From listening to your favorite tunes to snapping selfies and, yes, even getting a bit of work done while outside the office, your phone has become an indispensable tool for daily living.
And now that you are planning your first trip abroad, you are wondering how you can get the most out of your device.
Whether you are traveling for business, pleasure, or a bit of both, here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your phone.
1. Make sure that you’ve got enough juice
One of the most important things that you need to know when you are planning to travel overseas is that electrical outlets will differ from country to country.
As such, you should do research well ahead of time to check whether your device’s charger is compatible with the outlets used in the country you are headed to. If not, you need to purchase one that is compatible.
Most of today’s chargers are capable of switching voltage, so that would not be much of an issue. However, it is a good idea to know your phone’s voltage, which is usually indicated on the back of the device.
If you are planning on buying a new charger, consider investing in a universal charger. If you are going sightseeing, you may also want to buy a portable charger.
2. Get your phone unlocked
When traveling abroad, the last thing that you want is a phone that’s not working in the country of your destination.
Unknown to some people, some devices do not work in all countries. Ideally, you should bring a quad band phone which will work in almost any country because it can operate in any GSM band. A tri-band phone may work in your destination, but make sure that you confirm it first.
If you are sure that you device can be used in the country you are visiting, go to your provider and have your phone unlocked. This will ensure that your phone can access the carrier in your destination.
3. Keep your device (and other belongings) safe
One of the worst places to keep your phone when traveling abroad is in the back pocket of your pants.
Keeping your phone in the back pocket can lead to inadvertently dialing one of your contacts, or worse, getting pickpocketed.
Instead of putting your phone in the back pocket of your pants, put it inside a small shoulder bag. Just make sure that you keep the bag positioned where you can easily see and access it.
Additionally, always be mindful of your surroundings. Do not leave your device unattended and be constantly aware of your surroundings, even in areas that you think may be harmless for tourists.
4. Keep your roaming charges at a minimum
If you do not want to rack up massive roaming charges while traveling, make sure that you compare and sign up for the best international roaming plan. Check what’s available and spend ample time researching before making a final choice.
Signing up for a highly rated international roaming plan will help keep costs down. But apart from that, there are a few other things that you can do to keep high costs at bay.
For starters, turn off data roaming, unless there is no available free Wi-Fi and it is absolutely necessary for you to go online. Otherwise, just wait until you find a free and secure connection.
Download the apps, music, movies, and e-books you want before traveling. This ensures that you reduce your roaming costs substantially and that your download is fast and smooth.
And speaking of apps, if there is an option to download one that works offline, choose that one over the other that needs to be connected to the Internet in order to be able to work.
5. There’s an app for that
What are the apps that can benefit travelers the most?
Consider downloading the app from your airlines. Some major airlines have their own apps that can be used for different things, including functioning as a boarding pass and sending flight updates.
Apps like Trivago and HotelTonight are useful for travelers looking for accommodations.
Need a reliable mode of transportation? Download Uber or its equivalent in the country you are going to.
Finally, take the guesswork out of currency conversion by downloading a currency calculator.
By following these simple tips, you are ready to face the joys and challenges of traveling abroad.
Azhar Abulhamayel is the Head of Marketing – National Segment and High Value at Zain KSA. The company was the first operator in the Middle East to commercially launch the 4G/LTE network. Zain serves +10M customers, has extended its network coverage to 94% of the population, and attracts thousands of new customers daily.