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Travel Tips: Top Things to Know When Traveling Overseas with Your Phone

Posted by Cameron Parker on

Finally, time for some R&R! You got your best swimming outfit packed up. Favourite books for reading while sipping that tasty Pina Colada by the beach are also in tow. Oh, and don’t forget that hot black dress for that night out on the town and of course!

There is one tiny-teeny thing to remember, if you’re on a mobile plan, it’s best to be careful when using (or even bringing) your phone internationally.

Here are the best travel tips to keep in mind when bringing your favourite iPhone or Android device overseas with you.


Know what your options are by calling your provider.

Yes, before even typing any of your credit card info on that reservation, call your mobile provider first. Find out what are the possible charges if ever you take your phone with you.

Certain carriers actually offer international calling plans that you can use. There are also carriers that temporarily place your service on suspension while you’re out of the country so there’s no problem with incurring charges. Either way it's best to call them first so you have all the details and they know where you are travelling too. 

Make sure to find that data roaming switch and TURN IT OFF!

When you visit or give your mobile provider a call, it would be a good time to ask them to turn off data roaming or ask them how so you can do it yourself manually if possible.  These will help minimize the possibility of accidentally racking up charges.

This is how to do it on an iPhone 5 with iOS 7. Go to SETTING > CELLULAR > CELLULAR DATA > OFF. 

When overseas, make sure to just use the Wi-Fi at the hotel or airport.

If you need to use the Internet on your phone or device, it’s best to ask for the Wi-Fi password in the hotel or place you’re staying at. In most cities there are generally lots of Starbucks and McDonalds so try one of them if you're out and about. Or use the WiFi Finder app which can help locate free and paid WiFi hotspots. 

Grab an additional SIM before leaving the country.

This might be helpful for those who have plans of using their phone while overseas. There are SIM cards for sale that includes various data plans that can be used internationally. Check out companies like GoSIM & TravelSIM who specialise in international SIM cards. If you don't get one before you leave just head to a local Mobile provider when you land (sometimes there are shops at the airport). Most have a cheap pre-paid SIM card options you can buy with a bit of data and the option to make local calls. Just remember to make sure your phone isn't locked to your home carrier before leaving! 

Find out if there is an app that can help you minimise data plan costs.

A little research online can help lead you to a reliable apps like Onavo or Data Usage, which helps you keep track of your data usage avoiding additional surcharges. For example, if you purchased a bolt on package from your mobile provider you can set the amount of data you have to use within the app and it can alert you when getting close to using it up. 

Switch your voicemail OFF. 

Most phones will incur charges if you end up receiving voicemail while out of the country so make sure that the voicemail function in your device is switched off. Or update your message so it lets people know you're currently overseas and you can be contacted via email etc. 

Stay in touch with these Apps. 

Skype, WhatsApp & Viber are just a few apps which help you keep in touch with friends by using WiFi. Of course you always have the Facebook chat function. 

Never get lost with Google Maps. 

When you arrive in a new location connect to WiFi as soon as you can and then open Google Maps. Pinch and zoom around as much as you can picking up all the areas you're likely to explore. By doing this you're downloading the information to the phone. It will temporarily stay there even when you disconnect from WiFi. Now while you walk around you can still use Google Maps and the inbuilt GPS system with your iPhone to ensure you don't get lost. 

How much does this bag cost?

Download XE Currency app. This way you'll always have an idea on what you're paying when compared to your local currency. It's a great way to avoid being ripped off. 

All your travel plans at your finger tips. 

It's hard to carry around all your paper travel records with you so why not download Dropbox to store them in the Cloud or email the itinerary to Tripit? Tripit keeps track of your upcoming and past flights, for free, and with the purchase of the $49 yearly premium Tripit Pro version, will track your miles and fare refunds too. The app documents your entire itinerary, right in your phone. The best thing of all is there is no data entry as it's all automatically added when you simply email the itinerary to a special email address! 

Lastly, the travel Bible. 

When in doubt just ask TripAdvisor. This app will give you user generated reviews to ensure you have all the tips and tricks to making the most out of your stay. 

These are just a few things to keep in mind when bringing your Android or iPhone overseas. Hopefully these travel tips will help save you money and time!

In the meantime, you can’t travel without dressing up your precious phone now, can you? Check out our travel themed phone cases under the I'm Lost collection. There is even a phone case with the New York Subway map on it! We also have a ton of new designs so check out our latest page. 

Bon Voyage

Cam x

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1 comment

  • Buy a local prepaid sim too if it’s possible! Especially if travelling to lesser developed countries its sooo cheap and if you’re travelling with people you’ll always have a way to connect, and also, you’ll always have internet :p

    BMc on

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