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How to Stay Connected While Abroad

It is common for many to bring their mobile phone and laptop with them on their trip in the hopes of staying connected. However in some cases, people find that they have in fact travelled abroad with no clear line of communication and then a medical emergency arises. Their mobiles won't accept incoming calls, their phone dies, or they are in an area with very poor reception.

Follow these tips to ensure that you have a working phone and are able to be contacted while abroad!

Tip: Why not print this out as a pre-travel checklist or save it to your electronic device and take it with you on your trip?

Phones

This may be obvious to some but is often overlooked. It is also a good idea to charge up spare phone batteries and take them with you, especially if you are certain that charging facilities may not be readily available.

Also remember to shut down any apps you're not going to use as these can quickly drain your battery.

Ensure that your phone can accept incoming and outgoing calls when abroad as you may be required to purchase an add-on. Check that your phone is unlocked and that there will be good network coverage abroad.

You will need to also check whether your phone's frequencies will match that of your destination. Is your phone dual-band, tri-band or quad-band? All recent UK sold phones are dual-band and can be used throughout Europe. You will need a tri-band phone (or quad-band in some areas) for travel to North and South America. If you are heading to Asia, particularly South Korea and Japan, you will need a 3G phone.

If your phone's frequency is not compatible with that of your destination, some phone providers can offer you a phone rental service.

If you are planning on using an international sim card in replacement of your usual number, make sure that your friends, family and travel insurance provider are informed of your temporary number before your departure.

It is important to ensure this doesn't run out when you need it most. If you know how much your average credit or pre-paid usage is, consider setting an alarm to remind you when it's nearly time to top up.

These can include numbers of your travel insurance provider, the travel insurance 24 hour medical emergency line, your hotel and your airline. The equivalent number to 999 when abroad is 112, which can be used to get through to the emergency services such as the police, ambulance or mountain rescue team.

However, avoid solely relying on your phone as a means of storing these numbers just in case the battery runs out, it is lost or stolen. Always have a written back up of important numbers and keep them with you at all times.

Internet & Email

This is not reliable for medical calls as the line can be unstable. If you don't already have a pre-paid package, it will require Wi-Fi to be used which is not always readily available.

Empty out everything you don't need so that you are able to receive incoming emails.

Add your travel insurance provider and other important contacts to your allow list. Remember to also check your junk mail folder as things can often get "œlost."

 

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