Smartphone savvy - Carolina Country

Smartphone savvy

Tricks for traveling smart with yours

By Brandpoint

Smartphone savvy

Charge devices faster by switching to “airplane mode” before plugging in.

Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple or with your entire extended family, there’s one thing you likely won’t forget to bring on your trip: your smartphone or tablet. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, according to the Pew Research Center, and almost half own a tablet. Right next to socks and a toothbrush, your mobile device is one of the most important and useful items you can bring with you.

These devices are meant to be mobile and while on the road, our mobile devices help us navigate new places, entertain us during long flights and keep us connected to back home. However, what might throw your trip into a tailspin is the amount of data these devices can consume. Streaming video, photo sharing, travel apps and Internet browsing can eat up data fast.

Trends show our need for data is growing exponentially. In fact, individual data usage will increase from almost 2 GB used per month in 2014 in North America to almost 11 GB in 2019, according to Cisco’s Mobile Visual Networking Index. The last thing you want to come home to is a huge bill of data overages because you or your child used too much data. To get the most out of your smartphone and tablet without the headaches of low batteries and data charges, consider these tips:

Connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible

One simple proactive step can dramatically decrease your data usage: connect to Wi-Fi. While not always possible, Wi-Fi is widely available at airports, train stations, restaurants and many other public places. If you’re dealing with a delay, connect to the local Wi-Fi network and you can check email, surf the web or shop online to your heart’s content.

Download playlists and movies

Taking a long plane trip or heading out on an epic road trip? Traveling to another country? Download playlists and movies before you leave so your content is ready to go when you’re not able to be connected to a network.

Stream smart

Streaming video and music can use a ton of data so be careful what you choose to watch. Also consider what your provider offers. For example, the program “Binge On” lets customers watch video streaming from top select partners like Netflix, HBO and ESPN without using their high-speed data bucket. Learn more at

Ready devices for travel abroad

It’s important to know your plan and ready your devices for traveling to other countries. Call your carrier to make sure you’re covered and avoid outrageous international roaming fees.

Stay charged

Nothing is worse than running out of battery while traveling. If you plan to be away from a charging port, an extra battery or portable charger can be a lifesaver. Only have a few minutes to charge before takeoff? Charge devices faster by switching to “airplane mode” before plugging in.

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