When you are packing for vacation, chances are you are concentrating on clothes. You may want to give some thought to the mobile devices you are going to bring and what you may need to support it. Here are some ways to prepare your devices and accessories so you can be connected when you need to be.
Research Global Plans
Contact your carrier to see if switching to a global plan would benefit you based on the locations you are traveling to. Charges while roaming can quickly become astronomical. Without a global plan, data transferred will cost approximately $1.99/MB. Texts are $.50 for outgoing and incoming.
Download What You Won’t be Able to Access
Download books, music, games, apps, and movies ahead of time. Even if you switch to a global plan for the duration of your trip, it is still going to cost you per MB of data transferred. For this reason, it is a good idea to download anything you think you might need prior to sailing into a roaming area or worse, an area that completely lacks service.
Waterproof Your Devices
Get a waterproof case for your phone (or tablet) if you plan to take it with you on any excursions that might involve the water or the beach. If you have a good camera on your smartphone, there is really no reason to bring an extra camera if you can waterproof it. If you have an older phone, basic phone or a phone that isn’t compatible with a LifeProof or OtterBox case, you can get a waterproof box that will fit one or two phones and perhaps some cash and credit cards. Just be careful not to let your smartphone and credit cards touch as the phone could render magnetic strip on the card useless. Also, keep your room key or cruise access passes away from your smartphone.
Use Airplane Mode
When you are traveling by plane, most airplines will allow you to keep cell phones and tablets on for the whole flight but they must be in airplane mode. When you are on a cruise out of cell phone range, if put your device(s) in Airplane Mode. you will keep your device from constantly searching for signal. That process consumes a great deal of battery and you’ll find it draining rapidly without even using any of the voice or data services.
Set Date and Time Manually
While you are at sea or in another country using a different radio signal and you plan to use your phone for a watch or an alarm clock, you’ll need to set the date and time manually. When you put the device in airplane mode, it will no longer keep the correct time. Do this by turning off the network provided time and time zone and set it yourself. That way you can still use your phone for a watch and you’ll always have a camera on hand. Be aware, of any times changes if you are traveling across time zones.
A little preparation before you head on vacation will make for a better trip, especially if you are the type that is used to being “connected” at all times. The first few times you pick up your device to Google something and realize it’s either not possible or going to cost you a bundle will make you rethink being connected. You’ll be happy you downloaded what you may need and prepared your technology for it’s own vacation.
Check back next week for Part 2 of this series. I will tell you about some FANTASTIC accessories that will make your life and vacation easier, where your mobile devices are concerned, I have no control over air traffic!