Tech Blog

How To Travel Smartly With An iPhone

by Blogger on ‎09-25-2009 07:04 AM - last edited on ‎04-27-2012 05:25 PM by Moderator

A weekend in California's Wine Country was just what my life needed.  A chance to unplug from reality and drink in the harvest season at a few wineries.  Notice I said unplug from reality and not the web.

When traveling with your iPhone, a few steps need to be taken to make sure you don't come back with an $11 000 Twitter bill the likes of Adam Savage from Mythbusters recently experienced.

1. Download some travel apps to your iPhone.

    Air Canada - it's simply an application version of Air Canada's mobile website that was originally greeted with fanfare, but has the regular travelers souring on it quickly in online message boards.  The chief complaints are the mobile check-in is spotty, you can't track codeshare flights and you have to manually enter each flight to track instead of simply putting in your Aeroplan number and having the app source your list.

    Kayak - this one is good to have before you go.  Kayak is one of the best online comparison engines for finding the best deal on airfare.  If you're a frequent traveler constantly making changes to your itinerary on the go, the Kayak app might help you save some pennies.

    Yelp - this app represents the voice of the internet when it comes to using businesses and services.  It's a popular place to post reviews and experiences at hotels, restaurants, and attractions.  When you're wandering restaurant row and not sure which to pick, dial up the reviews on Yelp and let the audience decide. If you have iPhone 3GS you  can use the Yelp Monocle function to give you ratings in your immediate area via augmented reality. 

2. ALWAYS make sure Data Roaming is turned off.  Even just a quick jaunt for some cross border shopping could get you in serious trouble as your phone pings back your location or searches for email.  Keeping the data off, keeps the wandering data signal only working in the true north strong and free.

3. Call your provider and ask about Roaming Data / Voice plans
.  Just like getting travel insurance, adding a small voice or data bundle to your phone package will cut down the costs if you need to use a map or make a call.  I have my iPhone with Fido and checked their travel page for details on a $15 for 15minute voice bundle.  The data rates have recently changed, instead of buying bulk data for a month, you turn on roaming for $10 and then pay $1 a megabyte after that.  It's not exactly a bargain, considering my monthly plan is $30 for 6 gigabytes (approx 6 000 megabytes) of data, but it's a lot better than the regular roaming rates of either 3c / KB or $6 / MB.

Those steps should get you started, and don't forget your camera and travel charger!

Comments
by Blogger on ‎09-25-2009 10:20 AM
Yep I set both my BlackBerry and my fiancée's iPhone to no data roaming. Very important little step. Now if I could get my Mom to get off the phone fast when I need to call her when visiting her in the States. "Mom, really, not now, this costs a fortune...do you need anything at the store while I'm out."
© 2011 Future Shop. All rights reserved. For personal, noncommercial use.