Are you planning to do a significant amount of travel with your iPhone? Then you should be prepared before you even walk out the door. Here are the top ways to make sure your iPhone is ready to travel to the ends of the earth with you. Continue reading to learn some of the Best Preparation Tips for International Travel with an iPhone.
Turn off All of Your Automatic Updates (Background Refresh)
Many apps will push new content and automatically sync that new information to your iPhone. It's a convenient feature when you're at home, but it eats deeply into your expensive data plan and battery life when traveling abroad. So head to Settings and review your apps to make sure none of them are set to send push notifications or sync data before you leave. This way, your apps will only update when you open them and ask them to, preventing any unpleasant data surprises.
Talk with Your Carrier About Travel Plans/Unlocking
Since iPhones tend to be locked by their carriers, you might need to ask about unlocking your phone before an international trip. Essentially, unlocking means the ability to use your iPhone on a foreign network with the permission of your carrier. If you're leasing your iPhone, and hope to use a foreign SIM card once you get to your destination, you might not be in luck.
Every carrier has different rules and different costs associated with this process. However, Verizon and AT&T, for example, offer travel passes via their own networks that may be a very effective alternative to unlocking.
Alongside choosing travel data plans or arranging to unlock your phone, make sure to find out if you'll need an international SIM card as well. Travel passes generally let you keep your original SIM card, but when unlocking your phone you should learn if you need to buy (or rent) a new one. Factor in these costs, and buy an international version ahead of time if possible. Oh, and learn how to replace your SIM card safely.
Get Google Maps
This is especially true when traveling abroad. Many map applications won't label or show all of the little streets, alleys and other roads in every foreign country but Google Maps does better than most. It certainly does better than Apple Maps in many situations.
If you haven't downloaded Google Maps yet, now is the time. You may also want to check up on the cities you are traveling to so you can compare your map apps to see which will work best for your trip.
Use the Medical ID Feature
Medical ID is a rarely discussed feature on your iPhone that can prove invaluable when traveling. You can access it through the Health app and use it to create a quick, easy medical ID for emergencies. This ID includes information about emergency contacts, health conditions, blood type and other important data. Fill it out!
Use Apps That Store Information for Internet-Free Access
Plenty of apps offer the ability to store information in a cache on your phone, so you don't need to use the internet to find it again. Tripit, Apple Wallet, and yes, Google Maps all allow for this, in addition to many others. Plan ahead and download necessary information to your phone beforehand for easy access to your boarding passes, tickets, maps, tours, and more.
Download Skype, WhatsApp and FaceBook Messenger
FaceTime is a great, mostly free option to stay in contact with people while traveling (and there's no difference when using it internationally). However, many people don't use FaceTime, and this is especially true if your circle of contacts includes business associates and a variety of friends who may or may not have iPhones. That's why we suggest downloading the Skype app too. It has many of the advantages of FaceTime, but expands the number of contacts you'll be able to reach while traveling. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are two other must-haves.
Bring an Outlet Adapter Kit
Yes, different countries have different outlets, and that can prove to be a problem when trying to charge your iPhone, iPad or Mac. If you'll be traveling abroad with your MacBook for a long period of time, we suggest investing in an Apple World Travel Kitthat includes a variety of charger plugs for any outlet that you're likely to find. This Flip Quad World Adapter is a great option for all of your iOS devices.
Get a Portable Battery
While having the right foreign AC plugs and adapters are always a huge help while traveling, you may be planning a trip where you won't have much access to electrical outlets, or maybe planning a trip that includes significant periods of road travel. In these cases, it's imperative to bring a portable battery that can provide extra iPhone charges when you need them the most. Even better yet, some portable battery packs (like this one) come bundled with foreign outlet adapters.