MacGyver of travel hacks shares tips for fixing airplane headphones and wifi hunting


Headphones broken during your flight? We have a solution. Photo / Danel McCullogh, Unsplash

As a traveler, you often have to adapt to new challengers in an unfamiliar setting.

However, after a pandemic break, we might be a little rusty. Some of the common problems seen in airports and hotels are back with a vengeance. Broken headphones and dismal Wi-Fi return like the Trials of Sisyphus.

The MacGyver of travel hacks Mark Saltzman recently revealed five tech-related travel hacks that will save you time and money.

Speaking to USA Today, he offered new solutions to old problems.

Pack light and store more on your phone

Taking screenshots on your phone of boarding passes can save time and space.
Increasingly, airlines are accepting tickets on phone screens for check-in and boarding, rather than on printouts.

Your camera roll is a great place to store them, rather than roaming your emails unevenly across the internet.

“Screenshot your boarding pass on your phone to create an offline version, in case the internet connection is not good at the airport, you won’t keep everyone behind you,” said he declared.

Likewise, photos of your airport parking and travel itineraries can help you easily store travel information and share details in case something goes wrong.

Tip 2. Don’t lose that phone.

Overview: Your bedroom TV can serve more purposes than just playing movies.  Photo / Thom Milkovic, Unsplash
Overview: Your bedroom TV can serve more purposes than just playing movies. Photo / Thom Milkovic, Unsplash

Use USB TV chargers to charge your devices

Travel adapters are another bulky item often left behind in hotels.

If you lost your plug, or just didn’t bother to pack one for your destination, there’s often a USB port somewhere in your hotel room – it’s in the TV .

“If you left the house without your smartphone plug but still have the cable, plug it into the TV in the hotel room and it will charge your device.

A common charging source for phones, tablets and cameras, this can be a lifesaver.

Wi-Fi hunting at height

Finding a reliable internet source can be like a treasure hunt.

Saltzman has a tip for those looking for a network: head for higher ground.

The signal can sometimes be better and the competition for shared networks (and seats) weaker.

“Most people don’t think of going to the second floor — sometimes called a mezzanine — to find plenty of seating, quiet, and power outlets,” he says.

Perfect for anyone who needs to work on the go.

Airplane mode: where to find the best wifi abroad?  Photo / Sten Ritterfeld, Unsplash
Airplane mode: where to find the best wifi abroad? Photo / Sten Ritterfeld, Unsplash

Fix Those Dodgy Airplane Headphones

There’s nothing worse than finding out that the headphones provided on your 12-hour flight aren’t working.

Aging entertainment systems can sometimes have quirks or not be compatible with your Bluetooth headphones or normal audio jacks.

However, there is a workaround that avoids expensive adapters sold at duty free or buying a new pair.

“Unplug the headphones slightly from the audio jack and you’ll hear the sound of the airline’s entertainment service,” advises Saltzman.

“Sometimes the connectors inside these sockets don’t match exactly.”

A piece of cardboard or a folded towel can help hold them in place.

Faster charging in planes

For someone as tech-dependent as Saltzman, being out of cell phone juice is a disaster. Flights can be a vital chance to recharge cell phone batteries.

However, if you’re on a short hop, he advises using AC outlets rather than low-power USBs.

“If you are on a plane or in an airport that offers the option of charging your phone or tablet via a USB port or an AC outlet, always use your AC outlet (if you have one) as it can charge your device two to three times faster than USB.”

Phones and e-readers are constantly power hungry and require knowing where to find a charge. However, there is a fail-safe anti-boredom that is a great backup:

Always bring a book.