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7 Ways To Minimize Your Phone Usage When Traveling

7 Ways To Minimize Your Phone Usage When Traveling

When traveling, there are a lot of things that you find yourself paying for. From higher prices on things you need like food and lodging, to things as small as souvenirs and entertainment attractions. All of these costs add up, but you don’t want to have to occur more hidden fees when you return, including those to your phone bill. Roaming and other international charges can put a hamper on your budget and worth the seven tips we are going to cover today, you will learn how to enjoy your vacation, stay connected, and not have to spend a cent more than you normally do on your phone bill. Happy travels.

1. Contact Your Phone Company

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    If off, it doesn’t hurt to contact them and ask what options they do have for individuals going abroad for a certain amount of time. This is highly recommended, if not a requirement of me to you, because not only are different individual’s situations different in where they are going abroad, but your carrier may have different policies. You may even be able to pull some teeth in your specific case depending on where you’re going, your length of time as a customer, and even discounts through your occupation or student status.

    International calling plans should be entered only after hefty research, many times you are still paying more, only at a smaller rate than if you never informed your provider. If you are going to be away for longer than a month or two, see if you can pause your plan. You’re better off picking up a local phone, than paying to keep up your same one while away for a long time.

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    2. Save Google Maps

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      There is a sneaky little feature in Google Maps that allows you to save maps for offline viewing. To do this, simply search the location that you will be headed to. After the results come up, select the location. From there, click the white box below and scroll all the way to the bottom. You will see an option to “Save Map for Offline Viewing”.

      This map is available for thirty days in your profile tab of Google Maps. This is accessible by clicking the “person” at the far right of the search bar. Scroll all the way to the “Offline Maps” section. Clicking the “View all and manage” option allows you to see how long your map is available.

      3. Load Your Phone Up

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        While in the air or even during your down days while on vacation, you may find that your phone is a great way to keep yourself occupied in a relaxing way. Before you depart, make use of the last bit of reliable Internet that you may have an load your phone up with games and other fun applications that can keep you busy. If you make use of iBooks, load up a book or two as well.

        In addition to all of these programs you are loading up, consider clearing out your phone of unnecessary programs and photos. You’ll find yourself taking a lot while on your trip and so that added open space will come in handy. Lastly, make sure you backup and update your phone to the latest firmware before leaving. When I went out of the country last summer, a bug hit my phone and made it unusable for the duration of my trip. If I had my phone updated, security settings could have combatted the bug.

        4. Look Into VoIP Options

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          You can stay connected with family and friends through VOIP, or Voice-Operated Internet Protocol, programs like Skype. They offer a free option if you contact other Skype users, and if you want to contact a landline while abroad, the cost is very minimal and cheaper than getting even an international phone. While it does depend on the strength of your Internet connection while away, this is a great option to have and chances are you’ll encounter an Internet cafe where you can find a good connection either for free or for a low cost.

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          5. Make Necessary Settings Changes

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            Before you depart, make a couple of changes to your settings. First off, go to the “Cellular” section and turn off Cellular data. This will prevent your phone from automatically connecting and incurring fees. Instead, ensure that WIFI is constantly on.

            This doesn’t mean you should connect to many WIFI connection you encounter, the chances are higher that some connections can be dangerous to connect to, but keeping it open allows you to always remember to connect when you encounter a safe and reliable connection like those in Internet Cafes. Additionally, in settings, by going to the Mail, Contacts, and Calendar section, turn “Push” and “Fetch” settings off. By now working on a manual setting, you’re iPhone won’t constantly search for emails, useful when your WIFI connection is a bit slow to begin with.

            Android users should go to Settings, then Data Usage to adjust settings for while they are abroad.

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            6. Locate Internet Cafes

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              Before departing, have a good list of internet cafes readily available. Especially if you aren’t saying at a internationally renowned hotel, this list will allow you to know where you can access the internet nearby. Additionally, even if you are staying at a top notch or American-owned hotel, chances are high that they are up-charging you on daily internet access. Lastly, having a well researched list will allow you to have a safe place to surf the web no matter which part of town you are in. Websites like Cybercafes.com can connect you to great internet cafes wherever you find yourself.

              7. Keep an Off-line Version of Everything

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                Lastly, before you depart, make sure you have an offline version of important documents, including your itinerary, Passport, identification, hotel reservation and flight information. This is important not only for safety, but it reduces the reasons to have to go online when referring back to this information. Back home, you may have the luxury to go to an airline’s websites on a whim for information. In a foreign country, this may require a little more work on your part.

                With the aforementioned tips, I hope you are able to enjoy your summer vacation and keep your wallet happy too. Let us know in the comments below where you’ll be headed to this summer. Don’t forget to check out my article on 23 Awesome Hacks Everyone Should Know.

                Featured photo credit: Huffington Post via i.huffpost.com

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                Published on November 9, 2018

                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                • Microsoft Excel
                • Microsoft Access
                • Statistics
                • Data Analytics
                • Adobe Campaign
                • Quickbooks
                • XML Database management system
                • Filemaker Pro
                • MATLAB
                • Hive
                • FORTRAN
                • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                • SAS

                2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                • Content Management System (CMS)
                • Google Analytics
                • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                • Email Marketing
                • Web Page Design
                • WordPress
                • Digital Media
                • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                • Campaign Management Software

                3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                • Adobe Photoshop
                • Adobe InDesign
                • Adobe Illustrator
                • AutoCAD
                • CorelDRAW
                • Microsoft Visual Studio
                • Maya
                • Microsoft Word
                • Microsoft Publisher
                • Operating Digital Cameras

                4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                • HTML
                • C/C++
                • Java
                • Python
                • XML
                • UI/UX
                • LINUX
                • CISC and RISC architecture
                • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                • Memory Management
                • PCB Layout
                • SQL

                5. IT Troubleshooting

                Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                • Backup management
                • Diagnostics
                • End User support
                • Client-Server management
                • Installation and configuration
                • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                • System administration
                • Tech support

                6. Enterprise Systems

                Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                2. Rule the Social Media World

                a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                b. Canva Design School

                From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                2. Work on Your Efficiency

                Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                3. Look for Shortcuts

                Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                4. Apply for an Internship

                Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                The Bottom Line

                Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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