On the Road Communications (Draft)
110-240 volt Charger.
MOST power adapters will handle this wide a range of voltages but please check the printing on the device. Most countries us 220-240v, not the USA/Japan 110v.
You will still likely need a small pin-adapter for your foreign country for the USA two-blade Plug:
Get A Sturdy Case (Otter Box?) and a Safe Place to avoid Theft, etc..!
Best is probably to add a neck sling inside your jacket or shirt, easily accessible but out of sight. NOT in a backpack. NOT in a Pocket. NOT in a Purse. Unless you want to loose it.
Consider “AppleCare” 3 year coverage for newer Apple devices. Most first world countries have Apple stores so you can then get them to take care of Problems.
Consider Travel Insurance against loss, theft.
A battery backup at least 5000mAh to put charge back in your phone when you are not in easy reach of a power outlet- about $15
Check Amazon, IE: http://a.co/ethRq3N
Check the Phone is UNLOCKED
For example, your AT&T phone will, not surprisingly, work on AT&T, but will it work on Orange, 02, Telphonica, TelCel, or a myriad of other Providers abroad ?
If you are fully paid-up on it your local phone company will likely allow you ‘Unlock’ your phone for free but do follow their instructions carefully. and CHECK by borrowing a different company SIM card. Phone stores often have these and can generally help
MOST but not all cell phones in the USA use a standard called “GSM” and SOME use “CDMA” (Such as USA Verizon) which is generally incompatible with the rest of the world.
Newer phones sidestep this by having BOTH standards built in– BUT CHECK. It’s “Unlocked. GSM” that you will need!
Once you are Abroad- It’s relatively cheap to buy a so called SIM card for cheap local service — (Check Google Ahead of Time for your Destanation- Most airports sell these and often have some staff to help). a SIM (Subscriber Information Module) is tiny sliver of gold contacts on plastic that is the heart of authenticating your phone number and credentials. You pop out your ‘local’ one and pop in the month to month one that you can buy in almost any country abroad now.
Use Internet ahead of time to figure the best deal, WITH DATA.
TAPE YOUR ORIGINAL SIM CARD TO THE BACK OF YOUR PHONE INSIDE ITS COVER. It is Tiny and will get Lost otherwise!
BEFORE leaving home i ALWAYS get my cell phone to forward its home country calls to my land-line which i can call in to pick up messages.
Anything involving using your own local Cell company abroad will likely cost an arm and a leg- such as Roaming. Avoid!
“Unlocking” your phone DOES NOT prevent it working where it came from- It is adding, not replacing a capability.
It used to be any little Chop Shops could “Unlock” phones For you. This capability is rapidly fading with ‘better’ technology.
– Consider buying some Online Storage such as adding to your “iCloud” Photo Streaming Account.
You can also get 15GB free on Google Drive and use Google Photo.
Still use Wi-Fi whenyou can. is it secure? GENERALLY YES. If for example, you do online banking from your ‘phone, all the transactions are encrypted end to end between your phone and the bank, no matter how insecure the steps in-between. In all fairness I would state this: your Internet use abroad is no less secure than it is at home- EVEN IF a wireless connection you are using says “Insecure”. That reminds me– Just because you have a cell phone data plan, it is STILL a good idea to go with WI-FI when you can!
If you are using an iPhone, be sure you have an iCloud account and turn on the “Find My Phone” feature. and BEWARE- Cell phones are highly sought after and stolen items. you CAN “Find My Phone” using that feature by logging on to ANY computer at http://www.icioud.com and clicking “Find My Phone” so it will report its last known locations. Practice these things BEFORE going–
You can easily Ping your phone (it makes a ping sound even with the Sound Switched OFF), Lock it with a pass code, put a Message on its Screen, and even Wipe it if need be.