Seven Tips to Stay Connected While Traveling Abroad

In today’s non-stop society, staying connected is always important, even when you’re on vacation. Travelers to some of the more remote areas of the world may struggle with finding technology allowing them to communicate with the outside, but there are a few gadgets and tricks that can help.

Let’s face it. Not being in contact simply isn’t an option. Whether it’s staying on top of projects at work, scheduling doctor’s appointments for your parents or older relatives, or managing your money, being able to connect back home is important when you’re traveling overseas. Try the following devices and methods to communicate with friends and loved ones back in the United States:

Step down converter

  • Step down converters – One of the most important things you can do when traveling abroad is ensuring that you can charge your phone and other electronic devices. Commercial electricity developed differently in many parts of the world than it did in the U.S. As a result, electrical outlets in many countries have a different physical set-up and also operate at a different voltage than American outlets. To charge your device in many countries, you’ll need a device to convert 220 volt current to 110 volt current. Otherwise, you will likely fry your devices when you attempt to charge them.
  • Make calls using Project Fi – Google’s Project Fi allows users to send and make calls via Wi-Fi. The plan is relatively inexpensive and, while it has some limitations, it can come in quite handy abroad. Users can employ Project Fi to make calls in about 120 countries.
  • Purchase a GSM phone – Global System for Mobiles is one of the two major cell phone systems used throughout the world. The other one, Code Division Multiple Access, is widely used in the United States, whereas GSM phones are very popular throughout the rest of the world. GSM phones are a little more adaptable than CDMA phones and may be easier to use overseas.
  • Buy an international calling plan – If you take your regular cell phone with you when traveling abroad, you may be hit with higher charges for using it in another country. Before traveling, consider purchasing a calling plan that won’t charge exorbitant rates for allowing you to use your phone abroad.
  • Purchase a local phone – Buying a temporary cell phone for use in the country where you are visiting will often help you save money on communications costs and ensure you have access to cell service. Temporary phones can be found for reasonable prices in most nations that you will visit, and inquiring ahead of time will help ensure you know whether they’re available and how much they cost.
  • KnowRoaming stickers – KnowRoaming distributes stickers smartphone owners can place on their SIM card that will allow them to connect to local networks in 200 countries. The sticker will only activate when you are traveling abroad and will not affect your phone while you’re in the U.S. Your phone will need to be unlocked if you intend to use KnowRoaming.
  • Make use of Skype – Skype is free, and you can use it from just about any computer with a camera and an Internet connection. If you’re trying to stretch your travel budget and only need sporadic communication with home, just using Skype from your hotel room or a café may be the right choice for you.

smart phones make vacation easier

110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978.

Six Tips for Maintaining Cell Service in Remote Areas

Rural areas are notorious for their spotty cell coverage, as towers may be few and far between. In today’s society, where our smartphones have become indispensable tools for handling basic tasks and staying in touch with friends and loved ones, finding ways to stay connected is important.

Maintaining Cell Service

Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to boost your cell phone signal when you’re visiting areas where service may be unreliable. The next time you take a trip to the country, try these methods to ensure you stay connected with the folks back home:

  • Signal boosters are devices that can improve coverage in rural areas. For smartphone users who can get a signal only in a few spots in the area they are visiting, this device can help. Signal boosters capture a wireless signal, and then broadcast it over a wider area. For example, if you’re visiting a home in a rural area and can pick up a signal on the front porch but not inside, placing a booster on the porch will likely improve coverage throughout the rest of the home.
  • A personal cell tower will help you obtain a signal. These devices are a little pricey, but will help visitors to rural areas ensure they can get service. Personal towers work by boosting a signal via an Internet connection. The tower will connect directly to a router and work best if placed near a window.
  • Avoiding electronic devices that may interfere with your cell phone signal can also help smartphone users access service in rural areas. Microwaves, baby monitors, and Wi-Fi routers and related devices can generate signals that may interfere with cellular service. If you’re having difficulty getting a signal, moving 10 to 15 feet away from these devices may help.
  • Shopping around for the best local service provider will also help you maintain a good connection in rural areas. Some providers have better coverage than others in certain areas, so if you’re moving to a rural area or plan on an extended visit, it may be worth asking your neighbors which provider they use.
  • Certain areas of buildings may be less conducive to a good signal than others. Basements and stairwells are typically bad for cell signals, while areas near windows or upstairs rooms are better situated for cell service.
  • If you’re visiting a rural area in a foreign country, you’ll need to do more than just find a reliable signal to stay connected with the outside world. Most foreign countries use electrical outlets with different physical configurations and voltage than U.S. outlets, meaning your device cannot charge with its normal charger. To safely charge your smartphone, you’ll need to purchase a step down converter that will convert the 220 volt current commonly used overseas to the 110 volt current used by American electronics.

Cell Service in Remote Areas

110220Volts carries voltage converters, voltage transformers, and other electronic devices. For travelers visiting foreign countries, these devices can help ensure they’re able to safely charge their smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices.

Five Ways Smart Phones Make Your Overseas Vacation Easier

Smartphones have become an indispensable part of modern American life, allowing us to manage our finances, find nearby goods and services, make travel arrangements, and much more, no matter where we may be.

smart phones make vacation easier

Our mobile devices’ utility isn’t limited to U.S. shores. Smartphones are just as useful when we travel abroad, and they can prove to be invaluable when navigating through an unfamiliar country, providing several important services.

When preparing for an overseas business or vacation trip, be sure to pack your smartphone as well as charging gear that will allow you to use overseas outlets to power up your phone, such as 220 to 110 transformers and converters.

Your smartphone can perform many of the same tasks for you overseas as it can in the U.S. Consider these helpful services your device can provide when traveling abroad:

  • Find local restaurants – If you’re looking to check out the local fare, or if you’re just trying to find an American food restaurant for some comfort, your smartphone can help. Search engines and apps can help you find nearby eateries, and review sites can help ensure you choose the right one.
  • Call a cab – Uber is available in more than 500 cities worldwide, providing smartphone users with a quick and easy way to arrange transportation. Local variants of Uber may be available in places where Uber is not. For travelers who want hassle-free access to transportation, taking their smartphones along on their overseas vacation is a must.
  • Changing travel arrangements – If your vacation plans change, or if you need to return home early, you can easily use your smartphone to make arrangements through your airline or travel facilitator.
  • Get informed – Curious about a local custom or nearby historical site? Just use your smartphone to access the Internet and learn all about the object of your interest.
  • Take pictures – Use your smartphone’s camera to take quick and convenient photos and videos of all the sights on your trip. It’s much easier than hauling a camera around.

When traveling abroad, it’s important to contact your service provider to obtain an international plan or to buy a temporary international phone. Otherwise you may be hit with exorbitant roaming fees.

overseas vacation

It’s also important to have proper charging equipment for your devices. Electrical infrastructure developed differently in the U.S. and many other parts of the world, including Europe, and international travelers need to be aware of the differences. Most foreign countries have a different physical configuration and voltage for their electrical outlets and plugs.

In order for your devices to safely charge, you’ll need a 220 to 110 converter. These converters fit foreign outlets and also adapt 220 volt current that many overseas nations use into 110 volt current used by American devices.

110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players, and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978.

Four Reasons Why Smartphones Are a Must-Have for Traveling Abroad

While the idea of ditching your electronic tether may seem appealing when you’re vacationing abroad, the reality is that your smartphone can be an invaluable tool and a real lifesaver when you’re traveling in a foreign country.Region-free DVD

Let’s face it. Smartphones have become absolutely essential to modern life, as they provide a handy connection to information and help. While the temptation of leaving it all behind may be alluring, the truth is that if you leave your device behind, you’ll soon wish you had it. Taking your smartphone and a step down voltage converter to charge it is the right move.

Smartphones, of course, are more than just phones. They’re mini-computers that can connect us with a wealth of knowledge and communications tools. Consider these helpful functions smartphones can provide when you are traveling abroad.

  • Translation services – Many smartphones provide translation tools you can use to communicate with people whose language you do not speak. Google can translate written words for you, and there are a number of apps you can download to translate the spoken word. When you’re lost or looking for a bathroom or emergency services, a language barrier is the last thing you want to have to overcome.
  • Weather conditions – With your smartphone, you can download weather apps, or visit weather and news sites to monitor weather conditions in the places you plan to visit. Staying abreast of weather developments will help you avoid potentially dangerous situations and also give you plenty of lead time to make alternate arrangements in case inclement weather is likely to interfere with your original plans.
  • Directions – It’s easy to get lost in an unfamiliar place, especially a place where you may have difficulty asking for directions because of language barriers. Maps and navigation tools available with smartphones can help you avoid getting lost and winding up in potentially dangerous situations.
  • Emergency communication – Should unexpected mishaps occur during your trip abroad, your smartphone can be an invaluable resource for summoning local law enforcement or medical responders. It can also provide you with a lifeline to your friends and loved ones back home, to whom you may need to provide assistance should an unforeseen circumstance develop.

emergency communication

If you do intend on traveling abroad with your smartphone, it’s important to take along appropriate charging equipment to ensure the device has adequate power when you need it. Most foreign countries use different electrical outlet configurations and different voltages than those used in the United States. As a result, Americans traveling abroad often need to take along 220 to 110 voltage converters that allow their devices to safely draw power from foreign outlets.

Charging your device from a higher-voltage outlet without a converter will damage the device and may even result in a small explosion or fire. That’s why it is absolutely necessary to research overseas outlets and voltages, and purchase appropriate gear before traveling abroad.

110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978.

Eight Must-Have Tech Gadgets for the Business Travelers

To succeed in business, you have to stay connected, even when traveling abroad. Modern telecommunications and computing gear helps businessmen and women stay in touch and stay productive even when they’re a continent away. Step down converters and adapters help them safely use their equipment while traveling.


For tech savvy business travelers journeying abroad for vacation or business purposes, these items are must-haves:

  • Laptops – Taking your laptop along with you when you travel abroad helps ensure you have access to important documents and files, and also the applications you need to use them. When traveling abroad, it’s important to keep your laptop in a satchel or backpack with adequate impact protection to avoid damage.
  • USB Drives – About the size of a matchbox and able to store significant amounts of data, USB drives are helpful for business travelers. When traveling, you may not always have Internet access, making getting into cloud storage impossible. A USB drive allows you to store important documents and files, and bring them up on your laptop any time you choose.
  • GSM Cell Phones – Global System for Mobiles cell phones are the industry standard for much of Europe. Buying a GSM phone when traveling abroad is highly recommended, as they are the most compatible with telecommunications companies there.
  • Personal Care Products – Don’t let your grooming go by the wayside just because you’re on vacation. There are a variety of electronic grooming products that can help keep you looking your best, including electric toothbrushes, nose hair trimmers, beard clippers, and more.
  • External Batteries – External batteries you can carry along will help ensure you can keep your device charged even when an electric outlet is unavailable. Compact and easy to carry, external batteries are extremely helpful for long plane, bus, or train rides.
  • Adapters – Electrical outlets are not universal throughout the globe. Many countries have different physical configurations for their electric sockets and plugs. An adapter will allow American electronics to work with these differently-shaped outlets.
  • Converters – Physical differences aren’t the only differences between American electrical outlets and those abroad. Many countries use a higher voltage than U.S. electrical outlets do. A 220 to 110 converter allows Americans to safely use their electronic gear when traveling overseas. Connecting U.S. electronics to a 220-volt outlet is a terrible idea; it will fry the electronics and may result in a fire.
  • Transformers – Converters work well, but they’re not intended for lengthy use. If your device draws a lot of power and will need to be operational for an extended period, a transformer should be in your travel gear.

GSM cell phones

If you’re traveling abroad, it’s wise to find out what type of electrical outlets your host country uses and pack accordingly. A brief Google search can easily fill you in on whether you’ll need an adapter, a converter, or both, to use local electrical connections to charge your devices.

110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978.