Most people who go on holiday this year will want to take their mobile phones with them. Having a mobile is useful if you want to stay in touch with friends and family back home, as well as being a convenient way of contacting those who are holidaying with you.
However, using a mobile phone while you are travelling away from home can present problems. You could end up facing a huge bill when you return because of roaming charges or you might quickly use up your battery, which means you couldn’t make a call even if it was an emergency.
Here are a few tips on how to best use mobile phones while you are away from home, whether you are travelling for business or pleasure.
Modern smartphones are so packed with features that they tend to use up their batteries a day or two after a full charge. This is mostly because you can use them for much more than calling and texting, with web access and app usage adding to the drain on the battery.
When you are travelling, there are a number of ways to address this. The first involves getting a dedicated battery case, which can come in a variety of styles and capacities. For example, the Mophie Juice Pack Plus is a popular option, as it can supplement your iPhone’s battery with a back-up cell which can keep it going for twice as long as usual.
A more environmentally friendly option comes in the form of the solar-powered charging case from Sols. This allows you to put your iPhone in direct sunlight or in front of bright artificial light and charge it up.
This might be particularly useful if you are going camping or taking part in some other outdoor activity, as you will not need to rely on a mains power supply.
Another option which will keep your mobile phone powered up is to either use a battery saving app or make some minor tweaks to the settings yourself. You can help to improve battery performance by making sure that you kill applications that are running in the background after you have used them. Turning off connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G data will also help extend battery life.
While legislation is gradually making it cheaper to call, text and use mobile data while you are overseas, it is still very expensive to engage in typical activities which would be free as part of your basic price plan at home.
For this reason, it makes sense to carry out a few checks and stick to a sensible routine when you are connected to a foreign network to avoid returning home to find a big bill waiting for you.
Firstly, you should tell your network provider that you are going overseas since they may be able to offer you a cheaper roaming deal that will augment your standard package.
Secondly, you should avoid using 3G networks when out of the country, because high-end data services will leave you with significant charges. Instead, why not look for free Wi-Fi hotspots when you are abroad as these will let you surf the web without incurring fees?
Finally, try to use SMS messages rather than voice calls. This is because receiving texts is free while receiving calls may not be, so you can stay in touch without the excessive charges.
This guest post has been written on behalf of SO Switch.
Photo: Nathan Reed