Travelling on holiday with your smartphone

By Peter Cruickshank 29 Mar 2018

If you're going abroad and want to take your smartphone, whether it's to take holiday photos, listen to music or simply to keep in touch with your friends back home, it's important to make sure your phone is as prepared as it can be before you set off on your travels. You can even use your phone to help organise and book your holiday, so find out how to get the most from your mobile this holiday season.

Plan a holiday with your mobile


It's now even easier to organise a holiday from your smartphone, from booking flights to arranging accommodation. We've picked our favourite apps to help you plan your next trip, no matter where you're going.



free / 64p for Pro

Get it from the Play Store / Get it from the App Store

Tripit Android

There's plenty of organisation to do when planning a trip, with hotel bookings to make and reference numbers to remember – and that's where TripIt comes in.

Forward all your hotel, flight, car rental, and restaurant confirmation emails to Tripit and wait while your schedule is planned. Once created, you can check your holiday plans at any time from your phone or a computer.

If you subscribe to the Pro version of TripIt, you'll get even more value – with real-time flight updates to warn you of delays and even alternative flight recommendations, should you need to rearrange at the last minute. Perfect for taking the stress out of your vacation.




Get it from the Play Store / Get it from the App Store


Find out what to expect from your trip with TripAdvisor, an app full of comments, photos and reviews from other travellers who want to share their experiences. Get an idea of the on-site facilities, nearby shops and any local events that might be happening during your stay.

TripAdvisor contains street maps, restaurant recommendations, air fare comparisons and more – and you'll only need to download the information for your particular destination, keeping data sizes low.



free / £7.99 for Pro

Get it from the Play Store / Get it from the App Store


If you're travelling without much mobile data, using your phone as a satnav can turn expensive. When you travel to a new place, new maps have to be downloaded before your satnav knows where you are. Fortunately for you and your phone bill, Citymaps lets you download all your maps in advance so you can prepare your phone from your home using a Wi-Fi network.

Not only can you download huge maps in advance of your travel, but you can also create an account and find your friends' maps too. Custom maps are also available, showing nearby attractions, events, hotels and more for you to enjoy on your trip. Don't let poor signal or lack of internet get in the way of your sightseeing with CityMaps.

Protecting your phone abroad


Taking an expensive smartphone abroad can feel risky, but with the right preparation you can protect your mobile from running out of power, loss, damage and even more.

Check out our guide to backing up your phone to a computer to protect your personal data, then follow the steps below to turn on security features, turn on power-saving and back up your photos on the go.

Security for your Smartphone

There's no worse feeling than losing your phone, especially when you've travelled to a new place. With a bit of preparation, you'll be able to find your phone using the internet.

By default, these settings are enabled. Make sure your phone's security settings are turned on by following these steps.

Find My iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID.
  3. Press iCloud.
  4. Scroll down and tap Find My iPhone.
  5. Press the switch to turn it on.

To find a missing iPhone, visit, sign in and click on Find iPhone.

Find My Android

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Press Google, then Security (or tap Security & Location if your phone is different)
  3. Tap Find My Device.
  4. Press the switch to turn it on.

To find a missing Android phone, visit or search for "Find my phone" in Google.

Turn on powersaving

Running out of power on your phone can leave you without a camera, a map or a way to contact your friends. Turning off unused features can make your battery last longer, so check our list of features you should turn off to save your phone's battery.

  • Bluetooth - Unless you're using Bluetooth headphones or something similar, it makes sense to turn Bluetooth off when it's not in use.
  • Wi-Fi - Turn off Wi-Fi when you're not using it. If Wi-Fi is turned on it will use up quite a bit of power searching for new networks to connect to.
  • Screen brightness - The brighter your screen, the more energy it needs. Lower your screen brightness as far as you can while still seeing what's on the screen.
  • Location - If you're using your phone as a satnav you'll want location settings turned on, but make sure to turn location off when not immediately in use.
  • Flight Mode - Turning on Flight Mode turns off all wireless communication, saving quite a lot of your battery life. You can't make or receive calls and messages, or browse the internet while Flight Mode is turned on.

Back up your photos

If you can use the internet while you're abroad, your smartphone can save your photos straight to the cloud as soon as you take them.

Save your iPhone photos

  • Open the Settings app, tap on your Apple ID and go to iCloud.
  • Press Photos and make sure the service is turned on.

Save your Android photos

  • Install the Google Photos app on your phone. This is already installed on some Android phones.
  • Open the Photos app and press the Menu button (the three lines in the top left corner).
  • Tap on Settings, then Backup & sync.
  • Press the switch to turn Backup & sync on.

You're now prepared to travel with your phone or tablet. If you have your own travel tips, let us know using the social links below.

If there’s anything else you want to speak to us about, get in touch using our contact page and speak to one of our experts from Team Knowhow.

You might also like...


Latest articles

Not Available