Taking Your Cell Phone on a Vacation!
We all work our cell phones hard, so it’s nice to be able to take them on vacation once in a while to get away from the daily grind. But, taking your cell phone on a trip takes a little foresight and planning.
One thing you’ll notice when you get out of the big city is the propensity for ‘no service’ areas. This can be coupled with the other thing-you-don’t-want-to-see: service by another provider. This is considered ‘roaming’, and the price you pay for it depends on your service contract. Some companies offer a certain amount of roaming. After a certain percentage, they hit you up with a cryptic note:
Essentially, this is your warning to go and buy into more roaming minutes. If not, you’ll have to deal with the molasses-slow speed of internet, or find a place to park where you can get free internet.
There are a number of places where this is possible. Most people believe you are required to have a service contract on your phone. Technically, it’s not true: you can use free wifi anywhere you have the password. This includes businesses such as McDonalds.
Take it to the skies
Interestingly enough, while Southwest Airlines doesn’t offer electrical power for internet devices, it does offer ‘Southwest WiFi’. Southwest Wifi. The instructions are to, “Turn on your WiFi-enabled device and set to airplane mode (if applicable). View available wireless networks, select "Southwest WiFi" and connect. Launch your Internet browser for immediate access to the Southwest Airlines Hotspot portal or type www.southwestwifi.com in the address bar.”
Upon landing, the Southwest WiFi won’t connect and the user has to reconnect with their provider. No one actually mentions this, they just leave a typical traveler stranded until the person figures it out.
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Power is a constant threat to the function of a phone on vacation, particularly older models and those which may be engaged in Pokemon Go or another heavy use activity. The options are to bring the charging cord, bring a lighter adapter for the car (some older vehicles don’t have a USB cord connection) or bring a mobile charger.
Some combination of these three is often enough to keep a phone up to snuff with a halfway decent charge. The process requires diligence, though. Between Snapchat and photos, a cell phone can undergo some heavy usage.
Current airport regulations require that everything ‘bigger than a cell phone’ be ponied up at security for them to have a look. If it’s in the checked luggage, it’s 99% likely that TSA will perform a luggage inspection. Which is not a problem if you don’t have you gerbil pelt collection or bead project in the bag.
While waiting for your flight, most airports have a splendid number of outlets in the gate area for passengers to catch a quick charge. If, however, you're unfortunate enough to realize that visiting the vast number of Pokestops in the gate area has also left your cell phone dead, you’ll discover that there are very, very few options for power available outside the gate area. Good luck with that.
We hope that these tips have offered some clarity about the challenges a user may face when it’s time to take the cell phone on vacation. We certainly wouldn’t leave ours at home.
Remember, if you need an iPhone screen repair, a cell phone repair or an LCD refurbishing after your ardorous vacation, we can do that! Just call or visit us.