Have you been on holiday recently or travelled on business and felt you didn’t get the most out of your phone when abroad? Whether your travel is for business or pleasure the one item you are most likely to carry always is your phone. It’s your source of communication, diary, and sat nav as well as having a host of other uses so it’s vital it doesn’t let you down. Here are some tips that could improve your relationship and experience with your phone on your next trip.
1. Be Prepared
There are several phone options that can be tailored to suit your specific needs. Speak with your provider well in advance of travel so that there’s enough time to have the best solution in place before you go. The one thing you do not want is to be hit with a large phone bill on your return. Some of the points you may want to discuss are:
• Using your phone to roam – You will need to ascertain the network charges in the country you are visiting and whether your current network plan will allow you to use data roaming for hot-spotting. The advice will be very different for someone travelling within Europe compared to USA or other non-European countries.
• What to do if data is likely to be costly at your destination – You may be advised to use secure Wi-Fi whenever available or texts and telephone calls rather than data. Constant advancement in the telecoms industry means better solutions to issues you were unable to resolve in the past. Remember, it is worthwhile to take the time to research and plan ahead!
• How to check the quality of the network /signal coverage at the destination you plan to visit. You will want to ensure that there is at least one network available, allowing you to roam. You can then plan your calls around this and make people aware that you will be unavailable in certain areas if coverage is poor.
• The possibility of using an alternative phone plan. You may decide your current provision won’t adequately cover your travel requirements. This may necessitate using another solution such as a temporary phone package, Pay as You Go Sim or VoIP.
Although this information may appear daunting, your provider should be willing to simplify the advice and suggest possibilities specifically for you. Planning well beforehand and taking the time to familiarise yourself with what you intend to use is well worth the effort when you are away.
2. Use VoIP
If you already have a business VoIP system you should discuss the options available for when you travel. You can use your current Business VoIP arrangement with Wi-Fi abroad in which case the calls to all office extensions (your ‘extension’ abroad being one) will be free. Therefore, calls from that phone to any UK number will be charged at standard rate. If there is no Wi-Fi available, you may still be able to make VoIP calls using your data allowance.
If you don’t have Business VoIP, consider using Skype or an alternative, but they may not have the same flexibility.
Contact us on 02895 215600 for advice.
3. Use Travel Apps.
Travel apps will be especially useful if you are on a road trip. Furthermore, they can make a difference to the quality of any travel experience. Check out the following suggestions for some ideas but it’s advisable to research apps that will be suitable for you personally. Once downloaded, the information will be available on your phone at the touch of a button.
• Airbnb – www.airbnb.co.uk
• NordVPN – www.nordvpn.com
• Uber – www.uber.com/en-GB/ride/how-uber-works/
• Skyscanner – www.skyscanner.net/mobile.html
• Google Maps
4. Extend your Battery Life
When you are travelling internationally or in more remote areas, ensure you take your phone charging equipment and suitable adaptors with you. It’s best to carry this in your hand luggage, if possible. You may also consider bringing a power bank / portable charger as back-up. No matter where you are, your phone will be searching for a signal. Even if it finds one it may keep checking to find a better one. Keep in mind this is depleting your battery, however there is a lot you can do to prolong the charge.
Once again speak with your provider for advice but these are some points you should consider:
• Download films, maps, music and important documents before your trip to prevent having to use the internet connection unnecessarily when away.
• Turn off background app refresh as this will save your battery; as well as preventing excess data usage outside Wi-Fi.
• Go to battery settings to enable low-power/ battery-saver mode.
• Turn off GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and AirDrop (iPhone) when not in use.
• Turn off Location services if you are not using Google Maps.
• Reduce screen brightness.
• Avoid extreme temperatures (extreme heat and cold can lower charging capacity) Both iPhone and Android phones are designed to function between 0-35 degrees Celsius. Did you know that leaving your phone outside in the sun or in your car on a hot day will not only cause the battery to drain faster but it may also prevent the touch screen from working properly?
5. Be Security Aware
Check you have your security facilities updated on your phone before you travel. However, this advice is relevant even when you are not on vacation. Whilst your phone may pose a security risk if stolen; more significantly, it could also be your lifeline, so it is vital that you keep it safe.
• Activate a password or biometric protection.
• Backup your data before you travel.
• Ensure security software is up to date.
• Manage your Privacy settings.
• Turn off location tracking on apps.
• Be cautious of public Wi-Fi hotspots. Consider using VPN.
• Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you’re not using it.
• Turn on “find-my-phone” and remote wiping. These services must be enabled before you lose your device.
• You may want to check the value of a tracking app. https://www.flexispy.com
• Carry important contact details elsewhere in case your phone is stolen.
• Always have appropriate Travel Insurance.
• Consider using a case to protect your phone from damage. It’s no use to you in emergency if its broken.
6. Emergency Contact Information
It has been mentioned previously that your phone could be your lifeline, so it’s worth setting up contact details using ICE (In Case of Emergency).
An ICE contact is a number or group of numbers that you designate in your phone to be called should you be in a crisis. The valuable thing is that once an emergency contact is set, even if your phone is locked, you or someone else can simply select ‘emergency call’ to be able to see and call ICE numbers.
Check out the value of ICE via the following link: