4 tips for using your mobile abroad
16 July, 2014 | Technology
We have all heard of these horror stories about people incurring thousands of pounds worth of mobile phone charges due to using their mobiles abroad, so to avoid incurring any outrageous bills here are some great tips on how to make the most of your smartphone whilst on holiday this year:
Avoiding data roaming costs
This is the one that will catch you out and cost you a fortune. This may seem obvious but turn off ‘Data Roaming’ on your mobile phone settings. This will ensure you don’t connect to the internet by accident. Even if you need to access your emails quickly, the process of downloading attachments and embedded images will eat into your data allowance.
Instead we’d suggest you look for Wi-Fi locations. Of course you don’t have to disable your Wi-Fi connection at all and can connect to the Wi-Fi wherever available. However we would recommend only password protected Wi-Fi connection and still not to use private apps (e.g. banking apps).
Wi-Fi is commonly available in most bars and restaurants now free of charge and most hotels have access but you usually have to pay a small fee for it.
If you desperately need to be able to connect to the internet anywhere at any time, many mobile companies have dropped their data roaming costs and have capped limits that will cost you a few pounds a day. 3 Mobile even allow you to use your mobile in 16 other countries at no extra cost!
Save your maps
If you are planning on doing some sightseeing or exploring then you can avoid expensive internet charges by saving your maps offline, which is now possible with Google Maps.
How to save maps offline:
- First, make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi
- Download the Google Maps app.
- Search for a location you want to visit
- Once found, clear the search bar and type in ‘Ok maps’
- You are then given the option to save that area offline
This is very handy when you are visiting new towns or cities and also means you don’t have to buy and carry around a tourist map.
Protect your phone from the water
You may have one of these cool new waterproof phones like the Sony Xperia 2 but despite these handsets being waterproof, their durability refers to fresh water meaning the sea is out of the question. And if you own an iPhone then you have to keep it as dry as a bone!
To stay safe at the pool or the beach, you may want to invest in a waterproof case which would allow you take your phone in the pool and sea.
Backup your phone
Before you set off on your luxurious holiday abroad it’s a good idea to backup all your important things to a cloud based storage system like Dropbox or an external hard drive. Hopefully you won’t get into any trouble either losing or having your mobile stolen but in case you do at least you can ensure all your contacts and photos are safely stored elsewhere.
You should also read the small print on your travel insurance because some policies don’t cover mobile phones or will only cover a fraction of the cost.