How to Prepare Your Smartphone for International Travel

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  • Charging your smartphone to 100% isn’t the only necessary thing to do before traveling abroad
  • If you want to avoid over $10,000 roaming bill, you need to prep your phone for international travel
  • The most important thing to have a functional smartphone in another country is to have it unlocked

Traveling is a fun activity that is incomplete without your smartphone. But keeping your smartphone functional isn’t possible without preparing it for traveling out of the country. Having a functional phone is crucial, especially if you’re going on a workation. For instance, if your smartphone isn’t ready for international travel, you may not be able to access different apps or make calls when you reach your destination.

If you want to avoid running into a host of tech snags, we recommend getting your new or used smartphone ready to travel. Below, we’ve shared some valuable tips to prepare your smartphone for an international trip. With these tips, you can transform how you travel with the Apple iPad Pro, an iPhone, or an Android device.

Pack the Right Accessories

When packing tech for travel, your primary concern should be to keep it running. Some essentials to pack for the road include the following:

1. A Backup Battery

You’ll be using your mobile phone for a number of battery-intensive activities while traveling. It will be used for taking photos, making calls, using social media, watching videos, and whatnot. All these activities drain the battery, and you never know when you’ll find a charging socket to plug your smartphone.

If you want to be able to stay online, an external battery pack is a must-have accessory while traveling. A battery pack or power bank acts like a portable battery that you can connect to your smartphone to keep it from dying.

So, when you look for an iPhone 13 Pro Max for sale, you should also look for a compatible battery pack to keep it charged while traveling.

2. Extra Power Cables

You need at least three power cables to keep your phone fully charged while on vacation. Keep one in your hotel room or wherever you’re staying. Use the second one to charge your battery pack, and the third will travel with you wherever you go. You can use it to connect your battery pack to your smartphone.

3. A Multi-Port Wall Charger

If you like to travel light, you should consider a multi-port wall charger. It eliminates the need to pack multiple power bricks for all your tech gadgets. You can find multi-port chargers that can power all your devices simultaneously. A multi-port charger with at least four ports is sufficient to keep your smartphone, battery pack, camera, and laptop/iPad charged.

4. A Plug Adapter 

If you’re traveling to another country, research the type of power outlets they use. Not all countries use the same power outlets, which means you may be unable to plug your charger into the switch. If your destination country’s power outlets are incompatible with your plugs, you may need to pack a plug adapter.

5. SIM Card Ejector

Many people like using a local SIM card wherever they go. If you also plan on using a foreign wireless carrier’s service, you’ll need to take out your current SIM card. To do that easily, you should pack a SIM card ejector that resembles a small metal pin. It will help you swap out SIM cards quickly. You can also use a safety pin if you don’t have the ejector.

Prepare Your Smartphone for Traveling Abroad

Now that you’ve packed everything you need to keep your new or pre-owned iPhone or Samsung phone running abroad, it’s time to learn how to keep your smartphone functional.

1. Pay Roaming Fee

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of buying and installing a foreign SIM card, you can get roaming plans from your carrier. By paying an international roaming fee to your carrier, you’ll be able to keep your local phone number functional wherever you go.

These roaming charges vary from carrier to carrier and aren’t exactly cheap. For instance, AT&T charges $60 in 200 countries for 1GB of data – an insufficient amount of data for a week-long trip.

2. Unlock Your Phone

You can skip paying hefty roaming charges if your phone is unlocked. Having an unlocked phone allows you to use any SIM card without restriction. You can buy a used Samsung Galaxy A11 unlocked or a used iPhone 13 Pro Max unlocked before going on a trip.

While most new smartphones come unlocked by default, you can confirm from your carrier if your device will work with other carriers. If you have paid off your smartphone, you can unlock it by asking for a code from your carrier.

If you don’t know how to unlock your phone, here’s a video explaining How to Unlock Samsung Galaxy Device.

3. Order a Foreign SIM Card In Advance

In most countries, you can buy a prepaid SIM card when you arrive at the airport or from a local mobile store. But if you want to avoid the hassle of finding a local store, buying a SIM card in advance is the best way. If you order a foreign SIM card online and get it shipped to your residence before traveling, you can prep your used Samsung Galaxy S10 for travel beforehand.

4. Download Important Apps

Every country has a different cell service, which can be slow and spotty when you arrive. Having a lousy service can obstruct downloading of essential apps, like ride-hailing apps.

Google Maps is one of the apps that make a big difference in 2022, especially when you’re traveling abroad. So, having it on your phone is inevitable to figure out your way when you’re in a foreign country.

Similarly, you may want a travel app that shows hotels and other tourist points on your phone. Having these apps on your phone can help if you’re in a country where they don’t even speak your language. You can communicate via apps to tell them where you want to go or what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

Traveling is an exciting activity, but it can get frustrating if you cannot access your smartphone. Everyone is quite dependent on their smartphones, even in their own country, so it is pretty evident that you’ll need them in a foreign land. So, it’s essential to get it ready to travel and stay functional there before you leave.

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