Use these helpful tips on your next vacation.

By Sarah Yang
Updated July 24, 2017
© 2016 Willie B. Thomas
Willie B. Thomas/Getty Images

You’ve bought your tickets, booked a hotel or rental, did your research on what to do and see, and packed your bags—now you’re all set for that long-awaited vacation. But before you go, there are a few other tricks and tips that you should know about to make your trip easier and even more enjoyable, and they’re all accessible through your iPhone. So whether you’ve added an international plan to your existing carrier coverage or just going to use Wi-Fi when it’s available to you at the hotel, these ideas—all straight from Apple—will help you plan the itinerary, look up directions, find places to eat, and so much more. Take a look at these travel hacks below and then get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation.

Willie B. Thomas/Getty Images

Use Wi-Fi to Your Advantage.

Even if you added an international plan to your coverage for the trip, there might be some limits to your data usage. When you are in a place where there’s Wi-Fi (like your hotel room), use it to your advantage. You can use FaceTime audio and video when connected to Wi-Fi, so you can make important phone calls or chat with someone back home without having to use data. Or download boarding passes and save them to your Passbook while connected to Wi-Fi, so that you have them on hand. Save travel web articles on your phone by adding them to your reading list on Safari, which you can access even when your phone is on airplane mode.

Control and Adjust Cellular Data.

To turn off data when you’re out of the country, go to Settings > Cellular > Turn Off Cellular Data. If you want to adjust your data usage, keep in mind that some apps use push notifications to alert you (like messaging or social media apps). These apps will use cellular data when they send you alerts, so you may want to turn them off when you go on your trip. To do so, go to Settings > Notifications. Not sure what the biggest offenders are? View how much data all of your apps are using by going to Settings > Cellular, where you can turn cellular data on or off for specific apps.

Map It Out.

If you plan ahead and know your itinerary or the area you’re visiting, you don’t have to use cellular data when using Apple Maps. Simply look up an area on Apple Maps while connected to Wi-Fi and keep the app open—when you switch over to airplane mode you can still look at that area’s street views. You can’t save specific itineraries, so you’ll only be able to view the latest route or area you looked at on Wi-Fi. You can also make dinner reservations on OpenTable and book rides on Lyft and Uber through the Apple Maps app.

Keep Track of Photos.

For those traveling with a group, you can share photos with everyone else by using Airdrop—no data required. Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, have your traveling companions do the same, and enable AirDrop. Once all parties have completed those steps, you should be able to choose the photo, click the share icon, select the recipient’s name, and then send off that great snapshot. You can also use the Shared tab in the Photos app to create a photo stream. There, you can invite friends to the specific photo stream so everyone can upload photos.

Stay Safe.

Make sure you create a digital Medical ID on the Health app on your iPhone. You can include emergency medical and contact information to have on hand if you are hurt or injured. Once you fill out the Medical ID, turn on “Show When Locked,” so it’s available from the Lock screen, making it easy for emergency professionals to take a look at it if you become unconscious.

Siri can also be helpful in a medical situation in a foreign country—just say “Siri, call 911,” and Siri will automatically call the local emergency services number.