#Travel140 #TravelTip: Download before you go to avoid big data roaming charges and still be in the know.
Got a big trip – or any trip, really – coming up? Before you hit the road, hit a Wi-Fi hotspot. Travelers today rely on technology – especially smartphones – for almost everything from maps and directions to entertainment to language phrasebooks. Wireless carriers around the world are more than happy to provide you with a data connection, but always at a cost – sometimes substantial. To help keep your costs low, download as much as you can on Wi-Fi, either before leaving home or on free hotspots. This includes syncing any important email so that you have a copy resident on your device.
Many applications, including mapping, language, game and entertainment apps, have off-line versions or downloadable “packs” so that you don’t have to rely on spotty or expensive cell coverage. For example, we’re great fans of Google’s Translate app, which allows us to download entire language packs in advance of our travels. This way, we don’t have to say “Je ne parle pas francais,” even if there is no cell coverage when and where we need it.
This can be particularly important if you like watching movies or listening to music on your smartphone. Be sure your entertainment apps have off-line options, then put your phone in Airplane Mode so you’re not inadvertently streaming your workout tunes on a roaming data network.
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