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Your Smartphone Preparedness Travel Guide

June 4, 2018

For many of us, our smartphone is a vital travel tool. We rely on it for navigating unfamiliar places, taking photos, and identifying recreational activities. Michael Zhao, an editor for TheWirecutter.com, offers the following tips on what to pack in addition to your smartphone—so you won’t be stranded when traveling this summer...or any other time of the year.

  • A backup battery. When traveling, you will likely use your smartphone for many tasks, causing you to burn through your battery quickly. A small, lightweight external battery pack is a must.

  • At least three power cables. Pack two power cables for your phone—one that stays in the hotel room and another to carry with your battery pack. Your third power cable should charge your battery pack.

  • A multi-port wall charger. For the sake of traveling light, don't pack multiple power bricks to charge your phone and battery. Buy a multi-port wall charger that can power all your gadgets at the same time.

  • A plug adapter (if applicable). Some countries will have power outlets that are incompatible with your plugs. Research the type of power outlets that your destination has to determine if you need a plug adapter.

  • A SIM card ejector (if applicable). If you plan to use a foreign wireless carrier's service, you will need to pack a card ejector. This looks like a small metal pin and is used to swap out your SIM card for the foreign carrier's.

A few other tips for smartphone-dependent travelers:

  • Download important apps and maps ahead of time. You never know whether cell service will be sluggish or spotty, so download must-have media ahead of time at home.

  • Have a backup plan for logging into important apps, such as those with two-factor authenticathat require a special code be texted to your phone.

In addition to all of these tips, you may also want to pack noise-canceling headphones to eliminate background noise while en route to your destination…as well as help you relax during your stay. So, if you are traveling this summer, here’s to a relaxing, stress-free and quiet time away from home!

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