I am always jealous of bloggers and gadgeters who seem to have no problem snapping away on Instagram and searching for good eats on their iPads while wandering abroad. Roaming charges are astronomical and buying a local phone seems excessive for a week long stay.*
For this London trip I decided to take my iPhone and use it strictly for wi-fi. I was a bit worried about somehow getting charged (I didn’t) but I knew people who had done it. I flipped my phone’s airplane mode on (settings) before I left New York then, once in London, I found a cafe and turned on the wifi (leaving airplane mode on always).
It worked! I had to continually turn or on and off since it will drain the battery but it allowed me to email family back home, stop to look for directions, and upload those twitter pics!
The directions were the most helpful. I used my iPhones screen snapshot feature (press down center button and power button) to take a pic of maps and travel tips. All bauble content was already downloaded, finally a day of wandering without maps and heavy guidebooks!
* If you’re staying more than a week, the European smart phones can be pretty cheap and of your a frequent traveler it’s worth it – think $75 phone and $20 plan for texts, Internet, and calls!