How to Get Your Smartphone Ready for International Travel
Traveling is a unique experience that has become more accessible than ever. Visiting a foreign country is cheaper, faster, and safer than before, but that doesn’t mean that international travel doesn’t require special care. Before discovering a new place, preparing as much as possible is important.
Almost no one can imagine living without a cell phone in their hometown anymore, but the smartphone is even more important if you are abroad. To explore a new country without fear of losing your cell phone or being a victim of hacking attacks, it is advisable to follow the tips listed below.
1. Find out about data roaming
Data roaming costs vary from country to country, so it’s essential to find out before you travel. Data roaming is especially expensive in countries like Canada, Egypt, and China. But there are many other places where using smartphone data can cost a small fortune. To avoid surprises, check with your cellular provider and find out in detail the roaming costs of the country you are going to visit.
If this is impossible, avoid unnecessary costs by purchasing a temporary SIM after arriving at your destination. Another alternative is to disable the data on your cell phone while you are abroad.
2. Install a VPN
Your smartphone contains sensitive data, important documents (like plane tickets and hotel reservations), and private videos and photos. You may need to connect to some public Wi-Fi networks when traveling abroad. Installing a VPN is the best way to protect your smartphone against these threats.
With a VPN, you can change the location of your cell phone’s IP address to “return” to your homeland. If you are in China and want to access Google Maps, for example, you only have to change your IP location to use your smartphone as if you were at home. Prepare in advance and look out for some great VPN Black Friday deals, as most VPN providers offer lower prices at the year’s biggest sale.
3. Activate cell phone tracking technology
Losing your smartphone in a foreign country: Can you imagine a worse scenario? Fortunately, cell phone tracking technology allows you to find your smartphone more easily.
To be able to use this technology outside our home, simply activate “Search iPhone” at icloud.com (if you have an iPhone) or “Find My Device” at google.com/android/find (if you have an Android smartphone).
This technology allows you to trigger an alarm or receive a message with the GPS location of your cell phone in case of loss or theft. It’s an extra security layer that shouldn’t be ignored before a trip abroad.
4. Buy a power bank
A power bank is a portable charger capable of charging your devices autonomously between 300 and 1,000times (depending on the range and price). If your cell phone ran out of battery while abroad, it’s easy to see why you should buy a power bank before traveling.
In addition to being very convenient to charge your smartphone on any occasion, a power bank can also save your day in a tight moment. Run out of battery and have no idea how to get back to your hotel? Don’t worry; justtake the power bank, and you can use the GPS without worries.
5. Install useful apps before traveling
Downloading apps from the Google Store or Apple Store in a foreign country can be complicated due to data roaming limitations and possible geoblocks. A VPN can be very useful in both situations, but the best thing is to prepare your phone’s applications before you get on the plane.
Before traveling, consider all the apps you will need. If your hometown has Uber and the country you are going to visit only has Bolt, for example, download the Bolt app.
Other convenient apps include Google Translate, Airbnb, Booking, SkyScanner, or other similar alternatives. Tospend your free time, games or music streaming apps (such as Spotify or Apple Music) are excellent options.
6. Buy a sturdy cell phone case
A regular cell phone case may not be enough on a trip abroad. You should purchase a sturdy cover that is a waterproof and shookproof. Whether in the stress of the airport, on the beach, on the river, in a big unknown city, or the middle of nature, a strong case can protect your smartphone against any unforeseen.
7. Download chat apps like WhatsApp
If you still don’t have WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, or another similar application on your smartphone, it’s time to go to the Store and download it.
When abroad, calling the family or other half can cost a real fortune. Fortunately, chat apps are top-rated and allow you to bypass the high international communication fees in most foreign countries.
Popular tourist destinations such as Greece, Mexico, and Hungary are among the most expensive countries to make international calls. Turkey, Italy, and Spain are the best countries to make international calls.