How to Make Good Use of Your Smartphone When Traveling Abroad

How to Make Good Use of Your Smartphone When Traveling Abroad

These days, people cannot seem to go anywhere without bringing their smartphones. And as much as you may try to condition yourself to limit your phone usage when abroad, admittedly, it’s quite hard to achieve. After all, you would definitely want to post a photo of the places you’ve been to on Instagram.

You’re ready to go and travel out of the country but you’ve put off finding out how you will have phone service when overseas. To maximize your smartphone usage without incurring huge costs, consider the following tips:

1. Get an international roaming plan

To enjoy this low-hassle solution without getting huge fees, make use of international roaming plans available with your service provider.

International roaming allows you to access the mobile network of the country you’re visiting while still getting charged through your service provider back home. This means you can stay in touch with family and friends back home, and not miss any important calls as they can still reach you on your mobile number.

Since you already have an international roaming plan, you can avoid using public phones or make expensive international calls. Contact your service provider before your departure date to avail of roaming services you can use in the country you’re traveling to.

2. Buy a local SIM

Phone service may be cheap in the country you’re visiting so take advantage of it and buy a local SIM once you arrive. Usually, kiosks that sell SIM cards can be seen at the airport right away. You can even ask for help from the clerks to install the SIM card for you.

3. Connect to Wi-Fi

The internet is quite useful especially if you’re traveling to a place you’ve never been to. It helps you not to get lost and search for the nearest best food places in the city if you’re famished. However, relying on your mobile data for internet access means you can incur huge fees.

To save on mobile data, connect to free Wi-Fi whenever possible. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, hotels and museums that offer it.

4. Stay safe with VPN

To make sure you enjoy safe browsing while connected to a Wi-Fi network, use a virtual private network (VPN) service.

This gives you a layer of online protection especially if you’re accessing sensitive data on the internet. There are many free VPN apps available at Google Play Store, but just make sure to download one before your flight.

5. Bring an adapter

You can’t get the most out of your phone if it’s low on energy. Be sure to choose a universal adapter or one that will work in the country you’re traveling to. Plugs differ in each country so check first what adapters you may need to bring.

You may also want to consider bringing a portable charger such as a power bank. This way, when you’re out taking pictures and sightseeing, you still get to keep your phone powered up.

6. Empty storage space

If you plan to take plenty of photos, make sure your phone’s storage is ready to handle it.

Clean up your storage space before you leave so that you don’t end up sacrificing and deleting old photos. Cloud storage is also a good option; however, you have to be connected to the internet to access it.

Turn off connections when not in use

Normally, as soon as you arrive in a foreign country, you will receive a notification that you’re not in your home country anymore. The notification will contain a message indicating that you may incur fees along with the rates in that country. To avoid getting roaming or data fees even if you are not actively using them, make sure to turn them off.

If you can manage not to use your phone when abroad, then you will have no problems avoiding related cell phone service fees.

However, if you feel like you need to check in with friends, family, and clients, the 6 tips above will come in handy. It’s definitely worth it to travel with a smartphone, but you have to be smart about your usage to avoid bill shock once you get home.


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