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Unlock your phone and buy a local or international SIM card
Now legal in the United States after becoming illegal in 2012, cell phone unlocking allows a user to use their device with any carrier they chose. Even if you're happy with your carrier in your home country, by unlocking your phone you can use your handset abroad with local or international SIM cards, which can result in cheaper call rates — as well as inexpensive data charges. If you're staying in a country more than a few days, it's a good idea to purchase a simple pay-as-you-go local SIM card, or to consider international cards like World SIM, which gives you cheaper international rates.
Set up your phone beforehand
Setting up your phone with the correct settings and apps can save you roaming charges if you plan ahead of time. Whether you need to download a travel guide or New York's metro map, taking an hour beforehand to decide which apps are crucial for your trip — and updating them to their most modern state — is a good idea, as well as turning off automatic updates when you're connected to mobile networks.
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