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Be Smart Using Your Smartphone Overseas

By Expert Author: www.cheapfares.com

A very thoughtfully planned out trip made affordable by reviewing cheap travel options, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, can go dramatically over budget if you are not careful about how you use your smartphone abroad.

The following are tips for travelers who want to use smartphones abroad, according to Smarter Travel:

• Call your cell phone provider and have a representative turn off roaming for you or at least inform you how to do this. Ask your provider if it will let you temporarily “unlock” your phone, so that it can be used abroad with another carrier. Verizon’s iPhone 5 comes already unlocked.

• Turn off your phone’s cellular data. This is very important since most smartphones automatically pull in emails, app updates, and conduct other data hungry activities. Restricting your cell phone to Wi-Fi means that any emails, web browsing, and apps will only use Wi-Fi, not costly cell phone networks.

• Alternatively look into purchasing a prepaid SIM card in advance of your departure so that you can have a local phone number at your destination and access to cheap data, texts, and calls.

• If you want to use a local cell phone company at your destination, do a little research before selecting one. Companies differ in what they provide for the price, and some offer much faster service (4G vs. 3G) than others. If you will be calling or texting local contacts at your destination, ask which networks they use since often it is free to call people who use the same provider.

• Before departing on your trip, download apps that can be used offline or without data. PocketEarth is an offline maps app that allows users to access maps when Wi-Fi is not available. WhatsApp allows users to text for free via Wi-Fi to contacts that also have WhatsApp. Prior to leaving for the airport find out what apps are popular at your destination.

• Use Wi-Fi whenever possible while traveling. Many hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars offer free Wi-Fi. When you are not near free Wi-Fi turn your Wi-Fi setting off since constantly searching for Wi-Fi can drain your phone’s battery.

• Remember that if you switch to a new SIM card, your contacts will likely not transfer over. Remember to write down any contacts you will need abroad if you have not saved them to your phone.

• Pack an appropriate adapter that will fit your destination’s outlets. England uses a different plug than mainland Europe.

• Many travelers abroad recommend buying a SIM card because it allows then to use their smartphones in the same way they use them at home. It also allows them to check emails and apps more frequently as well as use GPS on their phones. Being able to text and call local friends without paying exorbitant fees is also attractive.

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