According to statistics released by Google, travelers mostly use their smartphones to search for local activities or attractions, locate shopping areas or restaurants, and look up directions. If you’ve traveled abroad in the last five to ten years, then you’ll likely know that, to do any of the above, you have to purchase a local SIM card or add on an international plan to your current plan at home.
Opting not to use data while traveling and assuming you can rely on local WiFi hotspots is a big no-no, unfortunately. Simply put, data is a crucial component of 21st century traveling; it’s necessary to ensure you’re in contact with friends and family and that you’re able to really get the most out of your trip abroad.
While you can use your current SIM card and ask your carrier if they offer international plans, it’s often cheaper to plan on purchasing a local SIM card at the airport or once you’ve reached your destination city (hotels, hostels, and Airbnb owners can usually tell you where you can get one).
Swap out your old SIM card and use the data from the local SIM card while you’re out and about. Not sure what that means in terms of calling or which number you’ll give out to anybody you meet? For that, there’s Burner!
5 practical uses for a Burner phone number while abroad
1. REDIRECT SPAM MESSAGES
We know how annoying spam is, and once certain businesses or sellers have your number in their databases, it feels as if you’re constantly being bombarded by texts and spam calls to persuade you to do something. Receiving any type of spam while on vacation is annoying (to say the least.
So, if you’re traveling and you need to provide a number to your hotel, tour guide operator, or while participating in any paid excursion (think TravelZoo, TripAdvisor, or similar excursions), use a Burner phone number! When signing up for a Burner phone, you’ll receive a number that you can use to give out that’s not your regular phone number.
The number will look the same (meaning that it won’t look like a “fake” number), with either a US or Canadian area code. But at the end of your trip, you can burn the number, leaving you worry-free that you’ll receive any weird messages long after it’s over.
2. AVOID ROAMING CHARGES
We’ve already mentioned the importance of having a phone that’s connected to data while traveling abroad. But, if you’re not tech-savvy and you simply turn your phone on when landing in a foreign country, you run the risk of being hit with roaming fees. Avoid this altogether by using a local SIM card with your Burner phone number.
Pop the local SIM card in and turn your data on without fear of racking up high roaming fees. Then, text and call friends from the Burner app. If you’re connected to WiFi, Burner will use that; if you’re not, it’ll use data when an internet connection isn’t available.
3. PROTECT YOUR EXPENSIVE SMARTPHONE
If you’re worried about carrying your expensive smartphone around while you’re traveling but want to keep in touch with friends and family (and perhaps even work contacts), use the Burner app with an older phone.
This is a common traveling tip that is recommended if you’re traveling to an area where there are high incidences of pickpocketing or petty theft. While traveling is generally safe, things do happen when you’re in a new destination and are unsure of your surroundings.
So, avoid tempting fate and take an older phone with you if you have one. Purchase a local SIM card so that you can use data, then continue to use your regular Burner phone number by downloading the app and logging into your account. Your number won’t change and you’ll have all of your contacts organized easily in one place. Simply pick your conversations back up where you left them!
4. MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Traveling is an enriching experience that allows you to engage in new customs and cultures while also meeting locals and perhaps even forming life-long friendships. While most people are trustworthy, it’s never a good idea to give out your real phone number when meeting anybody new (even in your home country!).
When traveling and meeting friends via guided tours, excursions, or even at your hotel, give them a Burner number. This prevents them from finding out personal information about you that you’re just not ready to give out just yet. They won’t know it’s a Burner phone number and they’ll be able to message you just like they would with a “normal” phone number.
As an added tip, we definitely suggest mentioning Burner to other travelers like yourself, especially if you’re traveling solo or are a female traveler. Talk to them about the safety benefits of using a second phone number when meeting new people. If you plan on dating while abroad, it’s an absolute must.
5. REDIRECT WORK CALLS
The last thing you want to do when you wake up in Paris or are planning a beach day in Sydney is to check your phone and see five missed calls from your boss or coworker. Ummm, why else did you request time off, right?
When on vacation, Burner’s Do Not Disturb mode is probably one of the best features for travelers. If you’re using your regular number for normal messaging with friends and family and use Burner while at home to engage in work tasks, take advantage of the Do Not Disturb feature and mute those work calls while on vacay!
For this to be as effective as possible, we suggest creating a Burner number for work purposes only. This means that you’ll only store work contacts on that line and create other lines for other purposes. Then, when you’re traveling, you can hit the Do Not Disturb button and mute any and all calls and messages that are work-related.
You’ll still receive the messages so that you can review them later, but you won’t be notified that they’ve arrived. This allows you to totally disconnect and enjoy the world around you.
How to get a Burner phone number for travel
Planning travel later in 2021? Get a Burner number now so that you can learn to use all of Burner’s features and tools.
You can sign up for a free phone number and try it out for 7 days just to play around with the features first. After that, you choose which type of Burner you want, whether that’s a Subscription Burner to use long-term or a Prepaid Burner that you’ll use just for select purposes and trips.