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21 July 2010

12 things to remember before travelling with your mobile smartphone

I'll be heading for Bangkok and Singapore in the coming days so updates will be particularly interesting about travelling with the Nokia E72 but updates will not be as often. Before we leave, here are some tips to remember before you travel to make the most out of your mobile phone whilst overseas 

1 Check you have international roaming activated. Even if you do not intend to make or receive calls, many do not realise that you can receive SMS usually for free when you are using your phone overseas. This may be a good way to keep in touch in case of emergencies. 

2 Unlock your phone Some phones such as those provided by THREE will be locked to the network. This will render your mobile useless if you intend to use a SIM card overseas. Learn how to unlock your phone from here.

3 Travel Guides and Translators It may be worth downloading a travel guide or even a translator program for your phone before you leave. One such program is called BabelPhone which you can download for free at the Ovi Store. This program translates common phrases and says them out loud to the person you are trying to communicate with. The free software is available for English to Chinese. XS2theWorld provide some excellent travel guides. 

4 Notes Store your essential information on your phone. If you are storing sensitive information like passport numbers, maybe its a good idea to store it in a note without specifying that it is your passport number. Call it your mother's number or something. Things you might store could be:
- Hotel address and contact numbers and booking reference numbers 
- Good places to get free wifi, cheap food 

5 Calendar Store your flight times, booking details and key appointments. Backup to gmail or google calendar.

6 Charger / Spare Battery This is one of those things that most commonly gets left behind when you go on holidays. It is worth carrying a spare battery or two with you because with such good phones as  the E72, it becomes your PDA, computer, notepad, map, tour guide, calculator and even voice navigator for driving and walking. Don't forget to save yourself some hassles and fully charge your phone before leaving!

7 Download relevant Nokia Maps Remember the free service that you have for your mobile? Yeah the difference between your Nokia and other phones is that you can pre-load maps of countries that you visit! That way you do not need an internet connection to connect to Google Maps. 
8 Backup your mobile numbers, sms, calendars etc using your PC suite so that if anything happens to your mobile phone on holidays, you are not completely devastated.

9 Save your IMEI number in case your phone is lost or stolen. The IMEI number can be found by *#06# on your mobile. This is the unique serial number for your phone. 

10 Remote Locking Figure out how this works before you leave... because you can SMS your stolen phone and have it automatically lock  up! Read the article here for more about this security feature that you probably didn't even know existed.

11 Check Incompatibility There are also some places in the world where you cannot even use SIM cards so bear that in mind. These countries it would be best to just use your phone on roaming.

12 Load up on mp3s etc For those budget flights where you can't even watch a movie for free, don't forget to download some audiobooks and music to amuse yourself with during the flight. Most phones like the E72 come with plenty of gigs to store more than enough entertainment options for your flight and train rides.

Have you got any more tips we missed? 


  1. great tips, especially the maps.
    do not forget to pack your charger and know you have a means of converting it to the mains power of your destination country.

  2. yeah, all good tips them. First things that came to my mind were charger and what apps are sending data. There are some that you might want to stop from automatically data sending whilst abroad to keep you costs down.

  3. I just got back from Norway, and it was great having my e63 along, because with the Wi-Fi, I could connect most every day, even if just loitering in front of a coffee shop or restaurant with free wi-fi.

    I was also careful not to use data at US$15 per mb.

    The maps on my wife's T-mobile US Nokia 5230 didn't really work that well, though we didn't really need them to navigate. I'm curious if I had the settings wrong. It took forever to get a fix on us offline.

  4. Remote Locking...

    Tried on my E72, not working....
    Tried on my colleague's E72, not working as well...
    (both firmware version 031)

    Do it work on your E72?

  5. Liquid - Thanks

    Itsnoel - yeah data sending apps can be a pain

    Joe - E63 is unassumingly powerful! Not sure about the 5230 GPS positioning but even E72 struggles at times to get a lock.

    Latte - it works. I just tried it. However the locking code u sms is case sensitive.

  6. Another handy addition is Skype or any other VOIP piece of software. And a lightweight chat client. Slick,Fring or any other you prefer. Extremely Handy if you are travelling alone and want to communicate with the folks back home.