Published on April 8th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
How To Avoid Issues When Travelling & Using Your Smartphone
I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has practically become an additional limb. I’m lost without it. It’s how I keep in touch with colleagues, organise meetups with friends and I’m not ashamed to say that my Candy Crush score is pretty impressive…
I think this is why it’s so frustrating when you step off the plane at the beginning of your holiday to discover that your smartphone has effectively become a shiny brick. No internet access. No phone calls being made. Nothing.
We’ve put together these tips to ensure that your smartphone is just as effective when you’re off being a global explorer. After all, you need to let your mum know you’re okay somehow!
Ensure You Have Roaming Features & Be Aware Of Costs
If you’re travelling out of your home country, or even your area or state in some places, it’s vitally important to ensure your phone is set up for roaming. It’s easy to do and it only takes minutes.
As well as ensuring your phone itself is set up, you need to call your provider to check your contract allows roaming. I’d recommend finding out if they offer any packages or add-ons that will give you a cheaper deal. Cheaper deal = more money for exciting holiday things!
If you do these steps and find that your phone is just going to be too expensive or plain won’t work abroad, not all hope is lost. You could buy yourself a pay-as-you-go sim card for your phone from a local provider. It’ll work for the duration of your holiday and keep you connected when you need it.
Don’t Worry, Be App-y!
Ultimately, you go on holiday to explore new places and cultures. The last thing you want is to spend your time lost and confused! Your smartphone can be your key to getting around, seeing what’s on and avoiding any language barrier mishaps.
Sites like TripAdvisor are great for finding out which attractions you shouldn’t miss, as well as getting those important reviews from other travellers.
Uber and other taxi apps can be a lifesaver when you need a reliable way to get around and when it comes to paying the fare, translation apps can help you make sure everything runs smoothly.
If you’re keen to use travel apps like these, make sure you download them before you leave home. That way, you’ll avoid all the costly data charges that can occur abroad. Be like the Scouts – prepare!
Accessing Sites From Back Home
Holidays are great and all, but there are moments when your mind is drawn back to what’s going on at home. What if you want to catch up on that episode you missed last night? What if you need to get in touch with family? There might be that one news story you simply have to look at… right now!
One of the problems with accessing websites that you use regularly at home is that the country you visit on holiday might not have access to them. There’s a chance you’ll be faced with the dreaded ‘service unavailable’ message screen. It happens!
If you need to access these sites urgently, you can use a VPN – a Virtual Private Network – to trick your phone into thinking it’s at home. There are apps available to set these up and there are sites like this one that will tell you whether or not a VPN will work in your holiday spot.
Don’t despair! Being on holiday doesn’t mean you’re cut off from the world, unless that’s exactly what you wanted.
Chargers & Adaptors
I think this is the mistake I make the most often. I always forget to bring the right adaptor, even if I take my charger all the way from home. So I end up with the weight of my charger and the cost of my new overpriced charger/adaptor combo on my mind…
Sockets vary globally, so you need to make sure you check ahead of time and bring the right adaptor with you. Don’t make my mistakes!
Solar chargers are a great idea if you’re heading somewhere sunny. You don’t have to worry about adaptors, so you can use them pretty much anywhere. Just bear in mind that a winter holiday to Norway might not be the best fit for a solar charger!