Using your phone overseas requires more planning than you might think. Here are some handy tips on how to make sure your phone is ready to travel the world with you.
1. Formulate a plan to avoid roaming charges
Whilst you are on the phone with your network provider, ask about the costs associate with using your mobile phone overseas. You need to find out how much they will charge you to send or receive text messages and phone calls, as well as costs of transmitting data.
In most cases, you can make significant cost savings by using a low cost mobile broadband package that includes international data. For example, if you order a SIM card from Mobi-data, they will provide you with a free SIM card with 100MB of complementary data. Their packages are competitively priced and will give you online access in 40 countries.
2. Download the apps you will need abroad
There are many apps on the market that are specifically designed to help with your travels. Timeout provides a comprehensive list if you would like to take a look. Entrepreneur is another great site to check out. A few of the most popular tech tools for staying in touch include:
Viber, to make phone calls
Google Hangout and Skype, to video chat
Tumblr, to share your journey through blog posts
Touchnote, to create electronic greeting cards using photos from your trip
3. Find out whether your phone will work abroad.
Believe it or not, even the latest phones will not necessarily work overseas. This is because different countries use different frequencies to transmit signals, so in order for your phone to work in your travel destination, it needs to use the same frequency bands as those being used in your place of travel.
Checking the frequency bands of your phone can be done easily by looking at your user manual. For an idea of what types of phones will work in which countries, you can contact your network provider.
4. Pack useful accessories
Aside from headphones and a microphone that plugs into your device, you may also want to consider bringing with you:
A solar charger, if you are travelling to a remote location where access to electricity could be an issue
Chargers and adaptors
Portable batteries or a spare battery
Spare memory card
Tough casing, especially if your trip involves outdoor adventures
5. Download entertainment
You could be stuck in a plane, train or a bus with nothing to help you pass the time. It is therefore wise to consider your entertainment needs throughout your trip and download accordingly. You could enjoy music, films, a TV series, podcasts, digital magazines, ebooks and of course, games.
It might seem a lot to think about and do, but taking the time to prepare your phone for your journey will save you from resorting to payphones and internet cafes, as well as giving you hours of joy whilst abroad.