10 Tips to Prepare Your Smartphone for Leaving the Country

Be it for business, a relaxing vacation or to attend an event, traveling abroad is an inevitable aspect of everyone’s life. You should be thankful that technology has come such a long way that you no longer have to worry about exorbitant international call rates or being unable to find your way in a new city.

Prepare Your Smartphone for Leaving the Country

Smartphones are much smarter these days as they can handle the varying power output used in the United Statesand the rest of the world. The standard GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) phones also allow you to easily swap in a new SIM card in any country so that you could make calls at much lower rates.

Then, there’s the ever reliable Wi-Fi connection to allow you to browse the web and send messages. Before you board the plane, make sure to follow the tips provided in here to enjoy a hassle traveling experience while staying connected at all times.

1. Understand How Your Phone Works

The first and foremost thing that you should do is understand how your phone works. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) phones are usually locked to the carrier and may not allow you to swap a new SIM card. GSM phones, however, do support it and you may have to request your cellular provider to unlock it in case you are using it on a contract and yet to pay the phone’s value in full.

2. Modify Your Plan

Never ever hesitate to modify your cellular plan before you begin your trip. A common mistake most individuals make is that they assume they can pay more when the bills arrive, but it’s not as simple as that. You can either consider buying an international roaming package or avail any offers provided by your cellular provider.

If none of these works, rent a phone or borrow a smartphone in which you could use your destination country’s local SIM card—especially if you’re going to stay for longer periods of time in the new location.

3. Make Sure to Backup All Contacts to Google

If you are using an Android phone, which is currently the most common operating system worldwide, never forget to backup all your data to your Google account. Just in case you lose your phone or are unable to gain access to it, you can login to your Google account from any computer and retrieve a list of phone numbers so as to make a call. You can also make backups of your photos.

4. Prepare a Gadget Pack

While the concept might sound very nerdy and most people will try to shy away from going all-out, you should assemble a gadget pack for yourself while you’re traveling. Buy an additional charger so that you don’t lose your primary charger provided with your phone. Carry them both as it might come in handy.

You can also buy a battery charger pack (which is unbelievably cheap these days) and keep it ready when the situation demands. Add some additional accessories, such as phone cases, clips and microfiber cleaning cloths.

5. Don’t Forget to Turn Off Data

Using data while roaming is the main reason why people end up spending a lot on their bills once they’re back home.

Make sure you turn off the feature that says“data roaming” and also disable your phone’s data connection as you willmost likely not need it while on the flight. You can always switch it back on in the new country once you have changed your SIM card to a local one or your international plan has already kicked in.

6. Save IMEI Number and Keep a Backup

There are many ways to lock your phone remotely using Apple’s account ID features or Google’s Find My Phone tool. Apart from these, note down your IMEI number so that you can provide it to your service provider and the police in case your phone gets stolen.

Always have a backup phone. You can find your IMEI number by dialing *#06# on your smartphone.

7. Download Entertainment and Maps Offline

As already mentioned, data charges are much higher when compared to what service providers charge you for making phone calls and sending messages. If you use a lot of Netflix or Hulu on the go, download your favorite episodes. It also helps when you have really bad Wi-Fi in your hotel room.

Downloading maps offline is another important resource you can take advantage of. You can consider downloading some additional apps such as an itinerary app, a language translator and other handy tools that might make your travel easier in a foreign land.

8. Scan Your Important Documents

Being in a completely new place for several days may sound very intimidating especially when you are carrying all your important documents with you at the same time. Use a good scanner app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to scan all your important documents such as your passport, personal identification card and your flight tickets.

You can continue doing the same by taking photos of your hotel room number or airport parking lot if you want to reach there again with minimal guidance from the locals.

9. Free up Storage Space or Buy a New SD Card

With fickly internet connection in most tourist locations such as mountainside or rural areas, you might find yourself in a tricky position. You have to suddenly delete some of the photographs you took a couple of days ago because your phone storage is already full.

Make the most out of your memorable time by freeing up your storage space. You can do so by uploading your existing photos to the cloud or consider buying a new SD card to accommodate all your travel photographs.

10. Activate a Virtual Private Network Service

When traveling abroad, the internet connection is one of the most dangerous aspects as you could lose access to your personal data, or someone could upload malware when you are using a public Wi-Fi connection. A free VPN app should do the trick. Download and install it. You can be at ease when it is protecting your data by encryption, but avoid using public Wi-Fi connections whenever possible and use a data plan provided by your SIM card provider.

Author Bio: Sophie is a marketing specialist at Security Gladiators. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is specialized in tech and cybersecurity. When she is not behind the screen, Sophie can be found playing with her dog.

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