One big trend that I’ve noticed recently is that more and more travelers are taking cell phones with them when they take a trip. And, with the ease of getting a local sim card in most countries and the proliferation of travel apps available, I can certainly understand why. However, is a cell phone really necessary when traveling?
Last year, I traveled for 6 months, covering over 11,000 miles on my overland journey from Singapore to Istanbul. During this time, I carried an iPod Touch, capable of accessing wi-fi, and a computer I could use Skype on, but I never carried a phone.
Do you know how many times I found myself wishing I had a phone during those six months? 2, maybe 3. However, in those rare cases where I needed a phone, I simply made do or asked a local if I could borrow theirs. Ultimately, I never felt that I was in a situations where the only solution was my own phone.
So, as you can guess, I think that having a phone is unnecessary. That being said though, there were times when having accessible internet was very helpful. However, being connected all the time keeps you from experiencing everything. It takes away the element of surprise and exploration in a destination, and it distracts you from what’s going on around you.
So, while having a device that can access the internet is a must in my book, having something that’s connected 24-hours a day isn’t necessary either in my book.
What about you? Have you ever traveled with a cell phone? Do you think it’s a needed travel accessory, or do you think they aren’t necessary? Let me know in the comments section below.