vacation countdown on iphone

35 things to do on your iPhone before going on a vacation

35 things to do on your iPhone before going on a vacation

Discover 35 essential iPhone tasks to prep for your vacation, from organizing travel docs to downloading offline maps, ensuring a stress-free getaway.

Vacation Countdown on iPhoneVacation Countdown on iPhone

The tips here are in no particular order. So, I’d recommend checking them all out, even though I understand you may not need to follow everything.

Scan copies of important travel documents

Scanning document in iPad Notes appScanning document in iPad Notes app

While most things like flight and hotel bookings have gone digital, I recommend saving your ID cards, credit card pictures, passport, and all other documents in scanned form on your iPhone. You can use Apple Notes, Files, or even Google Drive to scan and store them. This will serve as a helpful backup in unfortunate situations.

Take screenshots

You may have no Internet when you arrive at a new location. So, take normal or full-page screenshots of your digital bookings like flight, hotel, and other things. You can even put them all in an album to easily find them.

Share important files with your family members

If you’re going with a group, consider sharing the screenshots and digitally scanned copies of essential documents like hotel address or booking ID with all the members. You can share them through iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or a group chat.

Set up a group chat

This will help all members communicate effortlessly, even if you all are scattered around.

Learn how to use your iPhone to translate

Translating using iPhone Action buttonTranslating using iPhone Action button

If you’re going to a place where the local language is different, then take a moment to learn how to use the Apple Translate app. It also has an offline mode. However, its list of supported languages is not very comprehensive, so set up Google Translate as well.

Additionally, you can use your iPhone 15’s Action button to translate and converse effortlessly.

On the topic of translation, you should know that the local websites of the new place may not be in English. So, learning how to translate words, sentences, and web pages in Safari can be helpful.

Set up your Medical ID

Medical ID on iPhoneMedical ID on iPhone

Since you’re going to a new place, it’s strongly recommended that you add essential information like your details, blood type, allergies, and such to your digital Medical ID in the iPhone Health app. This information is accessible even on the iPhone Lock Screen and can be life-saving.

Add your emergency contacts

While we’re on the subject of unfortunate situations, it’s important that you add your emergency contacts to your iPhone.

Track fellow traveler’s location at all times

Family Location Sharing on iPhoneFamily Location Sharing on iPhone

You can make your vacation stress-free by setting up 24×7 location sharing for all your friends or family members. After this, everyone can see each other’s location.

Make a checklist

Use the Notes or Reminders app to create a to-do list of things you must pack in your bag, what you plan on doing, and more. It’s good to have everything noted for reference.

Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled

Play sound and get directions to track and recover your lost iPhonePlay sound and get directions to track and recover your lost iPhone

Losing or misplacing your iPhone in a new location can be devastating. So, go to iPhone Settings > your name and make sure Find My is enabled. This will let you see your phone’s location, play a sound on it, and get directions to reach it. You can even use a family member’s or friend’s iPhone to find your misplaced device.

Set up your AirTags and share them with family members

Shared AirTag in Find My app on iPhoneShared AirTag in Find My app on iPhone

If you plan on keeping an AirTag in your travel bags or purse, make sure that AirTag is set up and shows in your iPhone’s Find My app. You can even share the AirTag with up to five family members so they all can see its location.

Turn on Stolen Device Protection

Stolen Device Protection adds an extra layer of security and privacy, and you should enable it even for regular use.

Figure out the SIM situation

If you’re going on an international trip, you must make sure with your carrier that you have a supported plan that works in that country.

Secondly, if you’re planning on getting a local SIM, you must ensure that the carrier supports eSIM, as iPhone 14 and newer sold in the United States do not have a physical SIM slot.

Turn on data-saving modes

Roaming cellular data or inflight Wi-Fi packs are not only expensive but come with limited data allowance. So, learn about some tips to use as little cellular data as possible.

Get your travel apps in order

It can be helpful to download and set up your airline, train, and other such apps beforehand. For instance, the Flighty app can show you your gate number, alert you of possible delays, and more.

Install and sign up for local cab, payment, food, hotel, messaging, and other such apps

The apps you’re used to in your city or country may not work where you’re going for a vacation. So, it’d be wise to research online and see which apps are popularly used there. You can download and set them up beforehand to avoid expensive data costs and also save time.

Download offline maps

iPhone screenshot showing the notification when a downloaded map is ready for offline useiPhone screenshot showing the notification when a downloaded map is ready for offline use

Save offline maps in Apple Maps or Google Maps for places you are about to visit. This will ensure you are not lost even if you don’t have cellular connectivity.

Download music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, books, and web articles

Go to the media app of your choice to save songs and movies for offline playback. You can also download books in the Apple Books app or the Kindle app. And if there are some web articles that you need to read on the flight, you can save them to your offline Reading List in Safari.

Tip: Save YouTube videos of local places of attraction, tutorials, and such for reference.

Set an automatic email reply or Slack status

While I do not recommend replying to work messages during a vacation, you should, however, set up an automatic email reply or put a Slack status so your colleagues know you’re unavailable.

Set up a dedicated vacation Focus mode

Go to iPhone Settings > Focus and set up a customized Focus for the holiday. You can choose to get notified only from certain apps and people during this time. However, I would recommend going easy on who can call you. You can even set it to Everybody. This way, you won’t miss calls from local drivers, hotel staff, and such.

Force your iPhone to always stay in Low Power Mode

Keeping your phone in Low Power Mode will help if your vacation itinerary involves staying outdoors, away from a charger.

Make sure your smart Home accessories are working and can be controlled remotely

You may want to turn your house lights on and off remotely to give the impression that you are home and not away. Similarly, you may want to check your house cameras or locks even during a holiday. So make sure all these are set up properly, and they appear in the Home app on your iPhone.

Free up space for photos and videos

You’ll probably be taking lots of photos and videos on your holiday. So, make space on your iPhone to ensure a smooth experience.

Learn how to open the iPhone camera quickly

Quick Camera shortcut on iPhone Lock ScreenQuick Camera shortcut on iPhone Lock Screen

While we are on the subject of camera, it’d be helpful to know how to launch it instantly with one tap on the Lock Screen or a double tap on the back of your iPhone. This will ensure you don’t miss capturing a fun moment.

Set a default video recording resolution based on your needs

Go to iPhone Settings > Camera to set a default video quality resolution and frame rate. This will ensure you do not have to change it every time from the camera interface. I like to record at 1080p 60fps, but you can decide what works best for you.

Set up the Journal app

Apple’s Journal app can nudge you to write down your experiences and attach holiday pictures to your diary entry so you can keep a record and revisit them in the future.

Buy iPhone accessories

Using iPhone on a gimbalUsing iPhone on a gimbal

Even if you do not use a case or screen protector, you may want to get one so that your phone is protected during vacation. Additionally, you may want to make sure you have a power bank and universal charging adapter.

Gimbal or selfie sticks are also popular with tourists who like to vlog.

So, decide what works for you and buy them beforehand.

Your iPhone or iPad can work as a power bank

Charging Android phone with iPhone 15Charging Android phone with iPhone 15
Charging an Android phone with iPhone 15

If the need arises, you can charge another phone, AirPods, or Apple Watch using your iPhone 15 or a USB-C iPad.

Implement some battery-saving tips

You may not always have access to a power outlet, so invest in a power bank. And if carrying that everywhere is a chore, discover some battery-saving tips to ensure your iPhone runs longer on a single charge.

Install a VPN

VPN can be helpful when using unsecured Wi-Fi at public places such as airports, train stations, hotels, etc.

Learn about sharing MacBook’s Wi-Fi with your phone

Imagine your hotel’s Wi-Fi is not working, but there is an Ethernet port in your room. In this case, you can use your MacBook as a wireless router.

Turn on Dial Assist

Go to iPhone Settings > Phone and turn on Dial Assist so it can automatically use the correct prefix (local code) when you call a number. However, if the calls fail, try turning it off.

Use a countdown app

You can use widgets from the Countdown app to keep track of the number of days remaining in your vacation and other related information.

Learn about iPhone alarms

You may have to wake up at odd hours to catch a plane or reach the bus, so it will help to know how to set an alarm on your iPhone.

Create a Home Screen page with all essential apps

You can create a Home Screen with all the essential travel apps and widgets, so it’s quick and easy to launch them when needed.

Bonus: Some privacy and safety tips

Face ID blocked on iPhoneFace ID blocked on iPhone

Finally, here are some tips to ensure a safe experience:

  • Remember that you can discreetly disable the Face ID or Touch ID to prevent your iPhone from being unlocked forcefully.
  • Protect your privacy by not sharing your vacation plans beforehand on social media. Don’t check your location on your social profile. These will ensure thieves or other nefarious people do not know you will be away from your house.
  • Do not share photos of your passport or flight tickets on social media. And if you must, make sure to blur, hide, or pixelate all sensitive information.
  • Share your vacation photos only after you return from your vacation.
  • You can also choose to remove the photo metadata like location before sending vacation images via email, messages, etc.

Happy holidays!

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Author: tweakdoor

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