Cell phone use while on vacationSome of the most common questions received are regarding the use of portable electronic devices while traveling.  While a great convenience, they can distract you from the relaxation and joy of vacation and become a major expense.  If you must communicate while traveling, these tips can help mitigate frustration and save you money.

Cell Phones:

  • Call your cell phone service provider to determine if your phone will work in the country you will be visiting.  Otherwise, you must have an unlocked phone so that you can put a SIM card from a local provider at your destination.  Again, your provider will be able to tell you if your phone is locked and if they can provide you a code to unlock your phone.
  • Discuss your needs with your provider to determine the plan that is best for you.  Remember to cover all services including the cost of the plan and the call, text and data usage charges.
  • Use Wi-Fi for most data usage while traveling to avoid huge data charges.  Text first and as a last resort, use the phone to communicate only when necessary.
  • Note: Verizon customers can borrow a global phone for free that will have their number and contacts loaded.


  • When traveling with computers overseas, make sure all sensitive data is removed.  Computers are subject to search by customs agents in many countries.  If you don’t want others to see it, remove it.
  • Many hotels offer Internet access overseas in public areas and/or your room.  To access in your room there will be a daily charge.  Many hotels offer free access in the lobby.  For either of these options, be wary of accessing sensitive data.
  • For sensitive data or heavy usage, look at a mobile hotspot.  Lots of options from different companies are now available.
  • Remember to check the voltage needed to see if a converter will be required (most will work with 110 -240V) and the type of plug adapter necessary.