Bring an offline map along for the ride
When travelling, one of the apps most often used is the map app that uses a heap of data. Always download the map of the city you are visiting before you head off or wait until you have access to a Wi-FI hotspot.
iOS users will need to download apps such as Maps2Go (iOS / Android) or maps.me to save a cached copy of the local map to their phone. Android users have the benefit of Google’s own maps service which allows the download of map areas up to a 15km radius.
Traveller Tip: Don't be shy, be a tourist and ask for directions. Most locals are often more than happy to assist lost and clueless folks.
Wi-Fi or nothing!
If you are still intent on taking the smartphone along, use it only when it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network. Locating a Wi-Fi hotspot isn’t too hard as there are many paid options around. Unfortunately, for budget conscious us, the free ones are hard to find.
Alternatively, keep the phone switched off at all other times - flight mode is always a good idea. However, this probably isn’t the best idea as most of us will need to use our phones while on the move.
Traveller Tip: Be wary of unsecured hotspots, some are have been set up for malicious intent - mainly to steal your information being transmitted.
Do your research for local prepaid plans
Getting a local prepaid SIM card definitely gets you the cheapest data rates and relatively cheap local calls as well. However, in some countries, getting these prepaid cards is not straightforward by any measure. Some offer a limited amount of data with unlimited days of usage, others don't have a data cap but are limited to lower 3G speeds.
Do a quick search on Google and source for your prepaid options. A little research can go a long way to save you from the crazy hassle when you're on a vacation.
Traveller Tip: Try to share/swap your overseas SIM cards among friends, saves the time queue and money spent purchasing new ones each trip.