Travelling with your smartphone: How to get ready for your next holiday!

17 April 2023
travelling with smartphone

Summer, sun, beach or winter, snow and mountains: which type are you? No matter where you travel, your smartphone will certainly go on holiday with you. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind, especially if you’re Swiss. Find out why here – we also provide you with a handy PDF at the end!

Everything around the technology

The smartphone has replaced many items – logical that our pocket companion travels with us. But have you thought about the charging cable and the plug? 

Many countries have different types of sockets, so your plug may not fit into the socket there. So don’t forget an adapter plug. 

If you are travelling with a laptop, tablet or games console, remember to bring an additional charging cable and plug. 

To ensure that your smartphone doesn’t run out of juice while travelling, it’s best to bring a power bank with you. However, it should not be in your suitcase, but in your hand luggage!

Do you have other items such as SD cards, mini printers or camera accessories? Don’t forget to pack them!

Everything about the contract

Unlike in the EU, roaming is not necessarily included in your cellphone plan. If you travel abroad, make sure that roaming is either included in your contract or that you have booked a corresponding roaming option. Otherwise it will be expensive!

You can find more information on roaming at alao:

Check and set cost limits. Once these limits are reached, roaming is deactivated and you do not have to worry about further charges. 

Check what incoming and outgoing calls cost in the destination country. It is better to use WhatsApp or other chat messengers for phone calls. These calls are made over the internet. If you are logged into a Wi-Fi network, this will not cost you any data volume.

Depending on the length of your stay abroad, it may be worth considering buying a local SIM card. If you don’t have a dual SIM phone, friends and family will only be able to reach you on the temporary new phone number, but you will avoid nasty surprises.

With alao subscriptions with roaming from as little as CHF 25 per month

If you want to shorten your travel checklist, you can also take out a subscription with roaming. On our comparison page, you can find subscriptions from Salt, Wingo, Yallo or Sunrise with a few GB of roaming for around CHF 25. 1 GB is sufficient for most people, but frequent users should take out a subscription with at least 3 GB. If you want to be absolutely sure, there are unlimited subscriptions between CHF 30 and CHF 45, depending on which additional features are important to you. 

With alao, you can sign up for your new subscription online in 5 minutes. Not only do we guarantee the best price, but we also cancel your old contract and transfer your old mobile number free of charge. If you have any questions, you can contact our customer support 7 days a week by phone, email or live chat.

Everything about your mobile phone

You will certainly take a lot of photos. Make sure you have enough storage space on your phone. Remember, you don’t always have free internet and you can’t always upload to the cloud.

If you use an SD card instead of the cloud, make sure there is enough space for your photos and videos. 

Although it’s rare, it’s still possible for your phone to be stolen. Activate remote access so that you can track your phone in an emergency. Find out how to track your phone in this article.

Save important numbers such as the phone number of your hotel, airline, travel company or local emergency services so that you don’t have to search for them in an emergency. You should also save the card blocking numbers of your banks. That way, thieves don’t stand a chance.

Also save all tickets on your phone so you don’t need an internet connection to access them. 

Filling out the emergency passport on your smartphone is always a good idea, even when you are not on holiday. It gives emergency services access to important information such as blood type, medication and allergies, as well as contacts. You can find out how to fill it out for your operating system here. 

Everything about the apps

Download the booking apps if you haven’t already done so.

To reduce your data usage, we recommend downloading offline maps of your location in advance. 

And to make sure you don’t get bored, don’t forget to download the apps of your subscribed streaming services before your trip – and fill them with enough series and/or films. 

If you’re travelling with children, we recommend downloading game apps for kids.

If you want to explore the surroundings, travel guide, navigation and hiking apps are recommended.

Learn some words and phrases by downloading language apps, and with translation apps, communication on site also works better.

VPN apps not only make surfing on public Wi-Fi networks safer, but also ensure that you can access the same Netflix content abroad as you can at home.

Everything about the documents

If you are someone who prints out travel documents, you should do this. Put them in a pocket that is easy to reach. Print them out several times and put them in different suitcases and bags. If you lose one, you still have something in your hand.

Photos of your ID and travel documents can help in a pinch (if your travel documents are stolen), but don’t rely on them being recognised by the local authorities.

Important: Make sure that your identity documents such as your identity card or passport are valid for the entire period of your stay abroad! For some countries, the identity documents must even be valid for 6 months after departure!

Depending on the country you are travelling to, you may also need to apply for a visa in advance. You can find the entry requirements for each country on the website of the Swiss Confederation. Select your destination country under “The Federal Council > FDFA > Switzerland around the world”. 

Everything about your health

Many countries still require proof that you have been vaccinated against Corona. Check the vaccination regulations in your destination country and get vaccinated if necessary. 

If you are travelling to faraway countries, further vaccinations are recommended or even necessary. On HealthyTravel you will find an overview of recommended or necessary vaccinations for each country.

Ask your health insurance provider about insurance cover abroad and which benefits are included or excluded. You can find more information about benefits abroad on this page from the Federal Office of Public Health.

The days when travel insurance was expensive and cumbersome are over. With your smartphone, you can take out travel health insurance tailored to your trip in just a few minutes. We recommend it especially if you are travelling outside the EU or with children.

Hygiene articles are also often forgotten: So don’t forget toothpaste, toothbrushes and the like!

Your first-aid kit should contain important medicines such as painkillers (ibuprofen, paracetamol, etc.) as well as medicines against diarrhoea and travel sickness. You can usually buy these locally, but they are often sold under a different name abroad, so they may be hard to find. 

Everything around your luggage

Hopefully it goes without saying that you should pack enough clothes . 😜 Don’t forget a bag for dirty laundry! 

Tip: If you roll your clothes instead of folding them, you save space.

Remember that there is a limit on the amount of liquids, sprays, cosmetics and pastes that can be carried on flights – a maximum of 100 ml per liquid and a maximum of 1 litre in total in a transparent zipper bag. You can find travel-size products in every major supermarket and drugstore.

Tip: An empty 0.5-litre bottle can still be taken through security and then refilled under a tap.

Unfortunately, the luggage regulations are different for every airline. While some airlines are generous with the baggage allowance, low-cost carriers in particular penalise overweight baggage with high surcharges. Check the allowed weight and weigh your luggage in advance. 

Do not store valuable and fragile items in your suitcase. Airport staff are not particularly squeamish about your luggage. 

Luggage insurance can be useful if the luggage is valuable. However, this is often already included in the normal travel insurance. Ask your insurance company about this. 

GPS trackers let you locate your luggage if it goes missing. Tracker like Apple AirTags have returned a lot of lost luggage to its owner! Samsung’s counterpart is called SmartTags, and Tile also offers GPS trackers. 

An address label on or in the suitcase can also be useful so that staff can find and allocate your luggage.

Everything around finances

Cancellation insurance is especially advisable if the trip was very expensive and not taking it would have very high financial consequences. We do not recommend it for cheap, short trips.

credit card is a globally recognised means of payment. To avoid unpleasant surprises, find out about the costs for payments abroad, your payment limits and don’t forget to activate your credit card for use abroad!

Everything about the family and the home

Inform your friends and family where you are going and for how long. 

If you are travelling with children, take enough food and activities (books, apps, games, toys) with you.

Make arrangements for your home during your absence: Who will empty the letterbox? Who will water your plants? Who will look after the house once in a while? 

Weatherproof your home and garden and store things like tablecloths, seat cushions, toys, clothes and the like away. 

With alao’s travel checklist, you’ll be perfectly prepared!

As you can see, travelling is more than just packing your suitcase. Good preparation protects you from high follow-up costs and unpleasant surprises, so that you don’t get a rude awakening after your holiday. In our travel checklist you will find all the above points in a compact printout.

The right roaming plan at the best price

As mentioned, Swiss citizens in particular must make sure that their mobile phone subscription includes roaming. You can get 1-3 GB of EU roaming from around CHF 25 and unlimited from CHF 30 to CHF 45. Take a look at our mobile plan  finder right now!

With alao, you can sign up for your new subscription online in 5 minutes. Not only do we guarantee the best price, but we also cancel your old contract and transfer your old mobile number free of charge. If you have any questions, you can contact our customer support 7 days a week by phone, email or live chat.

Find the best mobile phone Europe subscriptions here.

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