6 Sneaky Smartphone Hacks for Business Travelers
There are some things in life business travelers just can’t change, but for almost everything else there’s a hack. These tips for making your smartphone work for you should make your life easier and avoid some hassles.
Switch SIM cards when traveling abroad. You don’t have to accept exorbitant charges from your cell phone provider just because you’re seeing the world. Simply by switching out your SIM card (provided you have an unlocked phone), you can control how you use your device, whether it’s just for data and texts or only for emergency calls. I know some business travelers who will even have a mobile phone they use for that particular country. But if you don’t want to deal with that, ask your mobile phone provider for a model of phone that lets you swap out SIM cards.
Instead of relying on access to data in order to navigate through an unknown city, download apps that function offline or take screenshots of the map you will need.
Use Skype, FaceTime, Google Voice, or Google Duo to make free calls. Talk for as long as you want without incurring any charges as long as you’re connected to wifi (Google Duo lets you make video calls, Google Voice is the voice-only option.) Not only can you chat voice-to-voice for free, you can text to your heart’s content without eating up your data if you and your friends take advantage of one of several free text apps. Check out WhatsApp, Kik, and HeyWire, among others for free texting. These are ideal for international business travelers who need to stay in touch with the office, but are trying to manage your phone’s data plan.
Your phone’s lock screen can display a message about how to contact you if you lose your phone. Take a photo of your business card or a piece of paper with the necessary information written on it, and make it your lock screen wallpaper.
Your phone keeps track of how much data you use. You can reset it to zero at the beginning of a specific period when you know you only have so much data available, allowing you to monitor how much your chewing up by streaming your music or watching Netflix. Find out how to reset your data monitoring by checking your phone’s settings.
Stick a $10 or $20 bill inside your cell phone case. If you ever lose your purse or wallet, at least you’ll have some funds available to help kickstart your search, or get yourself to a place where you can stop and gather your wits while you figure out what to do next.
Photo credit: Amy Wardlaw (Flickr, Creative Commons)