Ways Your Smartphone Can Make Traveling Overseas Less Stressful

smart phone

Summer will be here soon, and along with warmer weather comes the promise of wonderful vacations. If you are busily planning an overseas adventure within the next couple of months, you may want to look into how your smartphone can make the trip as easy and stress-free as possible. While using a phone abroad has the reputation for being an expensive and difficult process, with some pre-planning and know-how, that little hand-held computer of yours can actually make the trip go smoother.

First, Make Sure You Have Wi-Fi Calling

Unless you are heading into a remote jungle region someplace, most places in the world have Wi-Fi. To be sure you can connect to Wi-Fi during your vacation, check to see if your carrier offers Wi-Fi Calling. If not, you may wish to switch to a company that does; for example, T-Mobile sells a number of Wi-Fi Calling capable devices that work internationally. As a bonus, T-Mobile also offers free in-flight Wi-Fi and texting; you can access free Wi-Fi for an hour and unlimited texting, picture messaging and access to T-Mobile Visual Voicemail on any flight that is equipped with the Gogo feature.

Smartphones Help You Stay In-touch

Knowing you can check in with your pet sitter while you are away and have the ability to stay in touch with friends and loved ones can help make travel less stressful. It is also a lot of fun to send people photos of your adventures and let them know that you are okay. While social media sites are one way to touch base while you are gone, you may feel understandably uncomfortable announcing to the world that you are overseas. In this case, use a tool like Skype to be sure you can make phone calls while on vacation; you can add money to your account ahead of time and use Skype to call home for less than most international calling cards. WhatsApp is another great app for international travelers to be able to reach loved ones back home; ask your friends and family members to download the app too and on those days when you are feeling a bit homesick you can use the app to exchange messages, photos and video with your loved ones.

navigationAvoid Getting Lost with a Smartphone

When traveling in a foreign country, it can be easy to get lost. While an unplanned adventure now and then may be fun, not knowing where you are going can be a cause for concern, especially if you don’t speak the native language and are worried about your safety. Instead of trying to maneuver large paper maps, use Google Maps on your smartphone to help you reach your destination; the voice feature will advise you where and when to turn to get to the scenic spot or café you want to try.

Use Your Phone to Communicate

Being able to understand what people are saying to you and decipher street signs and menus will go a long way in making your overseas adventure less stressful. Download the Google Translate app and easily translate between English and whatever language is spoken in your destination country. You can take a photo of a confusing street sign and the app will translate it, or you can write the word on the screen with your finger and the app will let you know what it means.

 

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