Although we are living in an era where mostly everything is accessible from your phone, it may be beneficial to still have some things printed on a good old fashioned piece of paper.
Online check-in is a wonderful process that allows passengers to pay for checked bags, upgrade seats, and agree to safety related disclaimers before flying so that these things do not take up time at the airline’s check-in desk at the airport. Once completed, most airlines offer for the boarding pass to be sent to your phone or printed, but why not both? Having your boarding pass on your phone allows for benefits such as real-time updates for cancelations, delays, gate changes, boarding calls, or even an alert that your checked bag has been loaded onto the plane. However, switching between your ID and your phone at each check-in point can cause delays, especially when you have to find the correct screen each time you unlock your phone. A printed boarding pass is usually quicker for those points. Even if you do not have a printer at home, the airline representatives at the check-in counter are usually able to print one for you quickly while you are checking your bags.
If you are staying at a large resort, odds are you may have to look at a map each time you leave your room, especially for the first few days. A resort with multiple pools, restaurants, shops, or transportation locations can be difficult to navigate without a map. Having one printed in advance not only allows you to become familiar with the property ahead of time, but then you have one just in case the resort does not have any available on property. Similarly, a list of bars and restaurants with their hours of operation is a super handy companion. Some resorts offer a daily bulletin reminding guests of which restaurants are open that day and at what times, but a full list gives you the opportunity to plan and compare. If you see that the steakhouse is open today on your bulletin but you see on your own list that it is not open tomorrow, you will know to dine at the steakhouse today so that you do not miss your chance.
If you have a long trip planned or are participating in a bunch of planned activities, print your itinerary. Even if your plans end up changing, having the edits on an actual piece of paper will help to remind you what changes have been made and why. “Weren’t we going to see a musical tonight?” “Yes, dear, but then when we found out our favorite steakhouse is only open tonight we decided to switch the musical to tomorrow.”
An added benefit to having these items printed before your trip? Saving your phone’s battery. If you are constantly opening your phone to look at the same things over and over, imagine how much battery (and/or data) you could be using… and therefore saving!
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Written by Carol Gabbert, Van Zile Travel