With which mobile phone to go on a trip

There is some irreducible who still resist the smartphone, for my part I’m pretty addicted. And without spending (always) my whole day the phone in hand, I would not have envisaged leaving a year on a trip without my iPhone. Neither especially its large number of applications that made my life easier. So before tackling the question of useful applications, with which phones go?


The title of this article should indeed be plural because it seems useful to leave with two phones and keep its line and its French number.

Keep your smartphone (or buy one)

You have to keep your smartphone to use it either without a SIM card (make sure it works, old iPhones could not work without a sim card), or with a local sim card. This phone will serve if necessary to communicate locally, to connect to the Internet, to take pictures, to listen to music, to keep all your contacts, but especially to use all the smartphone applications essential for travel. I recommend oppo because oppo mobile price is not high and best for travelers.

If you need to buy a smartphone before you leave, make sure it has enough memory to load a large number of applications.

Some travelers recommend a dual sim smartphone that will host a French sim and a local sim. If you already have a good one. But investing in this type of object can seem expensive compared to a basic phone and limit your choices considerably at the time of purchase. That’s why I advocate buying a basic phone.

Buy a phone first price

This second phone will be used to host your SIM card with your French number. I recommend you buy a basic unlocked phone, solid, premium. It must also work on telephone networks around the world, so quad-band.

For my part, I chose a Samsungwhich has the advantage of being very cheap, with a good battery, solid enough, and quad-band. It can even contain a second sim card, but that’s the subject of the second phone.

Take a package for 2 $.

For travelers with the fixed term, I recommend to keep his phone number and take a flat rate of € 2 at Free. It’s very easy, in 5 minutes the change of the package or the portability of the number from another operator is carried out on the website of Free. It is possible to get a sim card from an ATM if there is no time to wait for the mailing which can take up to a week.

Even over a year, it remains a minimal investment and yet very useful. Thus, when you return to the united states all your entourage will have kept your number and can reach you. But also, and especially during your trip your bank can send you SMS for your credit card payments online.

And to call united states?

To call in the united states from abroad, do not use the phone function of your smartphone but prefer dedicated applications.

We must agree in advance with his interlocutors on the application to be preferred. This can be Facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Skype and many more. These applications allow you to call for free when you are connected to the internet, 3G or Wi-Fi. The only problem to manage is the time difference!

And for those who have contacts to call who do not use these applications, Skype can buy a drill with which you can call on landlines. I have sometimes used this option to call my family on a landline in an area where the internet connection is bad, this remains a very cheap expense.

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Remember to activate the “International” option before leaving

To receive your SMS abroad (and therefore those of your bank), do not forget to activate the international option (10 $) before leaving, because at distance it is more complicated (it is necessary to review a code by text message!). If you do not activate it, nothing will work abroad, even SMS. Yes, the snake is biting its tail if we are already gone. It will then be necessary to find a contact in the united states to carry out the manipulation.

However, even with the international option, it can happen that rooming does not work, and in my experience, it is random. In a year of traveling and 18 countries crossed, my phone has worked everywhere except in Malaysia and Argentina. I have never been able to understand why just a malfunction that does not seem so rare if I believe the conversations on social networks that I read on occasion. The trigger at the crossing of the border simply has not been done and in this case, it remains only to wait for the crossing of the next border!!!!

No luck if it is at a time when you want to buy a plane ticket with your credit card … But we always find a solution.

Buy a local sim card to browse the internet

Internet use abroad with a French package is often very expensive. In Europe, it will be included in the packages at the latest this summer. but for the rest of the world, it will be expensive, especially for a long trip. It is, therefore, more advantageous if one wishes to use a phone plan or data to buy a local sim card.

In most countries, it is possible to buy a sim card without any formality. Sometimes you have to give a copy of your passport.

In general, it is a sim card with a dedicated number and a data and/or call plan for a given time. No subscription, no commitment, if the data plan is complete just buy a recharge in a mobile phone shop.

For my part, I have often bought local sim cards in Asia, which allowed me to have 3G almost everywhere and to overcome the Wi-Fi networks sometimes faulty hostels. It’s often very cheap ($ 5 for 3 gigabytes of data) and it’s nice to be connected, even if it’s not necessary. In Latin America, on the contrary, they are more expensive and I took the opportunity to disconnect a little bit.

Protect your smartphone

Do not forget to properly protect your smartphone. It’s advice that is not specific to travel, but at the end of the world, you will be even more unhappy or at least even more annoyed if the phone were to fall and the window to crack.

From experience, I can tell you that there is not (yet?) Repairer at every street corner as in the united states. And when we find one, the price is sometimes indecent.

A protective shell that will not only be pretty but especially protect the corners of your phone will avoid this kind of embarrassment. And a protective film will allow you to use the phone some time even with a cracked window without risking injury or aggravate the situation.

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