I've traveled over 10,000 miles on the open road — after technology failed me, I'll never make these 3 mistakes again

  • As a seasoned traveler, I always felt ready for road trips — but on each trip, tech failed me.

  • I now print directions now and travel with extra car-key fobs.

  • Planning for mishaps provides more enjoyment and saves me hours of frustration.

AI can plan travel itineraries and Apple AirTags can track luggage — but tech and travel aren't always a foolproof combination when it comes to road trips.

After driving 10,000 miles around the US over the last several years, I've learned a few critical tech lessons the hard way.

Here are the backup solutions I now put in place before leaving home — and why you might want to try them if you're traveling anytime soon.

A spare car key is now essential for all road trips

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, I hopped in my SUV to travel to Fort Myers, Florida. I felt prepared to leave Minneapolis outfitted with the essentials — N95 masks, hand sanitizer, a flashlight, mace, and a full gas tank.

But when stopping for fuel 600 miles away from home, with 1,100 miles remaining, "Key battery low, replace soon" appeared on my car's display.

I didn't bring my spare smart key fob, let alone a flathead screwdriver or a replacement battery. Before turning to the internet to look for solutions, I called my car salesperson, who explained how to start the vehicle if the fob died.

Fortunately, I didn't have to get to that point because a nearby dealership was able to change the battery for me.

To save myself a headache, I now travel with two extra fobs, a screwdriver, and batteries. But if you're in a pinch, many auto shops and big-box stores sell the batteries commonly used in fobs and the screwdriver needed to replace them.

I make plans for when smart locks on rentals aren't so smart

When traveling to Dallas, my youngest and I arrived at our Airbnb and discovered the smart-lock entry code didn't work.

We texted our host, who was able to get us inside the rental, but technology failed again when we had to leave for an appointment. The smart lock wouldn't let us lock the door.

We left the condo unlocked and hoped our belongings wouldn't be stolen. Later, the owner brought a physical key for us and hid it in an inconspicuous spot.

Now, before booking a vacation rental, I ask about the lock system. If it's a smart lock, I ask for a contingency plan in case the tech isn't so bright.

I print directions in case my phone dies, or I lose service

Person reading map in car
I like to have physical maps in my car just in case.Maskot/Getty Images

I've relied on Google Maps to set my route and add fun stops on trips, such as a dog park for my pup. However, when my phone unexpectedly died on an unfamiliar highway recently, I felt lost without as much as an old-fashioned map.

Keeping a spare phone charger and battery pack with you is a good idea, but if that fails or you enter a true dead zone, it helps to have extra resources.

Printing out maps, directions, and alternate routes offers me extra peace of mind, especially when I'm traveling solo.

Read the original article on Business Insider