International iPhone Travel Tips

By TripIt

August 05, 2015

Let’s be honest, most of us would be completely lost without our iPhone. It entertains us, connects us and helps us in so many ways on a daily basis. But what about when we travel abroad? How can we make sure we stay connected to our little lifeline? Luckily, your iPhone can be the ultimate travel companion when used correctly. To make sure you’re taking full advantage of your perfect travel buddy, we compiled our best tips for using your iPhone abroad.

iPhone International Travel Tips


Use Wi-Fi

When wanting to connect, search for Wi-Fi. Using Wi-Fi on your iPhone is free, and often times, you can find free Wi-Fi at various coffee shops, Internet cafes and libraries. Apps like Wi-Fi Finder can help you locate spots to connect. This particular app can work online or offline.  

Download Apps That Cache

Many apps, including the free TripIt app, are able to store your travel information. So, even when your data roaming is off and you can’t find a Wi-Fi network, you can still access travel notes, flight information and travel guides.  

Keep Roaming Off

By default, your phone should turn roaming off when you travel internationally, but you could accidentally turn it on if you’re not careful. Make sure it’s off by going to Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming, or you can simply turn your phone on airplane mode.  

Buy an Adapter

This may be part of your travel plan already, but if not, you’ll need an appropriate travel adapter to charge your iPhone. Many come with USB ports now so you can charge your phone and plug in whatever else you need to simultaneously. External chargers also help to keep your iPhone alive during those long travel days. Check out some of our top recommendations for gadgets to keep your devices charged.  

Download Skype

This is a great tool because it’s a free app that lets you talk for next to nothing internationally. Check out their pricing detail to see if it’s a good fit for you.  

Consider Another Phone

If you plan on making lots of calls, for under a hundred dollars, you can buy a cheap phone with a considerable number of minutes. You can also pay as you go.  

Consider an International Roaming Plan or Different Carrier

If you know you will need data roaming when traveling abroad, definitely buy one of the pre-paid plans, which will significantly cut costs. One carrier in particular includes iPhone international travel text and data for free. Watch the video below to find out which one!  

Turn “Fetch New Data” Off 

Be sure to check iPhone settings for international travel. Some applications, like email, can automatically check for updates—meaning it will use precious (and very expensive) data. You can turn off this feature by going to your iPhone settings, selecting “Mail, Contacts, Calendars,” then choosing to fetch manually.  

Download City Guides With Offline Access

If you know you’re going to be without an Internet connection, download or save city guides before you go. TripAdvisor Offline City Maps, Gogobot and Viator are just a few great—and free—options for saving maps, suggestions and guides to access during your trip.  

Download Apps to Pass Time

The iPhone App Store is stacked full of apps perfect for your long flight. These games, books and other entertainment apps are also perfect for those long train rides or passing time when relaxing on the beach.  

Sync Before Your Trip

If you’re taking your phone with you, there’s an increased chance that you could lose it or get it stolen. Before leaving, make sure you sync your contacts and other important information before you go.   Check out this video for more exclusive iPhone international travel tips from Lee Abbamonte, the youngest American to travel to every country in the world!