Are you traveling abroad with your smartphone? You’ll want to rethink how and when to use your phone. We’ve covered you with smart tips for traveling abroad with your phone!
Our article is about keeping your life private and unobstructed, as well as safe from hackers and theft when you go across the pond with your smartphone. Practical tips that will help you travel far and wide without worry!
Get ready for that trip across the pond with your smartphone and our tips!
Sending my daughter overseas for travel without me accompanying her has been a true challenge. I pride myself on being an accomplished world traveler. My organizational and planning skills help me easily navigate my passport to travel. For most, going from the USA and traveling abroad with your smartphone is a different experience than you might expect on many levels.
So sending my daughter off to travel internationally, I needed to explain my methods, tips, and tricks to her. Over the last week, I have focused on traveling abroad with my smartphone and staying safe while using the phone. More often than not, smartphone use across the pond has been a gray travel area.
Smartphone usage charges can be exorbitant, or the other thing about traveling across the pond with your smartphone is that it might not work at all. Therefore, I gave her 6 smart tips for traveling abroad with her smartphone. I believe these tips can help everyone, not just my daughter.
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Tips For Traveling Abroad With Your Smartphone
I remember traveling abroad a while back, and my biggest concern was my passport and the camera around my neck. Of course, there was the fact that I had to wear one of those unfashionable ‘fanny packs’ to tote my personal belongings around in so I did not have to worry about being out and about and at risk for theft.
There are common mistakes many make when traveling abroad with your smartphone, and we don’t want you to make those as well.
Quick Useful Tips: Across The Pond With Your Smartphone
Get prepared before you hop across the pond with your smartphone; we will help you do this!
- Check with your carrier to see if there is a service where you spend your time with your page. If you still need an international calling or data plan, you may need an international calling or data plan.
- Download any apps you might need before you leave, such as a currency converter or a destination map.
- Ensure you have a backup of all your essential data in case you lose your phone while traveling.
- Keep your phone and an extra power bank if you can’t find a place to charge your phone.
- Be aware of the local culture regarding the use of phones in public. In some countries, using your phone in restaurants or public transportation is considered rude.
But wait, there’s more; those are just a few tips; we want to help you when you are across the pond with your smartphone, so keep reading!
1. Don’t Get Scammed Or Scanned ????
You must get through the airport before your overseas trip begins. This travel phase is a hassle until you sit in and fasten those plane seatbelts. Don’t get scammed or scanned before you have ever taken off.
Get a bag that offers an RFID pocket. This RFID pocket will block your device’s information and keep your info safe. Additionally, store your Credit Cards, ID cards, and passport in there, especially if your Passport has a chip on it. You can not risk being ‘duped’ or stealing your cc’s numbers when you travel; you need your money and identity.
2. Airplane Mode is your BFF ????
Once you get on your international flight, it is time to kick your phone into gear. You need to turn the phone on airplane mode and let it be there for the duration of the trip. While this may seem like the best solution, there are issues with airplane mode too!
Yes, you can use your phone in airplane mode if you have WiFi to connect (from Safari, etc). Still, background apps could potentially update, refresh, and this can cause billing issues when you come back home!
Instead, when you are across the pond with your smartphone:
- Turn off CELLUAR Data
- Turn off Roaming
- Keep your phone in Airplane mode.
- Get A VPN (to use WiFi as needed)
- Get an eSim card
Again, A VPN is important when traveling across the pond with your smartphone, and we share this a bit more below so you can understand what it is and why it is helpful.
Quick VPN Overview
What is a VPN? It’s a private network that allows users to connect to a server via the Internet. Businesses use VPNs to allow employees to connect to their work network from home or while traveling. (more on business and employee smartphone safety below, keep reading)
The VPN creates a secure and encrypted tunnel from your device to the chosen VPN server. Your internet traffic routes through this tunnel, so your data is protected from snoopers and hackers. In addition, a VPN can help bypass internet censorship and geo-restrictions.
Using the VPN requires both a username and a password. Some VPN providers also offer two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds an extra layer of security to keep you safe from hackers.
Once logged in, you can choose which server to connect to. Depending on your needs, you can connect to a server in your home or nearby country, allowing you to access websites and services only available in that country.
Business Travel: Across the Pond With Your Smartphone
To keep this post relevant to tourists and employees that travel abroad, here is a quick set of tips to help your business or the business you work for keep your phone and information on it safe and secure as you travel abroad with your smartphone.
Employees, Smartphones, and Safety: while the rules don’t change much for keeping a smartphone safe if you send an employee abroad on a business trip, do take a few extra precautions as your business is then vulnerable as well (to the point that WiFi is used or a phone) Think of this as the same thing as giving your employees ID cards for security purposes and access to the office, these tips will keep your infrastructure safe when they are working on your company smartphones.
As mentioned above, if you are sending your employees across the pond for work, there are a few ways to provide safety and security to their company phones and your company’s business when using the internet, which parallels most of this post.
- VPN – provide one
- Send the employee with an unlocked phone and change the SIM Card (our favorite, but still use all the other precautions listed here)
- Make sure tracking is on the phone.
- Require the user (or use) not to use WiFi (unless within the company worksite).
- Enable Face ID and Pin Codes to open the phone (double up on security)
3. Say No To Butt Pockets ????
So if you have decided to tote your phone around your international vacation area, this is a big thing to remember. Do not store your smartphone in the butt pocket of your jeans if you do plan on saying ‘hello to pickpocketing’ or theft. Think of going across the pond with your smartphone the same way you might use it when you are in the streets of NYC on a very busy day!
If you carry your phone, keep it on your person, upfront, and center in your hands or on your cross-body bag’s strap. You need to keep your smartphone close to you, where you can see it, not where others can see it when you are across the pond with your smartphone.
The chance that someone could steal it leaves your private information on that phone at risk for identity theft, hacking, etc. Therefore, say no to butt pocket storage and smartphones.
4. Le Distraction: Across the Pond With Your Smartphone
While discussing smartphone storage and saying no to butt pockets as optimal storage for smartphones, let’s talk about ‘le distraction.’ What is Le Distraction? It is known as tourism and sightseeing and taking photos.
Before you live behind the smartphone camera in awe of how beautiful this building is, the beach, or the cobblestone roads, get focused; I do not mean focus on the camera; I mean on the area you are in. Perhaps you are staring at a quaint side street with built-in restaurants or a horse trotting down the main square.
Keep yourself self-aware of your surroundings at all times. Phones and belongings are always at risk when you are not paying attention to them, so be mindful of your stuff. Do not fall victim to ‘Le Distraction.’
5. Back Up On The Go ????
Did you read that too? Ha, if you read that and thought it said, ‘Don’t get backed up on the go,’ this article is NOT about keeping your body on a good schedule, lol!
Instead, about keeping new stuff updated on your phone. Let’s get into this just briefly. You see something you love, and your first thought is photographing it. Go ahead after you have ensured that nothing is around your area (le distraction). Now that you have captured about 10 photos of what you needed one of, you can move on.
But, be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks to access your email or other sensitive data. These networks are often not safe and secure, so it’s best to use a VPN. While it is a great idea to back up your photos, using public WiFi is not good unless you have a VPN.
Do This Each Day Instead Before You Leave Your “Home Base”
- Backup your photos each Day when you return to your home base (via your VPN) or the WiFi in your Airbnb, etc.
- Delete ALL backed-up photos off your phone once they are in the cloud, DropBox, Google Photos, etc.
- Get a
Anytime you hit WiFi, back up your device’s images (to Google Photos, DropBox, etc.). Clear those images off your phone so you can keep doing what you are best at while traveling, ‘being a tourist’ and capturing a whole new world.
The Disadvantages of WiFi: Traveling Abroad With Your Smartphone
WiFi is one of those mixed bags: it’s great until it’s not! You’ve already learned about a VPN, so this information won’t shake you too bad, but it is worth a quick skim to convince you further to get a VPN.
Is WiFi a smart way to stay connected while traveling?
There are risks associated with using WIFI Abroad, so consider these first!
- WiFi can be a security risk because connecting to it publicly leaves you open up to hacking. Someone else on the web could access sensitive information on your device (like your banking information).
- WiFi can be slow when trying to stream, save, or download files, which leads to your phone battery draining faster than you want it to.
- WiFi can be expensive. Many hotels and cafes charge for access to their WiFi, so it can be pretty costly to stay connected while traveling.
- WiFi can be unreliable. Public WiFi networks are often overloaded and can be completely unavailable at times.
- WiFi can be a drain on your battery. WiFi can quickly drain your device’s battery if you must be more careful.
So, there are some things to consider before using WiFi while traveling. Weigh the risks and benefits to see if it’s right for you.
6. Apps for Texting and Calling across the Pond With Your Smartphone
You can download helpful apps to get texting variations and phone calls from international to the US. So, here are a few that I have rounded up, used, or learned about from friends.
There are the following for texting; each is similar but while traveling abroad with your smartphone, you need to identify the one you are most comfortable with
You can check out the differences, but this is your springboard for handling calls and texting.
Using these 6 tips should have you and your smartphone traveling smarter! Enjoy your travels, keep your phone close, and capture those images to share, snap, and IG! ~ DANAXO.