Headed out of the country for the holidays? Millions of suitcase-wielders will be traveling this year for the Christmas and New Year’s season, with statisticians predicting the most people traveling during the holidays in years. For example, NBC News reports that 93.3 million Americans are predicted to hit the road in 2012, which is 1.6% more than last year.
You might not be able to avoid the traffic jams, flight cancellations, and airport delays that can be possible when traveling during the holidays. However, your smartphone can make your life more convenient, even if you are leaving your traditional areas of cell phone service.
Check out these travel tips to maximize your smartphone utility during your trip:
Plan ahead with your cell phone company. Before you leave, make sure you’ve called your cell network to get all your ducks in a row for travel. For example:
- Turn off incoming calls. Incoming calls can cost a lot when roaming abroad, so have all your calls redirected to either your home line or shut off completely. Your cell phone company can help you do this and avoid the high fees.
- Purchase a small amount of incoming and outgoing texts. Even if you only purchase 200 text messages for the road, that’ll still get you out of a bind if you have an emergency and need to use your phone. Buy a modest amount of texts (or more, if you plan to keep in touch with people regularly while you’re away) for safety.
- Decide if you want a data plan for use abroad. Do you want to only rely on WiFi in public places, or do you need data each day? Decide what package you want and set it up ahead of time, so you don’t incur data usage fees that you don’t want. Go into your phone’s settings and set up the WiFi network preferences accordingly.
Use airplane mode. Want to play a game on your phone, listen to music, or check out your saved notes on travel plans? You can do all of it without using data. Just turn on airplane mode if you’re in transit or if you’re trying to avoid using data.
Save maps as images for use without data. At your hotel (or wherever you can access WiFi), look up the walking or driving directions to where you are headed in your phone’s map application. Then take a screenshot of the directions and save to your camera roll. This will enable you to access the map without using any data out on the road. For example, here’s part of a list map for a walking jaunt in London:
Bring along a back-up charging method. Does the idea of not having your phone with you on a trip make you feel a little sick to your stomach? Our smartphones power a lot of important facets of our vacations, from dining reservations to maps to emergency contact, so don’t leave it to chance that your international power adapter will work or you won’t lose your charger in a lost carry-on item. Pack one (or two!) BoostTurbine manual smartphone chargers with you.
A completely rechargeable and reusable BoostTurbine is an all-in-one battery pack for your smartphone (or any device with USB). The power unit is completely self-contained and requires no power source; simply charge it up before your trip, or use the hand turbine for manual generation of smartphone power. It’s the perfect travel solution for your connection to the world: your smartphone.
Do you have an array of tips and tricks for smartphone use while traveling? Please pass them along to us in the comments, and happy traveling.