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Five Ways to Use Your Phone Overseas Without Getting Locked Out

Using your phone overseas seems like it should be easy, but if you’ve ever forgotten to turn off data roaming or failed to get on Wi-Fi, you know just how easy it is to run up unexpected international data charges. You may also face issues like phone lockout which can be a headache while travelling abroad.  Follow these five steps, however, and you’ll avoid those charges, issues which I mentioned and get the most out of your trip abroad.   

Tips to Safely Use Your Phone While Travelling  

Create a Backup PIN 

If you’re traveling internationally, it’s important to keep in mind that not all networks will be compatible with your device. If this happens, your phone will lock and you’ll need a backup PIN code to unlock it, so it’s imperative that you create one before your trip. You can do this by going into Settings on your phone and then selecting Screen Lock. From there, simply select None as the type of screen lock (or input a number if pre-installed) and enter in any four digit PIN code that doesn’t match any other passwords for other accounts (like email or Facebook). 

Enable Smart Lock 

Smart Lock is a convenient way to access your password-protected apps and services on any Android device, including when using it internationally. Here’s how:  

  1. Open Google Play Store 
  2. Tap My Apps  
  3. Choose Smart Lock  
  4. Select Trusted Devices  
  5. Touch the device you want to trust
  6. Touch Trust this Device
  7. Touch OK 

Disable Auto-Lock 

This is probably one of the easiest things to do on your phone when you’re going abroad because most phones have this setting available right in the settings menu. Simply go into Settings, then General, and select Auto-Lock. From there, select any amount of time that will work for you before it auto-locks, whether it’s five minutes or an hour. It’ll keep your phone unlocked while still being secure! To disable, simply head back into the settings menu and deselect the Auto-Lock option. Get a Local SIM Card: If you plan on using your phone a lot in another country but don’t want to get locked out from not remembering a password or PIN, then getting a local SIM card could be the best option for you. 

Set up Trusted Networks 

A simple solution that prevents this is to enable trusted networks. This will allow you to keep using your phone as usual while in any one of these networks but, if an unknown network tries to access it, they will be blocked by default. Another reason why you may want to enable trusted networks is because certain countries require devices on their cell network with a 3G/4G radio, such as Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Luckily, there’s a built-in workaround for this so if you’re in one of these countries, the setting should already be enabled. 


Get a local SIM card 

If you plan on being in another country for an extended period of time, the best way to save money while abroad is with a local SIM card. Here are some things you need to know before and after getting a SIM card: 

  1. Make sure your phone is unlocked. If it isn’t, your carrier may charge you for this service or you may not be able to get one at all.  
  2. Call your carrier before going overseas and ask about international rates. You might want to consider using Wi-Fi most of the time if the rates are high because roaming charges can be expensive. 3) Ask about any fees that apply when purchasing a local SIM card, like activation fees or cancellation fees. 
Roam free (safely) 
  1. Know your carrier’s policy before you travel 
  2. Turn off data roaming 
  3. Purchase a SIM card with a data plan 
  4. Put your phone in airplane mode when not using it 
  5. Install a VPN app on your device
Add an International Calling Plan to Save Big Bucks 

Even if you have an unlimited international data plan for your cell phone, it’s always a good idea to add an international calling plan as well – this way, if there’s no WiFi or data service, you’ll still be able to call and text other cell phones.  

An international calling plan is a feature that allows users in foreign countries to make calls back home at local rates (usually much cheaper than typical roaming charges). The best part? International calling plans work whether or not there is any WiFi connection or mobile data service available in the country where they’re used! 

People can make local and national calls through a normal pack over a cellular network, but for calling internationally, users are required to pay for an additional ISD pack, which varies across different cellular networks. International Subscriber Dialling service, commonly called ISD, allows users to make international calls. 

Reliance-owned Jio offers a Global ISD Combo 501 Pack, which costs Rs 501 and is available for both prepaid and postpaid customers.  

Jio offers ISD service for 230 countries across over 14,000 area codes. 

Customers can make ISD calls by prefixing “+” to the international phone number along with the area code. 

Go paperless 

Instead of carrying a paper map, use your phone’s maps app. It will be easier to use, and more importantly, you won’t have to worry about it blowing away in the wind. You can also update your location on Facebook or Twitter for family and friends back home if you’re having trouble making contact with them. 


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