Summer holiday is here and no doubt travelling is something that is on many people’s minds. Yet, this season presents a dilemma for many of us who are short on cash and need to save as much as we can. In particularly, those in school or in early twenties need all the help they can get to make a trip cost efficient as well as interesting. The matter is made more complex because the younger generation or the millennials are also keen on staying connected through messaging, taking and sharing photos and having their smartphones as their companion during the travels.

Yet, when travelling abroad, it can be tedious and expensive job to pay for roaming or online access in different countries. However, with some knowledge about useful apps and procedures before you hit the road, you can prepare yourself for a trip where you don’t have to worry about your smartphone being useless.

1.Check if your phone’s settings

Occasionally you come across horror stories while travelling. While travelling for a week in a foreign country, you use data roaming to search for restaurants and directions. Then, after you arrive back home your mobile provider charges you with more than £2,000 for the services.

Data roaming is when you use another mobile network to access the internet on your phone while still being billed by your normal provider. It can be pretty expensive. For instance, many European mobile providers charge over £1 or more depending on the country for 1 megabyte (MB). Thus, if you want to avoid having your phone updating apps and using up massive amounts of mobile data at your expense, you better turn off data roaming before you leave. This can be done by going to settings and turning off the roaming option in the network section. In addition, it can also be useful to turn off automatic updates on your phone to prevent it from gobbling up unnecessary data.

2. Zapya

Zapya is a global file sharing tool that allows you to transfer photos, apps for free without mobile data. This can come in handy while travelling. When you arrive in a new place, a tourist app detailing places to visit or places to eat in the city can come awfully handy. The problem is how do you download this app? Some of these apps may not be available on google play or you may not have internet access to download apps from google play. With Zapya, if one of your travel companions has this app, it can be shared with the entire friend group without using internet connection.

Zapya messaging and file sharing

Not only that, one of the annoying things about travelling abroad is that it can be so inconvenient to send messages or photos. However, Zapya offers free offline messaging and file transfer. It is possible to text each other without using Wifi after connecting through Zapya. Once the devices connect, messages and travel photos can be neatly sent and received.

You no longer have to initiate a futile effort to share a photo you took with five other travel mates. One screen for five people simply does not work! You can simply send the photo to the Zapya group and all of you can view the photo or message on their own smartphone devices.

Tired of having to share one screen?

3. Take advantage of free WiFi in some cities

Many cities around the world have vast public WiFi network. These are free and exceptionally convenient and can be available in many public spaces including subway or bus stations as well as some famous tourist sites. However, make sure you sign up the relevant wireless network before you are disconnected.

In some cities including Kyoto, there are free public wifi exclusively to cater for tourists’ needs. When I visited the city this summer, I signed up to the free WiFi scheme that is available only for foreign visitors. This scheme is to make travelling around Kyoto much easier and after downloading the Kyoto WiFi app, I was able to connect to free WiFi in all public transport stations in Kyoto. It was exceptionally useful although sometimes I had to scramble to send messages during a brief subway stop.

4. Affordable local mobile SIM cards and pocket WiFi

There are affordable deals when it comes to mobile data plans abroad. You can purchase local SIM cards which can come at reasonable prices and you can top up and get plenty of mobile data and calling time. For instance, one of the most popular options is EG SIMcard in Korea.

Yet, if you think local networks are too expensive, you may be able to get yourself pocket WiFi. It looks like a small portable charger and it allows you to connect to WiFi network after inputting a pin number. It is relatively cheap if you are a keen network user. You can rent them before you arrive at your destination and return them after use.

I hope some of these suggestions help you to stay connected while enjoying your travels in different parts of the world. Remember that you can still be up to date on your social media without your smartphone digging a hole in your wallet!