What’s the one thing you can’t leave home and go travelling without these days? While there used to be a campaign for a credit card that said: “Don’t leave home without it”, today we’d argue that the new must-not-forget item is your mobile phone! As a matter of fact, an Expedia/Egencia Mobile Index Study of Global Travelers revealed that the smartphone even beats deodorant as the ‘most indispensable’ item to pack!
Let’s take a look at what kinds of things you need your mobile phone for when travelling and then you can ask yourself if you would rather leave it at home.
Well of course. You need to be able to use your mobile phone for communication, whether that means phoning people back home, calling local businesses or dialling a number in an emergency. But it also means communicating via text message or the many different apps you can use that depend on data rather than your phone plan’s calling and texting allowances. Viber, Skype and WhatsApp are just three of the most common ones.
Even if you don’t plan on calling anyone, it’s good to be able to be contacted in an emergency by loved ones back home or by travelling companions who need to locate you or get in touch.
Tip: Use Wi-Fi instead of global roaming because it’s cheaper and even free in many places and won’t chew into your data.
It’s useful to be able to access your banking portal when you’re travelling because if you run out of money or lose your wallet, you can always have a family member deposit cash into your bank account for immediate access via your phone. And if your phone has mobile PayWave or similar, then bingo! You can pay without even needing to use your ATM or credit/debit card.
It’s also handy to be able to check your account balance and transfer funds without having to go to an ATM in a foreign location. Plus, if you receive your regular bills via email then you can pay them instantly without having to face overdue invoices upon your arrival home.
It’s true, most of us are utterly addicted to our social media platforms. Of course, when you’re travelling, you want to share with the world what you’re seeing, doing and yes, eating. Check in on Facebook and have everyone green with envy. Upload pics to Instagram of the most exquisite infinity pool ever and you’ll have captured that memory for your return. Tweet about crazy things going on and alert others in the area to avoid it or rush to it, depending on what’s happening.
When you travel, following profiles of relevant authorities, tourist spots or Australian and local news services can be an incredibly powerful way of knowing what your next move should be. When huge news stories hit such as extreme weather events or political upheaval, you will have up to the minute coverage in the palm of your hand.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to take photos and video with your mobile phone. After all, there’s so much to see and you want to show it off to your friends and family, and record it for your own amusement later. These days, there’s no need to pack a camera when you have your phone. Just make sure you don’t miss being in the moment. Put the phone down sometimes and enjoy the experience without a lens coming between you and the world.
Long-haul flights and hour after hour spent in airport lounges can be boring and tiring. And sometimes you just want to block out the world and be alone with your music. Isn’t it fabulous that you can carry with you your entire album collection or library of novels to catch up on while sunning yourself on the beach? Then there’s your latest addictive game and now that you’re on holidays, you’ll have tons of time to unlock a few levels. Watch your downloaded movies while in transit, use your favourite playlist to alter your mood or take the opportunity to do some self-improvement via a non-fiction book. It’s all right there … as long as you don’t lose your phone!
First, you panic! Then you remember that you purchased travel insurance covering mobile phones and breathe a huge sigh of relief. Depending on the policy you have, you could be covered for accidental loss, damage or theft. Considering how expensive mobile phones are, with all their computing power and massive functionality, not to mention style and street cred, travel insurance for your mobile phone is definitely an option to consider.
Just be sure to read the policy to know what you are and are not covered for. Also make a note of your phone’s IMEI number, the make and model. Try to get your hands on your purchase receipt. You might also want to use cloud storage for the files you have on your phone so that if it does go missing and you purchase a replacement, you need only log in to your account and voila, everything will be back as it should be.
Above all, when you purchase travel insurance, it may not automatically come with coverage for your mobile phone so if it doesn’t, find out how you can add it.