They say that your passport is the most important and necessary thing that you could possibly take on your international travels, and you know what? Whoever they are, they’d be right. However, despite all the allure of leaving your phone at home whilst you go away, it’s just not practical, and it is actually a whole lot more fun in theory than in reality to do so. Sure, you can brag that you managed to go a week without it upon your return – ironically, on Facebook – but it’s basically cutting off your nose to spite your face to do so. In other words, take it with you – you’re going to need it!
Before you go, just make sure that you know how much it will cost to use the phone abroad. Costs can vary wildly, so try to note different carriers which offer discounts or savings before you go, or stick to Wi-Fi as much as you can. Know the risks, and how you can protect yourself. If you’re thinking it’s all a bit too much fuss, here’s why it’s not…
You Can Stay in Touch
Whether you’re checking in with your parents or keeping tabs on all of your new friends you’ve made by the pool, having a phone on hand makes things infinitely easier to manage.
Of course, you can use the guise of wanting to see how folks back home are doing, when what you really want is to boast about what you’re doing, but we digress.
Sometimes, you can simply get more out of your trip if you’re feeling motivated to continue. Had a bad day? Not sure what to do tonight? A quick Facebook status can sort everything out. If you’re traveling alone, this is especially true – perhaps the girl you met in Berlin on your first week of your adventure is now in Rome just like you, and the pair of you could meet for dinner tonight!
You Can Kill that Annoying Downtime
Newsflash… travel isn’t always glam. In fact, sometimes it’s far from it. Sometimes you’re going to find yourself waiting around, whether that’s because of flight delays, waiting for check-in when your transport has dropped you off in a city early, or dreaded overnight bus rides.
Some people choose to read, but when you’re subject to baggage allowances, you can use up your literary resources quickly. Having a variety of things to do on your phone is a good option, because you’ll always have that with you (if, of course, you’re following our advice…). Gaming on phones is easier to do than ever, and you have a lot of choices. Some options vary depending on your location! For example, when playing Pokémon Go, you’ll see different characters depending on where in the world you are. Others don’t require walking around, which make them perfect for static moments. If you’ve enjoyed bingo before, you’ll know it’s a game you can revisit time and time again. It’s now possible to play bingo on your phone; and you can do it in just three steps to be ready to play the game. There are even learner rooms, in case you need to remind yourself of the rules! Bingo can be played online 24/7, no matter what time zone you’re in. Just try to avoid screaming ‘bingo’ in a crowded airport – it probably won’t go down with security too well.
Your Phone Is Literally a Lifesaver
While you should never rely on your phone to get you out of life-or-death situations, sometimes it can get you out of some really sticky ones.
First and foremost, Google Maps is your friend. It will help you to get from A to B in an entirely unfamiliar setting. Thankfully, you can even use them offline, which is perfect for use in locations where your phone doesn’t have a data connection. Just make sure to download certain areas before you go.
You can also use your phone to order you an Uber on the spot in places where this is available, to get yourself some food when you arrive somewhere late at night, for translation purposes, or for showing officials your travel plans or bank account information when they need proof of your plans. For example, in Australia, if they believe that you might be trying to work illegally, they will ask to see this, and need to be satisfied that you’re coming with sufficient funds!
Having your phone is a smart idea, but that doesn’t take out your need to be smart with it. Take good care of it, be aware of your surroundings, and get travel insurance in case you lose it or in case anything else goes wrong!
Laura Brogan is a pro on several worldwide destinations and tips for weekend warriors. She loves to write about entertainment, film and travel the most.