HomeTechnologyQuick Tech Hacks to Ease the Busy Holiday Season

Quick Tech Hacks to Ease the Busy Holiday Season

For some people, vacations are about relaxing at home. If you have extra time on your hands, do yourself a favor and organize your messy collection of photos. Tap or click to see how I get the job done.

Are you visiting family? Find your favorite old photos hanging on your walls or saved in albums. Tap or click an app to scan them without glare.

And if you laughed at the words “overtime,” I’m here for you, too. Here are some easy ways to spend the holidays with a smile on your face.

Stop arguing about when to leave

The classic Christmas battle: What time should you leave home to reach your destination on time and avoid traffic?

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

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


You can get a fairly accurate traffic forecast for a future date based on what the conditions are like on that day and time. You can then adjust your departure time to find the ideal time to hit the road.

Here’s how to set a scheduled time and date for a trip in Google Maps:

  • Open Google Maps and tap on the search here countryside.
  • Enter to destiny and select it from the results.
  • Play Addresses and then touch the three dot button to the right of the Your location field.
  • Play Set departure or arrival time.
  • Select Leave at and enter a date and time, then tap Done. You’ll get various route options and details like time and distance.
  • Select a route and touch beginning.

Tap or click here to find out the best time to leave based on when you want to arrive, and steps to do both in Apple Maps.

watch your luggage

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

Apple Air Tags they’re quarter-sized trackers that use Bluetooth from other iPhones to determine where they are. You can view the location of each AirTag associated 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 keep track of their personal items via Bluetooth technology.
(Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

tile crawlers they work in a similar way and are a good choice for Android users.

It’s a good idea to throw one in your checked luggage. In this way, you can see if your luggage reaches its destination. But there’s a time when the tracker is useless: when your baggage is traveling through the airport’s internal conveyor belt system. Once your luggage is out of there, you’ll know exactly where it is.

I have AirTags on my keys, in my cars, and on my dog. Tap or click for clever ways to get more out of these handy little trackers.

Make virtual meetings enjoyable

It is not always possible to see the whole family every year. Virtual meetings are much easier to organize since we got used to it during the pandemic.

Don’t spend a Zoom or Google Meet call wishing everyone would stop arguing about politics. Here are three simple ways to spice up your online meeting:

  • Give everyone time to talk: Pick a message and tell your family members to be ready to talk for a few minutes. I suggest a time limit, so your more talkative relatives don’t go on and on. My favorite is asking for funny family stories.
  • Play a game together – bingo is always a hit and you can hand out free tickets from this site. If you prefer a Pictionary type game, try drawingasaurus. Up to 16 people can play.
  • Host a Talent Show: If your family is full of artists, invite them to participate in a short performance. I can guarantee lots of laughs and maybe even a knockout performance or two.

Jingle bell rock together: how to create and share holiday playlists with your loved ones.


Don’t overpay on Amazon

Ever wonder if the price you see on Amazon is the best price, or at checkout, that price will drop? That’s where CamelCamelCamel comes in.

It is a price comparison site that tracks the cost of millions of products on Amazon. You can use it to check if the item you’re considering is a good price or if you should wait for a better offer. Is that how it works:

  • Go to camelcamelcamel.com. Enter a product’s Amazon URL in the search bar, then tap get into or the search icon.
  • Look at the graph to see the trends. You may notice that a product often goes on sale during certain months or during holidays.

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

For everything 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 one place to another or to a lot of different physical stores to find the best price on something. Let Google Shopping do the hard work for you. It’s easy to use and shows you prices from just about any retailer you can think of.

  • To go shopping.google.com.
  • Browse popular articles or search for what you’re looking for. Hit enter to see where you can buy it, the price and shipping options.
  • Use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down your results. You can filter by sales, items available for pickup nearby, and more.

Here’s a nice bonus: You can even buy things right there without having to create a new account if you have payment information linked to your Google account. Select the buy on google filter to see your options.

Google Intelligence: 10 search tricks to find what you are looking for faster on Google.

MY PODCAST CHOICE: AirPods as headphones, PayPal warning, Twitter alternatives

In 30 minutes, you’ll learn 1: How to find the hidden privacy report on your phone, 2: The secret to kicking crooks out of your Netflix account, and 3: My proven method to clean up your cluttered photo gallery.


Try my “Kim Komando Today” podcast at Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

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

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