Time and Money-Saving iPhone Tips for Travel

This article is created with the intent to take away some of the frustration with travelling overseas . . . particularly to save time and money with your iPhone but the same rules will apply for any wireless device and wireless carrier.


The holiday season will soon be upon us and there is not better time to start making your preparations.  Travel plans normally consist of booking flights, rental cars and possibly hotels.  One thing everyone doesn’t think of right away is communication.  Staying in touch for business reasons and to connect with family can be very important.  When travelling internationally (outside the United States, Canada and Mexico are not included in the U.S.), it is important to understand how and if your iPhone will work.  So, I’ve created five money-saving iPhone tips that you should use when you travel internationally.


1.  Call your carrier.

I suggest getting in touch with your carrier about two weeks before you leave the country.  This will allow ample time to get your iPhone line set up correctly and set your expectations on how everything will work.  Probably the most important reason in calling early is to make sure your particular iPhone will work.  This is not going to be something to be concerned about as time goes on since the iPhone 4S and newer models are global capable.  However, if you have an earlier model, iPhone 4 and earlier, it might not work in all countries.


So what do you do if your iPhone 4 will not work in that place?  Write a letter?  Carrier pigeon? Your trip will probably finish before either of those methods gets your message to the receiver.  Your carrier most likely still has a solution for you.  Inquire about the global travel program.  If your stay is relatively short, a few weeks, your carrier may loan you a phone so that you can at least stay in touch.  Doing this all-beforehand can save you time and money!


When you contact your carrier, have your itinerary available.  This leads to money saving tip number two!


2.  Know your travel plan!

Upon contacting your carrier the reason you want to tell them specifically of where you are traveling to is not only to see if your iPhone will work, but to also set up your line correctly for when you are outside the United States.  There will be some provisioning on the carrier’s end that needs to be performed to use your iPhone overseas.


Make it know whether you will be on a cruise ship (and which one specifically?), if there is a layover in any other country and every country you will be in for your trip.  If there are any possible places you might go to that you are unsure of, please make it known as well because there are things that they can make you aware of, like how your iPhone will work or any specific plans available for the countries.  Typically, your carrier should have dialing instructions they can give you on how to call other local numbers in the area as well as back to the United States.

Knowing where your traveling is going to take place is paramount.  One other consideration is how will you charge your iPhone?  My recommendation would be to pick up the World Travel Adapter Kit so you can charge your iPhone wherever you're traveling to!


3.  Pick your international plan!

Depending on how you are going to use your iPhone, you may want to pick a plan that will best suit you for your travels.  It can also depend on what country you are travelling to, but there are options to cut your costs.  Typically, there will be per minute/text and megabyte (data) rates, which will be charged if you don’t have any other plans.  Many times, you can cut your costs by selecting a plan that will cut your per minute calling rate and even an international data plan.


If you don’t need to use your iPhone on your trip, you may still want to take advantage of these packages for emergency purposes.  Pay-per-use data rates can be as high as $20.48 per MB and calling rates can be $2.49 per minute.


4.  Turn off cellular data!

Travelling now is quite different than it used to be.  With social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, people like to live in the here and now and post pictures and statuses while it is happening.  If you either do not need data or have a Wi-Fi network available wherever you are staying, I would urge you to turn off your cellular data from the iPhone and use the internet over Wi-Fi.  This will save you much money by using a Wi-Fi network and not the local cellular carrier’s network.  Make sure you turn off data before you leave the U.S.  Our devices are always trying to grab our emails and perform functions in the background that may use data so it is important to take this step before you leave.


In order to turn off cellular data from an iPhone running iOS 6 go to: Settings, General, Cellular and turn off Cellular Data by touching on the switch.  See the pictures below.

Settings(115247)General(115248)Cellular Data(115249)

If you are on iOS 5, you will need to go to: Settings, General, Network, and then turn off Cellular Data by touching on the switch.

To determine which version of iOS you are running, go to: Settings, General, About and then view the Version.  Just be concerned with the numerical digits before the parentheses such as: 6.0 (10A403).  The 6.0 is the version number.


5.  Be prepared with iOS Apps and Accessories.

You might want to consider picking up a travel charge kit for you iPhone so that you know you will always have a power source.  Each country may have different outlets and a travel kit will solve your concerns.  Also, since travelling internationally does take time, you may want to invest in an external battery backup or a battery case like the Mophie Juice Pack Plus to keep you connected when you need it the most.  Saving the time to find a charger and an outlet in an unknown airport or territory is very frustrating so I definitely recommend some type of battery backup.


Lastly, there are some iOS Apps that you may find very useful.  Google Translate will allow you to translate text between two languages and is free.  Word Lens is an amazing app that will convert text from signs right into your preferred language on screen; all you need to do is point your iPhone camera at the sign and it will convert it back to English for you.  This app can be very useful but does have some cost related to it.


I hope you found these money and time saving tips for iPhone travels useful!  Please rate and comment on the article and let me know if there is anything in particular about the iPhone you would like to see covered!  Look forward to hearing from you!!