We live in a digital age which has, in many ways, made the world smaller and more navigable, especially via a mobile device.
However, unless you already have an international phone plan with rates you can stomach come bill time, you definitely need to figure out how you're going to call, text and web surf when you're abroad.
Will you get a local SIM card upon arrival? If so, from where and for how much?
Will you use international calling cards?
Will you just rely on access to wifi in hotels, public libraries, metro stations, coffee shops, etc. And if so, will you be okay just calling and texting for free via WhatsApp, iMessage, Skype, etc., whenever you're in a wifi zone?
The answers to these questions will be unique to you, the locales you plan to visit, and the extent to which you need to be connected during your trip.
- If you don't plan to use your existing phone plan overseas then, before your plane takes off, put your phone on airplane mode and keep it that way till you put in a local SIM card... or your plane lands back on home soil. The last thing you want is a huge phone bill due to international roaming fees.
- If you plan to use local wifi, definitely get a solid VPN plan before your trip so you'll have optimal online security when using open wifi networks.