A European vacation is bound to bring historical intrigue, incredible food, encounters with interesting people, and great memories.
If you’re reading this article, I’m guessing it’s because you’re well on your way to planning your trip. Maybe you’ve booked your flights, gotten your passport, and even started planning a list of sites you want to visit first. Now, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get your phone and other devices ready.
Here are some of my recommendations for how to make things easier.
5 Tips for Using Your Phone in Europe
1. Make sure you’re ready for different charging standards
Most of us already own phone chargers for when we’re at home, but depending on where you’re going, international travel might require a few additional preparations. Electrical charging standards vary in different countries, so there might be problems if you try to use your normal charger abroad. One solution is to buy an adaptor, but even that might not be enough. You might run into multiple different charging standards as you move across the European continent. That’s why it might be helpful to pick up an international charging kit like this one. This could help you adapt to the multiple types of charging ports you might encounter.
2. Consider an international phone plan
If you plan on using your phone service in Europe, you’re going to have a few options. The first would be to limit your usage to when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. That might work if all you want to do is post pictures when you get back to your hotel and things like that. Another idea would be to look up the roaming fees or per-use rates for your mobile carrier, and just pay as you go. That option can get expensive, but some people might consider it for reaching out in case of emergencies. The third option would be to purchase some type of international travel package through your wireless carrier. This is the option I would recommend if you’re planning on using your phone much on your trip.
AT&T customers, for example, can sign up for International Day Pass. With International Day Pass, you can use your AT&T unlimited plan or Mobile Share plan while traveling abroad in more than 210 destinations. You’ll get unlimited talk within and between International Day Pass destinations and back to the U.S., unlimited text, and use of the same high-speed data plan that you use at home. *
International Day Pass costs $10 per day for the first line on your account. After that, it will only cost $5 per day for each extra line used on the same calendar day. You won’t be charged for more than 10 days per line in a bill period. That means you won’t be charged more than $100 per line per bill cycle for use in IDP countries.
One other nice thing about International Day Pass is you won’t have to manually turn off this feature once you return to the United States. You can keep it on each line on your account and you’ll be all set for your next trip. You won’t be charged again until you use your phone in one of the 210+ destinations.
AT&T may slow data speeds in U.S. or Mexico if network is busy.
*When added to your Unlimited Plan. Coverage and Data speed vary by country and may be changed.
3. Invest in a portable power bank
Many travelers rely on their phones for important tasks like navigation. The downside of this is that if you use your phone frequently, you’ll also be wearing down your battery a lot. You might want to invest in a portable power bank. That way, if your phone starts to die, you can plug into your power bank rather than having to stop to recharge your devices. After all, nobody wants to be stranded with a dead phone, especially if it’s your main source of directions in a foreign country.
4. Back up your pictures to the cloud
The pictures you take on your trip to Europe could be something you look back fondly on for years to come. We all try to be careful, but sometimes life happens, and a phone ends up lost or broken. It’d be a tragedy if somehow you ended up losing all the incredible pictures from your trip.
That’s why I recommend regularly backing up your photos on some type of cloud service. If you’re an AT&T customer, one good option could be AT&T Personal Cloud.
5. Protect your phone from accidents
It’d be silly to go through all these steps to prepare your device, only to bust it the first time you drop it getting on the plane. Some phones are more durable than others, but I’ve found it’s best to be on the safe side and invest in a high-quality phone case. This will help you make sure you have a working phone to find your way around, take pictures, and keep in touch with loved ones back home.
Enjoy your trip to Europe!
Trips are supposed to be fun! You should be out exploring Roman architecture or dancing at a club in Berlin, not worrying about small things like your cell phone plan. Hopefully, these tips helped you put your mind at ease, so you can focus on having a good time. Good luck and safe travels!
This article is AT&T sponsored content written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor and AT&T employee. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.