A Guide to Netflix This Fourth of July Weekend: Summer Travel Hacks
Here's what you should know about streaming Netflix this Independence Day.
Meara IsenbergAssociate Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
July 4th lands on an ordinary weekday this year, so you might be planning to extend the weekend and pack it with sun-soaked activities, family time or a Netflix marathon.
To help you make the most of the streaming service during the holiday weekend, we've compiled the best tips, such as how to download a newly released show and how to use hidden codes to find the perfect thing to watch. You can also access Netflix if you're traveling far from home, but the path to streaming might be slightly bumpier than you remember. Here are a few summer-friendly hacks that'll help you enjoy the service this season.
According to Netflix, travelers should find it easy to use the streaming service on their phones, tablets or laptops or when signing in on a new TV. We found that some extra steps might be involved if you want to stream Netflix while vacationing this holiday.
Trying to watch Netflix on a TV outside your home could lead to a screen saying the device "isn't part of the Netflix Household for this account." To get back to streaming, you'd need to select I'm Traveling from the on-screen options and choose to send a temporary access code to the account owner's email address. One of our editors encountered this pop-up while on vacation.
What about traveling far, far away? Netflix notes that watching outside of the country you signed up in can temporarily influence your TV and movie lineup (as some programs may be on a different service overseas). It also isn't guaranteed you'll be able to watch something you've downloaded. Some travelers may not be able to access Netflix if they have the ad-supported plan and it isn't offered in that particular country.
Reminder: Log out of Netflix after a trip
Have you ever signed in to a streaming account on a device at a vacation rental and then forgotten about it until you were home? Netflix lets you log out of a device even if you're nowhere near it.
Here's how you can do it from a web browser: Hover over your profile icon, located near the top right of your Netflix homepage, and select Account. Under Security & Privacy, you'll see the option Manage access and devices.
This is where you'll find a list of recently active signed-in devices, along with a sign out button for each one.
Pro tip: If you want to avoid using the hotel or rental property's TV to stream Netflix, bring your own streaming stick with you. It's easy to connect a Fire TV Stick or Roku device to the TV at your Airbnb.
Netflix is releasing some notable movies and shows to coincide with the national holiday. The streamer premiered season 3 of The Witcher on June 29 and graphic novel adaptation Nimona on June 30. A second season of Is It Cake?, hosted by Saturday Night Live's Mikey Day, is available from June 30. (The first season didn't satisfy my palate, so here are some reality shows you can watch instead). Finally, Tom Segura's fifth comedy special, Sledgehammer, arrives on July 4, and if you want to go the extra mile, the Wham documentary hits on July 5.
It should be mentioned that the ad-based subscription doesn't allow downloads, but you can play Netflix's free games on your mobile device. If you have an ad-free subscription, click downloads after opening the app to learn which TV shows or movies are available to stream offline. Select individual episodes or films to download, and enjoy. Android users have the option to download an entire season with one click.