What to do if your phone stops working abroad

Thank you to my cousin who I used as a model in the photo above =o)

I was in London a few weeks ago staying with my best friend, Eliska. One morning I woke up, switched on my phone and began my usual scrolling through Instagram. All of a sudden my phone screen went black. Ugh great, I thought. But it’s happened before so I simply tried turning my phone on again and going to brush my teeth. I returned to a blank screen. Shit. I googled all the possible ways I could fix my phone but nothing seemed to work. Instead of spending hours looking for a store to fix my three year old LG, I decided to wait until returning to Prague the next day.

I didn’t realize how dependent I was on my phone until I couldn’t use it. I didn’t have an alarm clock, no way of finding my way to the train station, and no boarding pass for my flight. Traveling without a smartphone isn’t ideal. So here is what to do if your phone dies on you while you are travelling:

 | Don’t Panic |

Take a few deep breaths and remember that it is just a small piece of technology. You are still alive and breathing so it’s not the end of the world. It may seem like the end of the world at the moment so it’s ok to shed some tears or let out angry remarks at your dead phone.

| Does as I say not as I do |

When people ask me for travel tips I like to share with them these two tips: print out all of your tickets, boarding passes, and itinerary and make sure you bring a watch so you know what time it is. What did I not do during this trip? Print out my boarding passes and itinerary and leave my watch at home. Thankfully my friend thought to put my boarding pass on my kindle so I could scan it without having to pay a fee at the airport to print it. As far as knowing what time it was, well I had no idea.

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Left: My old LG: Right: My new iphone

| Back your stuff up |

Thankfully I did follow one of my travel rules which is to backup my files from my phone and laptop before I left. I highly recommend backing up all your files before a long trip just in case you phone/camera/laptop are stolen or broken.

| Ask for help |

Thank you to all of the family and friends who helped me out, especially to my parents who helped get me a new phone from the US, shipped it to the Czech Republic and helped activate it from overseas. It was a real team effort. Also thank you to Eliska who drew me a map so I could get from her apartment to the train station to the airport and writing out for me the train stops and times in case I missed my train. If you can’t get a phone shipped from back home see if you can buy a cheap local phone just so you are in contact with someone while you are traveling.

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My map and train schedule courtesy of Eliska

| Take a break |

I took this unfortunate situation and looked at as a blessing. For five days I took a break from social media, and checking my phone constantly. I also read two and a half books during that time. It was a great way to do a digital detox.

I realize just how lucky I was that my family helped get a new phone to me as soon as they could. In the end I was only phoneless for six days which could have been a lot more stressful.  We have become so addicted and dependent on this little piece of technology so when things go wrong it’s no surprise how hopeless we can feel. But remember it’s just a phone and there are much worse things that could go wrong while you are travelling.

Have you had your phone die on you while travelling? Or get stolen?

x the Adventurer

 

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Coffee drinking, food loving, Czech yogi raised in the US dreaming of adventures =o)

50 thoughts on “What to do if your phone stops working abroad

  1. Luckily I’ve never had this happen to me. Although, I will say when I did my first trip as an adult (there was a huge gap where I didn’t travel from 16 to 24), I didn’t understand that my phone wouldn’t really work in Paris haha. I thought I could use my maps and get around that way. Oh no. It was so freaking hard to do it the old school way! We were literally reading maps. This was circa 2012. Now I have TMobile which has unlimited data in 140 countries I think. It’s definitely difficult to travel without a phone. 😦

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was in abroad for a month, I didn’t get a phone provider so I lived off of wi-fi. Thankfully Barcelona has a lot of it but not everywhere does. There were times I wished I had had a cheap local phone, definitely worth the money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post came at a perfect time! We are about to head to Europe and didn’t even think about what would’ve happened if we’d lost or broken our phones. And we definitely didn’t think to make physical copies of all our documents, but you’d better believe we will now!
    However we do agree that a digital detox is fantastic every now and then, even if we didn’t ask for it :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you read this post in time for your trip! It’s so important to make copies of your documents and any travel itinerary before your trip. And yes the digital detox was quite good actually =o)

      Like

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