What the Tech? 4th of July Travel

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(ABC 6 News) – If you will be traveling over the 4th of July, get ready for crowded highways and airports. AAA predicts over 50 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more between Thursday, June 29th and Monday, July 5th, which will set a new record for the holiday.

AAA asks anyone hitting the road or taking to the air to prepare for travel delays and cancellations.

While tech gadgets won’t prevent an accident ahead of you or a light cancellation, they can make delays less stressful. Here are some gadgets and apps to pack in your digital suitcase:

• Gas Buddy app. The most popular crowd-sourced gas prices app helps travelers find the cheapest gas prices on their trip. Give the app permission to see your location and show gas prices based on reports from other travelers.
• iExit app. This app uses your location to show what’s coming up on the exits before you arrive. Do you ever wonder if you should stop for the restaurant at the exit you’re approaching or wait for more choices? iExit can show you everything located at each exit along the way.
• Streaming movies, YouTube, and music can gobble up all the cellular data you pay for monthly. Before hitting the road, download a few movies on your kids’ devices so they can watch offline. You can do the same thing with music on Spotify, Amazon Prime, or Apple Music.
• If you lose connection with your cellular provider while traveling down the interstate, turn on Airplane mode for a few seconds before turning it off again. Your phone will be forced to search for the nearest cell tower to make a connection.
• There have been warnings about hackers using airport charging stations to install malware and steal information from any phone plugged into one. It is a risk but is probably overblown. Still, it’s best to take your own portable charger wherever you go.
• Speaking of keeping a phone charged, instead of carrying multiple charging cables, Anker makes a charging cable with all three (USB, USB-C, and Lightning) adapters, so you’ll never need more than one cable for your devices.
• Whether you’re traveling by car or airplane, a good set of noise-canceling earbuds or headphones will keep background noise at a minimum.
• Your airline’s smartphone app is probably pretty good at keeping you posted on any delays and gate changes, but the app Flighty seems to be faster and with more information. The app has FCC clearance to get the same information pilots receive. You’ll see a prediction of whether your plane will be at the gate on time based on airspace mandates and how your airline has been performing for the 24 hours before your flight takes off.
• And if you are traveling by air, it’s a good idea to open the Airdrop application on an iPhone and change the settings to allow Airdrop requests only from your friends. In the past, jokesters have shared images with anyone with Airdrop turned on.