Famous Times Square, New York, USA. MDWfeatures / Joanna Rogers

By Tim Howe

Careful planning and a USA sim card could spell the difference between a smooth vacation trip to the States and a disastrous one. Find out how with the following easy-to-follow travel hacks you can do with your mobile phone to make your next trip a success.

  1. Have your phone unlocked before travelling

When travelling, you will need to count on your cellphone for much more than just calls or texts. Using your own carrier for this could rack you up a ridiculous phone bill that can end up ruining your trip. Instead, have your phone unlocked so you can use a cheaper travel sim card.

2. Download Google Maps for offline use

Walking the path less travelled is a fun way to explore a town or city. But more often than not, you would need a map to navigate the place efficiently, especially if time is against you. Having Google maps on your phone is a handy way to get around town and could end up keeping you from spending most of your trip wandering aimlessly. It can also show you the fastest or cheapest way to get to your destination.

3. Download Google Translate

Learning a few phrases in the local language can only get you so far. Hand signals and gestures would not be enough, either. Download Google Translate on your device and avoid being clueless when ordering from a restaurant or asking for directions. Signs would not be a problem either; just take a picture using the app and see the translation in real-time.

4. Download Google Goggles

If hiring a tour guide is out of your budget, or you simply do not feel comfortable getting one, install Google Goggles on your mobile device instead. It has image recognition capabilities to provide you with useful information based on pictures you would take. It is like having a personal tour guide for free and without compromising your privacy.

5. Charge your device through the TV

If you forgot or lost the adapter for your charger, do not despair. Most TV sets in hotel rooms have a USB port you can use to charge your cellphone and other devices.

6. Scan important travel documents

Losing your travel pack along with your valuable items is the worst thing that can happen when travelling. Be prepared for this by scanning your passport, identification cards, itinerary, and other important documents and emailing them to yourself. This ensures that you have a copy you can get when you need it.

7. Maximize Wi-Fi connection

There are many things online that can help you when travelling, such as hotel reviews or travel blogs. Maximize internet connection by taking advantage of free Wi-Fi where available and getting Wi-Fi passwords through FourSquare or Wi-Fi Map. Better yet, get a USA sim card for unlimited data and hassle-free browsing. Some may even include unlimited calls.

8. Protect your phone

Make sure your phone is safe from your surroundings and even yourself. Avoid taking it out in crowded places and always keep it in a secure place. Also, prepare your phone for any abuse by investing in a protective or waterproof case.

Summing Up

Take out the hassle from travelling, whether alone or in a group. With a reliable Wi-Fi or data connection on your USA sim card, you can transform your phone into your best travel buddy in a few easy steps for that worry-free travel experience.