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Taking Your Smart Phone Abroad: What You Need to Know


It’s rare for people to be without their smartphones these days. Even the most sophisticated phones are inexpensive enough now to be owned by almost anybody, and they’ve become almost a way of life for many people. It’s hard to imagine that there are places where your smartphone might not work, but these places definitely exist, especially if you are traveling abroad.

As long as you remain in your own country, your smartphone should work just fine. However, you may run into some problems if you travel to another country. Strangely enough, people don’t always understand this. They take for granted that their phones will work perfectly wherever they may be. If you own a smartphone and want to take it with you when you travel to a foreign country, here are a few tips that should help make the experience a little smoother.

Make Sure Your Phone will Work in the Country You’re Visiting

If traveling to a country without a smartphone is going to be a problem for you, you’ll want to make sure your phone will work there. Go online to your provider’s website and find out if your phone will work where you are going. Call your provider if you can’t find this information online. Either way, the information is easy enough to come by, so there’s no reason to be caught by surprise if you travel to a country where you won’t get service.

If you are traveling to a country where you won’t be getting service, some phone companies will ship you a new phone that can be used in that country. You may even be able to keep your SIM card, your phone number, and all your contacts, so all that will happen is that you will have a new phone with all the data from your old one.

Back Up Your Files

Smartphones are basically miniature computers, and one of the most common pieces of advice when traveling with a computer is to make sure that you have a backup for all your files, emails, and contacts. A lot can happen to your smartphone whether you are traveling across the country or across the ocean. Make sure you have a backup of all your files in the cloud in case your phone gets lost or damaged.

Be Careful of Automatic Roaming

Roaming charges can get expensive, and many smartphones and tablets that run on 3G networks will automatically switch to data roaming when they travel. This is a convenient feature if you want to stay connected all the time, but if you don’t you should switch off the automatic roaming feature to save some money on your bill.

Download Maps Before You Go Too Far

Just about all smartphones have map and GPS apps available, and they can be lifesavers if you are in an unfamiliar place. When you are staying in a foreign country, make sure you download all the map and GPS information you may need before exploring. Do it while you’re still in your hotel, the airport or another central location that is at least sort of familiar to you. The last thing you need is to be lost in a country that is strange to you.

Trent Wallace is accustomed to bringing his smartphone and other gadgets abroad, and enjoys being able to access various mapping services while in foreign locales.


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