bluetooth technology.
(Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tile trackers work similarly and are option for Android users.

It’s idea to throw one in your checked baggage. This fashion, you’ll be able to see whether your bag makes it to your destination. But there may be a time when the tracker is worthless: When your luggage travels through the airport’s inner conveyor belt system. Once your luggage is out of there, you will know exactly where it’s situated.

I actually have AirTags on my keys, in my cars and on my dog. Tap or click for smart ways to get more out of those useful little trackers.

Make virtual gatherings enjoyable

It is not at all times possible to see the entire family annually. Virtual gatherings are much easier to arrange since we got used to them through the pandemic.

Don’t spend a Zoom or Google Meet call wishing everyone would stop arguing about politics. Listed below are three easy ways to brighten up your online get-together:

  • Give everyone time to speak: Select a prompt and tell your members of the family to be able to speak for a couple of minutes. I suggest a time cap, so your more loquacious relatives don’t go on and on. My favorite is asking for funny family stories.
  • Play a game together: Bingo is at all times successful, and you’ll be able to pass out cards without cost from this site. When you prefer a Pictionary-like game, try Drawasaurus. As much as 16 people can play.
  • Host a talent show: If your loved ones is stuffed with performers, rope everyone right into a short performance. I can guarantee a whole lot of laughs and possibly even a knockout performance or two.

Jingle bell rock together: The best way to create and share holiday playlists with family members.

HOW TO SCAN A QR CODE WITH YOUR IPHONE OR ANDROID PHONE (NO APPS NEEDED)

Don’t overpay on Amazon

Ever wonder if the worth you see on Amazon is one of the best price or — the moment you try — that price will drop? That’s where CamelCamelCamel is available in.

It’s a price-comparison site that tracks the associated fee of tens of millions of products on Amazon. You need to use it to examine if the item you’re considering is at price or should you should wait for a greater deal. Here’s how it really works:

  • Go to camelcamelcamel.com. Enter a product’s Amazon URL within the search bar, then hit enter or the search icon.
  • Take a look at the graph for trends. You would possibly notice a product typically goes on sale during certain months or around the vacations.

To make deal hunting even easier, install the CamelCamelCamel browser extension, The Camelizer. Tap or click here for direct links to download and the steps to make use of it.

For every thing else, compare prices here

Google Shopping.

Google Shopping.
(Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Nobody has time to go from site to site or to a bunch of various physical stores to seek out one of the best price on something. Let Google Shopping do the hard be just right for you. It is simple to make use of and shows you prices across nearly any retailer you’ll be able to consider. 

  • Go to shopping.google.com.
  • Browse popular items, or seek for what you’re on the lookout for. Hit enter to see where you’ll be able to buy it, the worth and shipping options.
  • Use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down your results. You possibly can filter by sales, items available for pickup nearby, and more.

Here’s a pleasant bonus: You possibly can even buy things right there without having to make a latest account if you might have payment info tied to your Google account. Select the Buy on Google filter to see your options.

Google smarts: 10 search tricks to seek out what you’re on the lookout for faster on Google.

MY PODCAST PICK: AirPods as hearing aids, PayPal warning, Twitter alternatives

In half-hour, you’ll learn 1: The best way to find the hidden privacy report in your phone, 2: The key to kicking moochers out of your Netflix account, and three: My tried-and-true method for cleansing up your messy photo gallery.

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Try my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Get more tech know-how on The Kim Komando Show, broadcast on 425+ radio stations and available as a podcast. Enroll for Kim’s 5-minute free morning roundup for the newest security breaches and tech news. Need assistance? Drop your query for Kim here.

Copyright 2023, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. By clicking the shopping links, you’re supporting my research. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products I feel in.

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