How to use your Amazon Echo from home

Some of us are so used to having an Amazon Echo around us that the prospect of a few weeks without it while on vacation is reminiscent of tough travel.

Taking your Echo on vacation may seem intimidating at first. But we’ll give you the precise steps you need to set up and start using your Echo, just like you would at home.

Connect the Echo to the Wi-Fi away from home


The first step in setting up an Echo on a trip is to connect to your accommodation’s Wi-Fi network. You may need to pay for unrestricted access, so be sure to check with your accommodation provider before you begin setup.

1.  First, plug in your Echo and let it boot up. Then, open the Alexa app for iOS or Android. Make sure you have Bluetooth turned on.

2.  Tap Devices along the bottom and select your Echo device.

3.  Press the settings gear in the upper right corner.

4.  Then, tap Change next to the Wi-Fi network.

5.  The app will then ask you to press and hold the action button (circular button) on your device. Do this for 15 seconds and press Continue.

6.  The app will then search for devices that are in setup mode. Click on your device.

7.  Then it will start searching for Wi-Fi networks. When you’re done, click on the network for your accommodation. If you don’t see it, try choosing to rescan the network.

8.  Enter your Wi-Fi password and press Connect. Alexa will try to connect to the network.

9.  Once connected, the app will confirm the connection and Alexa will say, “Your (device) is ready.”

Change the position of your Echo

The next step is to set your location. If you want to ask about the weather, attractions or local Italian restaurants, it’s useless if the device is still set to your home address. Fortunately, changing your position is straightforward.

1.  Tap Devices along the bottom of the Alexa app, then select your device.

2.  Press the settings gear in the upper right corner.

3.  Scroll down and tap device location.

4.  Now, enter your accommodation address. If you are in a different country, be sure to change the country according to the “change” next to your home country.

5.  Click Save. Alexa may provide the most appropriate address suggestions; Select the one that works best.

Now, if you ask Alexa a location-sensitive question, it’ll use your current location to personalize your results.

Change the time zone of your Echo device


Now we need to change the time zone of your device, because unfortunately if you change the location of your device, the app will not automatically update the time zone. However, this can be found under the device location, so it is easy to do.

1.  Tap Devices along the bottom of the Alexa app, then select your device.

2.  Press the settings gear in the upper right corner.

3.  Scroll down and tap Time Zone.

4.  If necessary, change the region first. For example, if you’ve already gone to Australia, click Change next to your home region and scroll to find Australia.

5.  Now, select the time zone you’re in. If unsure, just Google “time zone in (current location).”

6.  To exit and save, press the back arrow in the top-left.

Now, any time-related skill or command will be fully functional.




Prevent unauthorized access to your Echo

The final step in preparing your device for out-of-office use is to prevent unauthorized access to your device. While it’s unlikely that someone will try to use your Echo without your knowledge, this can happen, so it’s best to take these simple precautions. You can find out other ways you can maintain your privacy when using Alexa at home or on the go.

Change Your Wake Word

The easiest step you can take is probably to change Alexa’s wake word. This means you don’t say “Alexa”, but “Amazon” or “Computer” or something like that. Most people are so familiar with the usual wake-up words that they wouldn’t suspect anything different.

1.  Tap Devices along the bottom of the Alexa app, then select your device.

2.  Press the settings gear in the upper right corner.

3.  Scroll down and click Wake Word.

4.  You’ll see a list of available wake words. Choose your favorite.

5.  Then, click the backward arrow to save your selection.

If you need to change it back, just revisit these settings and set it to “Alexa.”




Disable Voice Purchasing

While anyone accessing your Alexa device without your permission won’t be able to suddenly order themselves the latest iPhone to their address, it’s not worth risking the inconvenience should anything happen, so it’s advisable to switch off Alexa Voice Shopping.

1.  Tap the More tab along the bottom of the Alexa app.

2.  Press Settings, then Account Settings.

3.  Select Voice Purchasing then flick the toggle off.

4.  Alexa will confirm that you want to disable Voice Purchasing. Tap Yes.

Alexa Voice Shopping is now disabled. To re-enable, just follow the same steps and flick the toggle on.

Unplug or Hide Your Device

When you’re not in the room, the best thing to do is to unplug or hide your device. If you’re particularly worried, you can even take it away. Don’t worry about needing to set up your device again. Once you plug it back in, it will take about 30 seconds to restart and return to normal functionality.

Where Are You Going Next With an Amazon Echo?

Traveling with the Echo can be very useful. With all of its regular time-saving features, location-based skills, and speaker features, bringing Alexa on your next trip may add some much-needed simplicity to your vacation. Who knows, it could be your next travel buddy.