Helpful Hints for Taking Your Cell Phone on Trips

IMG_5742Check out these great travel tips from the February issue of “Cy’s Suitcase,” the official newsletter of the ISU Alumni Association Traveling Cyclones written by director of alumni travel Shellie Andersen ’88.

1) Charge your phone using the USB port on the side of a hotel TV. Power adapters are kind of a pain. But many of the flat-screen TVs you’ll find in hotel rooms have USB ports on the side, which can come in handy for charging. You do have to keep the TV on, so it’s probably not great for an overnight charge.

2) But still bring a travel adapter. Get a universal travel adapter that lets you toggle for use in different regions. (And buy it in advance; they’re always marked up in the airport.)

3) Get an international data plan. They aren’t that expensive.

4) If you use roaming data without a prepaid plan, you will return to a huge bill. Most carriers let you buy 100 MB or so of data for use on your trip, which is enough to check your email a few times a day and maybe post a picture on Facebook. AT&T charges $30 for 120 MB (a good bet for a trip that’s shorter than 10 days) or $60 for 300 MB (ideal for longer trips), which you can use over the period of a month. Verizon’s structure is slightly different — they let you pay $25 for every 100 MB. The 100 MB or so is enough data for light usage, but it’s not a ton. On an iPhone, you can track how much data you’re using by going to Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Usage. Just before you leave, hit “Reset Statistics” so you can start tracking your usage.

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