Using your phone to stay connected wherever you travel… a quick guide to the DO’s and DON’Ts!

by Jules on March 24, 2014

Are you planning to use your phone abroad while you are on holiday?  Here are some tips to ensure you don’t come back with a hefty phone bill or a broken device!

Travelling Do’s with your phone:

  • Do decide what you will use your phone for and how often when you are abroad.  Are you using it for business or personal purposes?  Will you mainly send text messages or will you make voice calls as well?  What about checking your emails, updating statuses and uploading pictures on social media?  Do you also want to utilise your phone’s GPS capabilities?
  • Do use free Wi-Fi hotspots whenever possible.  Many hotels, cafes and libraries offer access to their network for free.
  • Do check information regarding international dialling codes so that you can make calls without any glitches from abroad.
  • Do check with your current mobile phone carrier to make sure you can access their network from your holiday destination. If your current mobile phone company charges roaming fees for using their internet services abroad, do look into alternative mobile broadband data providers such as Mobi-Data (click the link to jump to their homeage).  They provide domestic as well as international coverage in over 40 countries.
  • Do ask your carrier if they offer any international calling plans and if so, how many minutes, texts and how much internet data usage are included.
  • Do consider downloading applications such as Fring, Skype and Viber onto your phone. These applications allow their users to access text messaging services, as well as make and receive voice calls and even video calls.   There is a great article on instant messaging apps when abroad here.
  • Do keep track of your phone and data use while abroad to keep a handle on the costs.
  • Do carry a list of phone numbers for emergency services with you.
  • Do consider backing up your photos and any important data stored on your phone before you travel.  You may even wish to consider backing up data whilst on the road.

Travelling Don’ts with your phone:

  • Don’t travel without checking the electric socket shapes used in your travel destination.  Buy a plug adaptor before travel if necessary.  Don’t assume your accommodation will have spare adaptors.
  • Don’t try to charge your battery abroad without checking whether the voltage provided by local power outlets is supported by your device.
  • Don’t wait until you are abroad before downloading useful applications you will need on your smartphone, tablet or laptop devices.  Google Talk, Skype, FaceTime and Google Maps are just some applications that might come in handy.
  • Don’t forget confidentiality and security issues if you are using your device for business purposes, you never know who might be listening or watching!

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