Things to Consider Before Taking Your Devices Overseas

When you’re going on a trip, you often get so caught up in the excitement of getting to your destination that you often forget to protect what’s nearest and dearest in the best fashion possible. Family comes first, but don’t forget about your devices! Chances are you can’t readily buy another smartphone at a simple whim. And if you lose one of your personal devices, you’re not only losing the hardware, but you’re also losing your data. This catastrophe can be somewhat mitigated if you make sure you have made certain preparations before taking your devices to a foreign land.

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If you’re travelling inside your country, you’ve got nothing to worry about since your phone’s protocols will work no matter where you go. There’s nothing stopping you from using the same phone everywhere. But if you’re travelling to another land, you’re going to have to find out whether there will be problems transferring over to a new protocol. Talk to your carrier. They can help you either configure your phone to speak the same language as the destination’s carriers or give you some advice on what to do when you arrive.

Even if you’re going to a safe destination, there are nuances about the place that are different from what you are accustomed to. For this reason, foreigners in a new country are more susceptible to being stolen from since they draw the most attention. Keep your tablets, laptops, and cell phones guarded and inside a coat whenever possible. Have your hotel document the valuable things you leave behind. Many hotels allow you to take all your valuables out of your room and then leave them in a special container of theirs where it’s all accounted for. Unaccounted goods can go missing and the hotel claims no liability for lost items.

Whether your mobile carrier or your travel agency offers it, get some insurance coverage for all of your devices. There’s nothing wrong with spending a little money to make sure that you can replace a device (or at least pay partially for its replacement) when it’s lost. Talk to both your carrier and the agency making your travel arrangements to ensure that you can get some insurance for lost items. You should also get some health insurance!

Leave whatever devices you can do without at home. Prioritize them and make sure you’re taking only what you really need. The more devices you take, the higher your chances are of one of them getting lost or stolen. If you think you’ll miss your mobile phone, see if you can lease one from a foreign carrier at your destination. You can then see if you can use that device to tether to your laptop for internet access if you hotel doesn’t offer Wi-Fi or Ethernet already (most of them do these days, even in the poorest countries).

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If you’re from the US and travelling to Europe, you’re going to have to deal with differences in voltage within electrical systems. The US typically uses 115-120 V, while Europe uses 220-240 V. As a word of advice, almost everyone tells you to get a travel adapter that transforms the voltage for you. However, these things end up costing you dearly. Let me tell you a secret: You don’t always need one. You will need the foreign country’s plug to work your device, but some devices work well in either 115 or 220 V. If you fee`l confident in your ability to read specifications on your charger, go ahead and read them. The plug for your charger should tell you if it’s able to work at both voltages. The charger on my phone, for example, reads “Input: 100-240V AC.” That means I can use it in practically any country without a voltage adapter. I just buy a $2 plug and that’s it!

To make the most out of every travel experience, I suggest that you abide by these guidelines strictly and ensure that everyone travelling with you does the same. Just don’t forget to have fun. And if you have anything else to add to this, please leave a comment!

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