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Travel Tips / 17 September 2018, 11:30am / IOL Staff Reporter  

Many travellers consider their cellphones essential when they’re on the road and rely on it for taking pictures and texting to using it to find their way around.

So what do you do if your phone gets lost, stolen or breaks when you’re abroad and how can you prevent it from happening in the first place?

Turn On Find My Phone

Before you travel be sure to turn on your device’s Find My Phone feature or similar service.

Many people assume this is automatically activated with every phone, but it needs to be manually turned on.

Also turn on Send Last Location.

If you have a device running Google’s Android mobile operating system, enable Find My Device in the device Settings under Security & Location. You can check that it’s working by visiting the Find Your Phone page in your Google Account.

Check with your mobile provider before you go

If your phone is lost or stolen, it goes without saying that you should contact your carrier immediately. They will temporarily suspend your service, which will prevent anyone else from using it and racking up data charges you may be responsible for. But it’s also worth talking to your carrier before you leave for your trip.

If you pay for phone insurance some providers will ship an expedited replacement phone to many destinations globally or will reimburse you for a repair that you get done while you’re travelling.

Protect Your Device:

A high-quality screen protector and case may cost more than the standard option, but they’re well worth the investment back up your phone regularly so that you save those vacation pictures as well as your latest contacts and music.

Display Emergency Contact Information on the Lock Screen

If possible, set your lock screen photo to your alternate phone number or email address. If you lose your phone, the person who finds it will know how to get in touch with you.

You can lock the phone remotely using the Find My Phone or Find My Device feature, which also lets you provide a message and phone number on the lock screen, allowing the device to make outbound calls only to that number.