Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Tech Tips for Summer Travel Abroad

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 06/16/14 -- (Family Features) Whether you're seeking the view from the London Eye, the thrill of zip-lining in Belize or the taste of an icy cold gelato in the streets of Rome -- summer adventure is calling.

World Travel on the Rise
According to the airline industry association A4A, air travel is expected to rise to its highest level in six years this summer, with a record number of people travelling internationally. However, if you count yourself among those travelers -- perhaps one of the estimated hundreds of thousands of Americans headed to Brazil for the World Cup -- are you prepared to stay connected with friends and family back home and easily share your adventures with them?

Many travelers hit the road expecting to use their smartphones abroad in the same way they use them at home, relying on them for navigation, using their favorite apps for travel tips and freely posting pictures to social media. But many are unclear about international roaming costs and coverage.

"For those who do travel or call overseas, it's hugely expensive or requires all kinds of workarounds to avoid the huge fees," said Ovum analyst Jan Dawson. "So this is a real pain point for some customers, at least."

A recent Kelton survey confirmed a high level of exasperation that international travelers feel when journeying abroad. Here are some of the results:

  • Nearly everyone surveyed (88 percent) reported being frustrated by the expenses and challenges of staying connected while abroad.
  • Among customers of the big three carriers, nearly 20 percent leave their devices at home or never turn them on while travelling outside the U.S.
  • Another 40 percent turn off data roaming to avoid high costs, and 20 percent say they would turn off data roaming if they knew how.

Make Sure You're Prepared
So, before you head off on your summer journey, T-Mobile wants to make sure you're armed with the best mobile tech tips for staying connected internationally. These ideas can save you from unnecessary headaches and a ton of money along the way.

  • Check your coverage: Before you travel, make sure you know the network specifications and international data rates for your carrier in the places where you're travelling. Be sure to make adjustments if necessary to avoid costly surprises in your bill when you return.
  • Find the best international plan: Look for carriers, such as T-Mobile for example, that provide unlimited data and texting in 120-plus countries and destinations worldwide with their Simple Choice plan, freeing you from the worry of coming home to bill shock from outrageous roaming fees. Because most carriers tack 90 percent margins into their global roaming plans, many consumers see their costs total more than $1,000 a day when they use their phones abroad the way they normally do at home. Last Fall, T-Mobile launched international data roaming and texting at no extra charge -- plus slashed calls to a low flat rate of 20 cents a minute -- in more than 120 countries and destinations worldwide.
  • Explore the extras: Prepaid international calling cards may also be available through your wireless provider. Also, special day or week passes can get you access to high speed data or additional services.
  • Don't forget insurance: In case your device gets lost, stolen or damaged along the way, be sure to secure an insurance plan to protect it.

Travel blogger Summer Hull of Boarding Area's Mommy Points column notes her own personal experience with trying to stay connected while abroad.

"I am honestly sick of having to jump through so many hoops and keep such close tabs on usage internationally with other providers," said Hull. "I'm also sick of the big bills that come with having international add-ons. This T-Mobile approach sounds so much, well, simpler."

Vacation-worthy Devices and Accessories
Here is a list of the smartphones, tablets and accessories to take with you to keep up with your summer travel needs:

  • Samsung Galaxy S5: This water-resistant phone is perfect for all your outdoor activities and includes a story album to journal your travels with pictures and notes that can be published as actual books.
  • HTC One M8: The highlights for this device include Boomsound for listening to music outside, HTC Duo Camera for taking brilliant day or night shots and Zoe for creating mini-movies in seconds.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition: A lightweight and durable tablet that allows you to take your games, music, movies and social network virtually anywhere you go. For affordable data, the T-Mobile Tablet Freedom program allows you to get more than a gig of free data every month through 2014 and 200 MB of free data for life every month after that.
  • Samsung LTE Mobile HotSpot PRO: This half-inch-thick device expands your mobile freedom, allowing you to take the Internet with you on your qualifying service. Plus, you can share your connection with up to 10 other Internet devices.
  • TYLT Zumo Portable Battery Pack: Did you finish up a long day of sightseeing? Don't get caught with a dead device. This portable pack provides up to four hours of extra battery life.

With these tips in mind, summer travel can go back to being a carefree experience. For more information, visit

Worry-free Wireless Travel Abroad
Following are a few simple tips from T-Mobile to help keep your travels on track and free of complications:

  • Pack the essentials: This includes portable chargers, an international power converter and MicroSD cards to give you added storage space for photos and more.
  • Travel safe: Use features such as Bluetooth for hands-free driving while navigating the twists and turns of unfamiliar roads, or applications like T-Mobile's DriveSmart Plus, which silences incoming notifications, sending callers to voicemail and auto-responds to incoming text messages.
  • Make packing light: Use a multi-function smartphone that allows you to access entertainment with videos and games, mobile music player, GPS navigator, high quality digital camera, and in some cases, even a mobile hotspot.

Best Apps for Travel
Check out these leading apps to help you navigate a successful journey:

  • GateGuru (Android, iOS, Windows Phone): Especially helpful when traveling with children, GateGuru can locate kid-friendly restaurants, clean public restrooms and more. View your TripIt and Kayak itineraries, as well as view or post airport security wait times and see a structured list of airport food, shops and services.
  • Viator (Android, iOS): Helps you find and book countless tours, day trips, shows and activities for the best travel experiences worldwide.
  • Unit Conversion Free, Currency (iOS, but others are available for most platforms): Converts temperature, distance, weight, volume, speed and more, including currency in real time.

Best Bets for Brazil
Are you heading to the World Cup? Here are some tips to make your travel a little easier:

  • The World Cup is spread over 12 host cities, so it's probably best to decide which games are must-watch and plot out an itinerary around a convenient home base in one of the cities.
  • With hotel rooms likely already booked or at a premium price, consider alternate, more affordable forms of housing. In addition to couchsurfing and Airbnb, Fodor's recommends AlexRioFlats, or family-run guesthouses or pousadas, which are an authentic way to experience the different regions of Brazil and can be booked via online travel sites like
  • To get around Brazil -- which is just slightly smaller than the U.S. in area -- it's easiest to travel by bus or domestic flights. If you choose to travel by bus, you can purchase tickets in the bus stations, or online from or Domestic airlines include TAM and GOL, as well as TRIP Azul Linhas Aereas, Brazil's newest airline, with service to about 100 domestic destinations.
  • Can't make it to the match? Then join fellow futbol fans and be part of "El Gran Pase," a website in which viewers submit a video showcasing their best kick of the soccer ball. You could be included in the longest pass in the world, alongside soccer fanatics like Jorge "Soccer Machine" Perez and Shakira.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.

Image Available:

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.