If you are heading off for a weekend break or holiday, a smartphone will undoubtedly be an essential thing to pack.
But while it takes a second to toss your handset into your hand luggage, making sure that it’s ready for the journey takes a little more thought. Read on for our guide to readying your smartphone for an overseas jaunt.
Step 1: Stay on top of your data use and avoid roaming charges
In June 2017 roaming charges ended within the European Union. BT Mobile introduced Roam Like Home which lets you use your inclusive BT Mobile allowance to send texts, make calls and use data in 47 EU destinations*.
This means you can use your monthly data allowance to check email, visit social media, view Google Maps and more, without worrying about running up an unexpected bill. If you do go over your monthly data, texts and call allowance, you'll be charged at BT's standard rate.
It’s also free to receive calls and texts when you are roaming in a Roam Like Home country.
Overseas data use can be expensive if you are travelling somewhere like the US or Japan which is not covered by BT Mobile's Roam Like Home, so keep a close eye on your usage using the BT Mobile app or via your phone.
On Android handsets, tap Settings > Data Usage. Later versions of Android allow you to set alerts when reaching specified data levels.
Apple users can find out how to check usage on an iPhone.
Step 2: Turn on your Register your handset
Smartphones are easy targets for organised criminals – and don’t think that they’ll be fooled by you hiding your handset under a flip-flop while you head off for a paddle. Make sure you register details of your phone on the Immobilse Property Register, which helps the UK police identify stole goods.
In the unfortunate event you lose your phone, before you go it makes sense to be aware of your handset's phone-finding service.
Android users need to download the Google app (which is often pre-installed), then in the event your phone goes missing, head to www.google.com/android/devicemanager. Enter your Google account details and password. As long as the phone has battery, its location will appear on a map and you can command it to make a sound or wipe it.
Apple iPhone users can make use of the company’s Find My iPhone app/service to help locate a missing handset - Find out more.
If you've got BT Broadband you can download the BT Virus Protect app, which is available for Android phones. It lets you locate a lost phone and even take a photo of the person who took it - don't forget it will also keep your phone safe from viruses - Find out more.
Step 3: Pack a travel adapter
Forget a travel plug and you can forget using your phone – or any other electrical item for that matter.
Many smartphone chargers are universal, meaning they can be used safely in any socket worldwide, but you still need an adapter.
These cost just a few pounds from the likes of Amazon.
Step 4: Enable airplane mode to save battery
If you want to avoid a flat battery at touchdown, enable your smartphone’s ‘airplane mode’. This disables all radio communications, saving loads of juice during the trip. Typically, this will be found in your smartphone’s Settings menu.
This is also an easy way to save battery power if you are out during the day, but remember if you do this, you won't get things like WhatsApp messages (which use data) until you turn airplane back on.
Also see if your smartphone has a Power or Battery Saver mode. Turn this on and certain device features will be restricted, saving you power.
Step 5: Go online using wi-fi hotspots
Finally, while it makes sense to connect to your resort’s wi-fi service, if it has one, make sure you do so securely – check with management to ensure that you’re connecting to the correct hotspot and avoid connecting to it if it is unencrypted and unsecured (so if it doesn’t request a password, steer clear).
Remember BT Broadband and BT Mobile customers get free access to BT Wi-fi hotspots worldwide.