Annual Travel Tip Leftovers
I love Thanksgiving leftovers – a little of this and a little of that. A plateful of tastes and samples. So I am inspired to share some of my little of this and little of that travel tips – tips and topics that are good to know but don’t lend themselves to a full article.
Informed Delivery from the Post Office
Have you heard about Informed Delivery? It’s a notification service available from the post office, and it’s good for when you are traveling and also pretty handy all the rest of the time.
You register online with the post office and then each morning they send you an email with images of the mail that is arriving that day. For everyday use, it’s helpful if there is a particular piece of mail I’m watching out for, and also good for security of knowing what mail should be waiting in the box.
When you are traveling, if you set up a vacation hold, you’ll still get the Informed Delivery email. So whether you do the vacation hold or have a neighbor picking up your mail while you are traveling, either way you’ll have a sense of what’s come in and any special action that needs to be taken when you get home.
Sign up for Informed Delivery at: https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action
You’ll need to create an account on the post office website if you don’t have one, but it’s very easy.
Security – USB Outlet Charging Scam
There have been reports of a scam in airports associated with public USB charging stations. In the ‘juice jacking’ scam, hackers set up fake charging stations so that when travelers plug in, the scammers steal sentitive information like bank account numbers or passwords, or else install malware attacks.
It’s recommended to carry an external battery power pack to handle your own charging on the go, or else to be very careful about the charging source you choose – preferably the one on the plane or in the airline lounge.
Boarding Pass Screenshot
Quick Tip: Take a screenshot of your boarding pass on your phone. That way if the airline app dysfunctions right as you are about to board (always seems to happen then!), you don’t have to fumble with your phone.
Also, change your phone settings for the ‘screen timeout’ to 10 minutes so your screen doesn’t go black right as you need to show your boarding pass.
Don’t Make it Obvious You Aren’t Home
For folks who live in the north and will be traveling in winter, make sure to arrange for someone to shovel your driveway and walks if it snows.
Airline Ticket Future Credits
After your travel date has passed, your confirmation number no longer means anything – so you can’t use it as your way to track down refunds or future credits.
It’s important to make note of the actual ticket number (format is 13-14 numbers) for each traveler and to make sure you are tracking that ticket number when you are following up on past travel. The actual ticket number is how airlines track tickets converted to future credits. The confirmation number is usually very prominent while the ticket number is often small and only conveyed in some of the communications from the airline, so make sure you look for it in your online reservation or in the receipt.