Holiday travel’s coming, here’s a quick tech/sanity checklist

Make sure to download Google Maps data for offline anywhere you’re planning on going.

Charge up a portable charger. Get a decent one. I’m not trying to make money on this, just get a good one.

Remember with being around family that dialing 988 works on any cell phone now and will connect you to the Suicide and Crisis hotline.

Sync a couple of movies from Netflix, Disney, or whatever your streaming service provider is before you get stuck in an airport with no signal, Wi-Fi, etc.

Remember Mapquest? Yeah print that one long trip you’re planning out on the skin of dead plants. Your phone’s going to die.

Take a couple of decent charging cables and a couple of decent chargers. At least one of the four items mentioned will break for no conceivable reason, or like my last trip two cables could just break out of the blue.

While it’s really not considered polite to be on your phone at family gatherings, it’s also a really great way to avoid some of the mental abuse and having to talk to your “my only personality comes from a TV political opinion channel” relatives.

Plan for no signal, low battery, and nobody having a charger that will work with your phone for some weird reason.

Those charging cables at Dollar Tree, General, Family Dollar… man, I’d try and stay away if possible. From badly manufactured connectors to just cheap and strange, I’d go with blowing a couple more bucks on something that doesn’t potentially break my charging port.

Drinking to excess to deal with family? Keep track using apps and remember dialing 988 in the USA can talk about more than just suicide prevention.

Do a deep dive into 23&Me and other genetic testing services and finally prove once and for all you were switched at birth and not related to these people.

Take off all the photos you can on your phone to have ample room to take new photos. Also so you don’t have your 13 year old cousin going through your odd foot photos that … why do you have so many photos of your feet man? That’s just weird.

Speaking of relatives getting into your phone – lock your phone with a passcode, biometrics, etc. Assume any bored kid is going to have watched you unlock it and if you can, lock your text message app and your email. Hasn’t happened to me but have watched inlaw’s devices and subsequent drama from bored kid.

Handing over your phone to a bored kid? Learn about locking them into a game or app. Different phones have different ways to do this. Research this before you’re in a situation to need it.

Hey remember 988? Lot of people out there not wanting you hurting yourself. I’m one of them.

Remember tech can help you escape as much as it helps you connect. Be aware what you’re broadcasting to the room. There are a lot of people who think if you’re looking at a phone you’re not capable of paying attention to them. There are a lot of people who aren’t.

If you have something like the Pixel phones, or I imagine the new iPhones, they have crash detection and such. Make sure it, e911, etc are set up. It may seem morbid to think about but it’s less morbid having your phone call for and getting you help so you’re in the hospital on Christmas and not in the morgue.

Grab some little lemon soaked napkins if you can. Just a couple. They’ll come in handy. If you can’t find lemon just travel ones. Just a couple.

That medicine you’ve got to take, prioritize it in packing and travel. Don’t let it slip because you’re going into a cave of stressful people.

Oh yeah when your great aunt says that plugging in your phone is going to cost her money… the largest iPhone battery I could locate takes 17 Watt Hours max to charge from 0-100%. The nation’s highest electrical rate I can find is Hawaii at about 40 cents per kilowatt hour. Your completely dead phone takes .017 * $0.40 to charge, or a little over 1/2 penny if I did the math right. $0.0068. Leave a whole penny here unless you’ve got some Cutco scissors handy.

How many phone chargers can be plugged into a single outlet with a splitter? A whole lot without overloading it. 15 amp, 120 volt outlet, which is the lowest you’re going to run into in the US generally, can handle 1800 watts. Assuming you’ve got an array of chargers to charge up the mythical 17 Watt Hour max battery in 30 minutes you could charge 45 phones at a shot before tripping a breaker.

You don’t like your uncle’s cranberry glaze? Don’t eat it. Guilt left and right may be your thing, but nah.

Have a great one, don’t let people ruin it.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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