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Do or Don’t: bringing your smartphone or tablet on a holiday

Do or Don

You’ve got this lovely new toy – be it an iPhone, iPad or Android equivalent – and more than anything, you’d like to take it with you wherever you go. Even when you’re going on vacation. You could download all these awesome apps with maps and it could help you discover hidden gems of your destination. But is it really a good idea? Or will roaming cost a fortune and will your gadget upset your travel buddy while making you a likely target for pickpockets?
What would you do?

Maps
The first advantage of bringing your smartphone or tablet abroad is that it will make finding your hotel far easier. The downside is that downloading maps isn’t cheap. That’s why you should look for travel-guide apps with offline maps before you leave your home country.

Theft
Yes, most pickpockets would love to get their hands on your gadget. That’s why you shouldn’t leave it unattended in public places. We also recommend taking out travel insurance and getting in touch with the insurer beforehand to make sure your smartphone, tablet, netbook, digital camera and/or other electronics are covered for theft.

Costs
Most British networks offer prepaid European travel data bundles. Get in touch with your provider, explain that you’ve booked flights to Bodrum or another destination and ask whether they’ve got any offers. It may be a comforting thought that by law, networks have to cut you off when your monthly data bill exceeds 50 euros, unless you request a higher limit.
Simple things such as looking up a landmark on Google Maps or Wikipedia can still take up quite a few megabytes, so if you want to avoid unexpected data bills, it’s a good idea to switch roaming off before you leave and think twice every time you switch it back on. An app that can help you keep an eye on how much data you’re using is Onavo. It’s available for iPhones and for phones running on Android. If you’ve got an iPhone, the app will even compress data for you.

Should you?
There are some risks to taking your smartphone or tablet with you on a holiday, but we think leaving it at home may be a bit drastic. After all, there are many advantages to taking it with you as well. We recommend discussing the possibilities with your network provider, travel insurance company and travel buddy before making your decision. What do you think?

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