Preparing your phone for an overseas trip

Do you want to travel overseas with greater confidence, knowing that you won’t return home to bill shock? In this video, Anne explains how you can make the most of your smartphone while you’re away. 

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Hi, I’m Anne from YourLifeChoices and today we’re going to help you prepare your phone for an overseas trip.

Your smartphone is a terrific companion when traveling overseas. It’s your camera, map, translator, restaurant guide, and of course your phone.

But without the right preparation it can also end up costing you a small fortune. 

Here are the three best options to prevent bill shock and remain connected and informed while overseas. 

Firstly you can use your phone and current SIM card. This is usually the most convenient option but also the most expensive. It’s worth checking with your provider exactly how much phone, SMS and Internet data will cost for your specific overseas destination. 

The second option is to purchase a local prepaid SIM card when you arrive at your destination. To do this you’ll first need to contact your provider and ensure that your device is not locked to your network. If it is you can ask to have it unlocked, then have a look online at available options. You can usually choose between internet data-only plans and plans that include phone calls and SMS as well. Data-only plans are the most affordable and they’re convenient as long as you know how to use communication apps such as Skype or Facebook Messenger to talk to family and friends back home.

The third option is to rely on free wifi found in hotels and cafes. Free wifi spots are abundant in some countries but not all. So do some research on your particular destination online, before you consider relying on free wifi. If you decide to take this option make sure that you disable roaming data and cellular data on your phone or remove your SIM card otherwise you can end up with a very costly bill. To disable these features on iPhone or iPad, go to Settings then tap Mobile and turn mobile data off.

Regardless of which method you choose you’ll need to try and limit the amount of mobile data you use. So here’s how you can access maps and translate text on the go, without using any internet data.

You’ll need to have Google Maps and Google Translate installed. These apps are available for iPhone iPad and Android and you can find links here: Google Maps for iPhone, iPad or Android; Google Translate for iPhone, iPad or Android

To save a map offline, open up Google Maps on your smartphone or tablet and search for the location you’d like to save. Now tap the menu button, and then tap Your Places. You might need to sign up for a Google account before you can do this. Now scroll down to Saved Places, and tap Save a New Offline Map. You can now pan around and zoom, be careful not to zoom too far so that you lose street names. When you’re happy, tap ‘Save’.

You can now find this map in the Your Places the section of the app, when you’re offline and it will be stored for 30 days.

Now we’re going to show you how you can save a language pack your phone so that you can translate text whenever you want, without using internet data.

Open up the Google Translate app on your phone then tap the drop-down box to search for the language you’d like to download. Once you’ve found it, tap the download icon on the right. As these language packs are quite large, it’s a good idea to make sure that you download over wifi only. Tap the OK button and your download will begin.

Once it’s finished, Google Translate will be able to function without internet access for any of the languages that you download. 

And that’s it, you should now be ready to talk, use the Internet, translate and navigate with your smartphone, whilst overseas without any unnecessary stress or spending. 

Thanks for watching, we look forward to seeing you again next time.

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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