3 November 2022

Traveling International With iPhone – A Comprehensive Guide

Let's be honest: most of us wouldn't know what to do if we lost our iPhones. It constantly entertains us, connects us, and aids us in a variety of ways. But what happens when we travel internationally with iPhone? How can we ensure that we maintain contact with our little lifeline? Fortunately, when utilized properly, your iPhone may be the perfect travel companion.

Traveling International With iPhone – A Comprehensive Guide

Almost everyone agrees that travel is fascinating, but also that it may be tense at times. Planning, packing, and being ready are some of the things that need to be done. Air travel is the most hassle-free, yet it also has its limitations. Then there's the hassle of figuring out how to navigate around a foreign city, which may be a major obstacle if you have no prior experience doing so.

Moreover, you may be concerned about whether or not your iPhone will have service at your destination. The straightforward answer is yes; however, with a few conditions. If you don't prepare ahead of time, cellular service might be very costly or even nonexistent. Fortunately, other options are worth considering, and we'll go through them below.

Let's be honest: most of us wouldn't know what to do if we lost our iPhones. It constantly entertains us, connects us, and aids us in a variety of ways. But what happens when we travel internationally with iPhone? How can we ensure that we maintain contact with our little lifeline? Fortunately, when utilized properly, your iPhone may be the perfect travel companion.


Get Your iPhone Ready for a Trip

Preparing your iPhone for overseas travel includes a few steps. By following these guidelines, you may protect your phone from theft and avoid a hefty roaming cost when you return home.


Make sure the iPhone is unlocked: It is important for you in order to utilize a local SIM card or an eSIM from a third party.

Learn about online messaging apps: You can stay in touch with loved ones even when you're not in range of a wireless network thanks to messaging apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, as well as Facebook Messenger.

Do not use roaming data: If you don't want to rack up extra expenses while traveling internationally, disable data roaming.

Put in an eSIM: You can get mobile data at local rates with an eSIM data plan.

Clear your use stats: Clear your use history to see right away whether an app is burning up your data plan.

Update your two-factor authentication details: If you need to verify your identity on many platforms, you should start using apps that offer user authentication.


Create an iPhone Backup

When it comes to saving and restoring your files, Apple is in a league of its own. The majority of your phone's data will be backed up automatically to iCloud, but you should still make occasional manual backups. If your iPhone gets stolen or broken as you travel overseas with your iPhone, this can be a lifesaver.


To backup an iPhone:

  • Make sure that your device is linked to a Wi-Fi network.

  • To access iCloud on your iPhone, tap "Settings," then "Your Name," and finally, "iCloud".

  • In the "iCloud" menu, click the "Back Up Now" button.


Your device's data can also be backed up on your computer:

  • Connect the iPhone to a PC.

  • Launch Finder on your Mac running Catalina 10.15. If not, launch Apple's iTunes.

  • If you are asked for a passcode or asked if you trust this computer, follow the instructions as they appear on the screen.

  • Find the device using Finder or iTunes, as appropriate.

  • Choose which backup options you would want to have access to. If you're concerned about security, selecting "Encrypt local backup" is the way to go.

  • After finishing, you should eject or unplug your device safely.


Get Yourself a Mobile Data Plan

Ensure you have a cellular data plan set up for your smartphone before leaving on an overseas trip (or even a weekend break). What exactly is included in such a plan depends on your specific needs. Generally, you can use one of the following four methods to maintain contact when you travel international with iPhone:

  • You should turn off your standard plan and start using Wi-Fi only.

  • Make use of the overseas data plan provided by your mobile service provider.

  • Invest in a SIM card or eSIM that works in the country that you're visiting.


Switching to a local network is as simple as obtaining and activating a data plan if you own an iPhone XR or later that supports eSIM (here’s a full list of eSIM compatible iPhones). If you possess an iPhone, you may use an eSIM to quickly get cheap and reliable data while you're traveling abroad (and avoid hefty roaming fees when you get home)!


Upgrade the Security of Your iPhone

Although your iPhone is protected by Apple's advanced tracking and security features, you should still be cautious with it when you're out and about. Smartphones are among the most easily lost or stolen electrical devices while traveling, according to statistics.


Our advice is that before you depart you:

  • Modify the multi-factor authentication procedures so that they can be followed even if phone calls and texts aren't received.

  • Equip yourself with a virtual private network (VPN) before using a public network overseas.

  • Make use of a password manager.

  • Before you go, make sure all patches and updates are installed.

  • If you're worried about losing your phone, install a tracking app.


You may now confidently travel international with iPhone!


Tips for International Travel with iPhone

Be sure your iPhone is set up for foreign travel before you go, as we have described above. Knowing the necessary iPhone settings for overseas travel is crucial for your safety, convenience, and peace of mind. If you do this with an iPhone, you won't have to worry about coming home to a pile of expensive bills. Here, we'll share some of the best ways to extract the most from an iPhone while you're traveling internationally.


1.    Use Airplane Mode and Wi-Fi At Once

By switching your iPhone to Airplane Mode and using Wi-Fi, you may avoid incurring any international charges. If your phone is able to connect to a foreign network when you travel internationally with iPhone, you will be able to utilize mobile data and take calls. While traveling internationally, you may find that using Wi-Fi rather than cellular data is more cost-effective. How, then, can you utilize both the Wi-Fi and airplane mode simultaneously? Here's the procedure:

  • To access the settings menu, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

  • Select the Airplane and Wi-Fi options.


You should disable cellular data as well. Either the Control Center or the Settings menus will allow you to make these changes.

  • Head on over to the Settings menu. Tap Cellular Data.

  • Stop using cellular data by toggling its switch off.


However, regular phone calls and texts can't be sent or received while using the iPhone's default international settings (iMessage excluded). As long as you're in range of a wireless network, you're free to use any app that supports Wi-Fi (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Don't forget to put your tickets in Apple Wallet to prevent any hassle.


2.    Employ Wi-Fi-Based Services and Applications for Overseas Travel

When you're in an area with Wi-Fi, your iPhone might use that connection instead of your mobile data plan to perform online activities. The best part is that your iPhone already has a number of Wi-Fi-based apps preinstalled. Use iMessage to wirelessly communicate through text message thanks to Wi-Fi (to other iPhones only).

Apps like Skype and FaceTime allow a user to make video and/or audio calls online. It's important to make sure iMessage and FaceTime are turned on in the system's settings. You may also access the iMessage settings under the "Send & Receive" tab of the "Settings" menu. The SIM card we use occasionally loses its connection to the network. Your email address may then be used to send a text message.

Wi-Fi calling is a useful feature while you travel international with iPhone if you are a subscriber to one of the "big four" carriers. Whenever there is no cellular coverage, the native app may make voice calls over Wi-Fi with the help of this in-built carrier feature. In addition, you may use other iPhone travel applications with Wi-Fi calling and messaging, such as Skype, Facebook, Messenger, etc.

This works whether you use a local SIM card or an eSIM, and it will help you save money. The advantages of using an eSIM when you travel international with iPhone will be discussed further on in this article.


3.    You Can Disable Data Roaming or Get a Roaming Plan

We all know that data roaming is helpful for using the internet in other countries. However, the cost of connecting to international partner networks can add up quickly. When you travel international with iPhone, should the iPhone's data roaming feature be activated or deactivated? Our strong view is to deactivate as there are now viable alternatives. Turn off data roaming whenever you're traveling internationally to avoid incurring extra charges. What you need to do is:

  • Launch the settings menu.

  • Tap Cellular Data.

  • Proceed now by selecting Cellular Data Options.

  • After that, deactivate the data roaming option by toggling the switch next to it.


Turn off all cellular data as an added safety measure when it’s not needed. But if you want to use your eSIM's data plan, you'll have to activate it. That said if don’t care about speed and cost, to make use of cellular data when you travel international with iPhone, you may sign up for your carrier's international roaming package.


4.    Get an eSIM for Your iPhone

eSIMs are digital SIM cards that are now widely supported by service providers throughout the world. eSIM is offered on the iPhone XS and later. It's also worth noting that the newest iPhone 14 in the US does not support regular SIM cards, only eSIM.

The use of an eSIM has various advantages for international travelers. It is safer than a regular SIM card since it cannot be removed. This eliminates the requirements for purchasing, storing, and exchanging SIM cards. In addition, certain service providers may offer free international roaming alongside data plans and online management of eSIM plans.

As with real SIM cards, an eSIM may be used for international roaming with all the same features at affordable prices. In addition, you may use a data-only eSIM as a backup line when you travel international with iPhone and have two separate eSIM subscriptions simultaneously. For foreign travel, you need simply adjust a few settings on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular (or Mobile) Data to choose your data line.


5.    Sync Before You Go

Please do it. Stop wondering and start doing. Connect your iPhone to any PC, launch iTunes, and back up your iPhone. Before you start flinging your iPhone around a faraway continent, make sure you have a backup of all your important data. This includes your contacts, images, settings, and music.

We do not doubt your ability to take care of your belongings, but if you've invested half an hour performing this before you forget your smartphone on the passenger seat of a tuk-tuk, it will lessen the blow.


6.    Use a Web Browser Compressor

You may avoid costly costs by installing a web browser that consumes less bandwidth if you know you will need to go online at least once during your trip. Opera Mini is a web browser that uses data more efficiently by compressing your browsing session. It also helps if you're in a region with a sluggish connection, making web browsing more bearable.


7.    Save Your Ticket to Apple Wallet

There will no longer be a need for paper tickets. Apple Wallet is a convenient alternative to hunting down your one friend with a printer in order to print off your boarding pass. Your airline may send you a boarding pass as an attachment or display it in a web browser, but no matter how you receive it, be sure to add it to your Apple Wallet by selecting the corresponding option when prompted to do so after viewing your boarding pass with a QR code. You will be able to save an offline copy of your boarding pass by downloading it using this method.



iPhone can be a very productive electronic device when you travel overseas if used properly. Traveling is fun, but it can become a headache quickly if you are lost away from home. One thing you can do with your iPhone to make your trip a little bit less hassle-free is to prepare it before embarking on your trip. A friendly reminder to backup, turn off data roaming in order to reduce the charges and check out eSIMs. Have a safe and great journey!

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