How to Prepare Your Smartphone for a Long Trip Abroad

If you are bitten by the travel bug, the prospect of a long trip abroad should sure sound exciting. There’s so much to see and explore that you can’t wait to board the plane. However, before the fun begins, there are a few preparations to be made, with the most important being getting your smartphone ready.

For anyone planning a trip abroad, it is crucial to ensure your smartphone is travel-ready and your data is safe and secure. Here’s how you can prepare your phone for hassle-free travel:

Unlock the phone

The first step is always ensuring that your phone is unlocked. This allows you to use your phone in any country you visit and with a SIM card from virtually any carrier. The last thing you want in a foreign country is to get stuck with no network. There are countless horror stories of people stuck in a country with no way to contact their friends or even their embassy, and you don’t want that.

The easiest way to avoid this potential problem is to call your carrier and ask them to unlock your phone if it is not unlocked already. Your carrier should be able to do it for free. All you need to do is get a code from them and follow the unlocking sequence in your phone’s settings.

Choose the right SIM

The next thing you need is a local SIM card compatible with your smartphone. Most international airports have a kiosk or shop where you can purchase a local SIM. It is often quite cheap, especially compared to the hefty international roaming charges of your home network. If arranging this upon arrival seems like a hassle, you can order an international SIM or an eSIM in your home country before you even board your flight.

Managing data and connectivity

Managing data usage in a foreign country is challenging for most international travellers. Seemingly simple things like playing an online casino game on your phone can eat up your data, leaving you scrambling when you need it the most. Download offline maps before leaving your hotel to avoid last-minute panic and save data when you are not connected to the hotel Wi-Fi network. Also, make sure to charge your phone to 100% before you leave your hotel, and always carry a power bank. There is nothing worse than trying to capture that fantastic picture only to find that your phone is out of juice.

Security measures

With 4 in 10 smartphones vulnerable to cyber attacks, keeping your data safe on the road is paramount. Always back up all your data, photos, and documents before you leave. If you don’t have a passcode on your phone, get one. Add a touch ID, face ID or password to make your phone more secure.

Getting a good VPN to protect you during your smartphone’s online excursions in foreign countries is also a good idea. Always use your phone with a VPN whenever you connect to Wi-Fi in hotels and public places in a foreign country.

Getting your smartphone ready for your international trip is as important as keeping your money safe. Doing it will only enhance your experience, making navigation, communication, and keeping memories a breeze.

About the Author

Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.