Ridiculous phone bills. Cracked screens. Water damage. Oh, the stresses that come with taking your phone abroad.
No one wants to come home from their summer holidays having just spent all their holiday money, only to shell out for a massive phone bill or a new phone.
So, before you go away this summer, make sure your phone is ready for the trip…
1. Budget for roaming charges
If you’re travelling within the EU, you won’t have to pay any roaming charges, including to places like Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
It’s called ‘roam like at home’ and you won’t be charged any extra for calls, texts or data usage (as long as you stay within your allowances). How much you’ll be charged if you go over these allowances will be up to your network operator.
Outside the EU, roaming charges apply as normal, and they can soon add up if you’re not careful. So, we suggest turning off your data roaming if you’re not going to be using it, that way you won’t accidentally use any data and come home to an unexpected bill. Most places have Wi-Fi these days anyway, so you shouldn’t be cut off from the rest of the world.
2. Seek out Wi-Fi wherever you go
It used to be that you would have to find a rare internet café to be able to use the Internet while abroad, but now you can find free Wi-Fi almost everywhere you go.
So, if you’re off out for a meal, just turn your data off and hang on until you arrive, and you’re bound to be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Remember though, these networks are public so we wouldn’t recommend using them to access any sensitive information like banking apps.
3. Take out phone and travel insurance
You might be thinking this is common sense, but it’s one of the things travellers often overlook. Travel Insurance is a cheap, affordable life-saver when you need it, so make sure to check your policy before you jet off.
Lots of good policies will have cover for your phone, but there are some that aren’t comprehensive and some that will rule it out entirely. It can all be very confusing, so we recommend you have specific cover for your phone which includes overseas travel to avoid any possible problems.
Whatever the case, remember that if worse comes to worst, you’ll probably have to pay an excess to replace your phone if its lost or damaged, so the best policy is always to take extra special care of your phone while you’re abroad.
4. Download maps for later
If sitting by the pool isn’t for you, and you want to go and explore your new surroundings then you can avoid using your data for maps by downloading them for use offline.
When you’ve got a good Wi-Fi signal, like the one at the hotel for example, bring up where you want to go on Google maps and you’ll be given the option to download it. Sweet!
5. Backup before you pack up
Whether you lose your phone, or it gets dropped in the sea, the last thing you want is to lose all those precious memories.
So, before you fly, make sure everything is backed up to the cloud (like Google Drive) or an external hard drive, so even if the phone gets lost, your photos and videos won’t.
6. Frequent flyer? Maybe time for something new…
Some phones are just better at travelling than others, and if yours isn’t quite cut out for your holiday adventures, it might be time for an upgrade.
Bit of beach bum?
If you can usually be found lazing by the pool or on the beach, you’ll probably want to go for something waterproof.
While most of these phones can definitely survive a splash or two, it’s probably not a good idea to actually take them swimming with you.
Need a powerful camera?
When you want to capture that picturesque landscape without needing professional photo equipment, you want the camera in your phone to be top notch.
With the Samsung Galaxy S10, you get a dual-aperture 12 MP camera plus an ultrawide 16 MP camera, and a telephoto 12 MP lens for zooming in. It’s also got intelligent face recognition, super slow-mo video and 64GB of space to store everything.
Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S10.
Need something you don’t mind getting bashed about?
If your main phone is far too precious to risk taking abroad, you can always get a good-value second phone to handle the essentials. We've got a range of excellent phones – some a bit older, some purposely designed to be used and abused – that are ideal for travellers.
Got any smartphone travel tips of your own? If so, share them below.