How Do I Fix My Broken Phone While Traveling?

You’re on a long road trip. You’re stopping at all of your bucket list sites and exploring some pretty special cities. You’ve been using your phone pretty heavily to Instagram your favorite moments from your travels, do a couple of Facebook Live streams, and send Snapchats to all of your friends when the unthinkable happens: One slip of the hand and your phone goes tumbling. When you pick it up, it’s completely shattered. What do you do now?

Realize it’ll cost money

Unfortunately, no matter what way you look at it, you’re going to have to shell out for a repair. Even if you’re paying for an accident protection insurance policy, they typically charge you a deductible and make you wait for a certain length of time after filing a claim. So now, you have a couple of options. First, you could go on the spendy route and buy an entirely new phone. Depending on your carrier and phone of choice, this could cost you upwards of a thousand dollars. Unless you have a very flexible credit card or are able to dip into your travel funds, this option probably isn’t your best bet. Of course, you could buy a cheap backup phone in case of emergencies, but this could also turn out to be a waste of money if your intention is simply to toss it out once you make your way home. So, unless you intend to spend the rest of your travels off the grid, what are your options?

Try to get it fixed

If you’re traveling to a well-known area and, say, are looking to get your iPhone repaired in Birmingham, Alabama or Boston, Massachusetts, you’re probably in luck. Chances are, there are a number of well-regarded repair shops in your vicinity. If you happen to be overseas, however, this could be more complicated. Many major manufacturers don’t offer guarantees or warranties for repairs done out of the country. If this is the case, it may be in your best interest to contact the manufacturer directly and see what your options are. If you’ve decided to stay continental, there are a few steps you can take.

Since buying a new phone (likely) doesn’t fit in with your budget, a good idea is to ask locals or even a hotel concierge about popular phone repair services. Many off-street shops can do same-day repairs without charging you an arm and a leg for the service. If your phone is completely demolished, you may be out of luck regardless. If you’re simply dealing with a screen that’s seen a little too much wear and tear, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll be able to get the repair you need without seriously holding up your traveling plans. You might want to avoid a carrier shop or save visiting a dealership as your last resort as in-shop services and repairs often take longer and cost more than out-and-out repair shops. Plus, you’re saving yourself the headache of dealing with a dealership’s tech support trying to upsell you on new products, services, lines, and accessories every other minute while they suss out what’s wrong with your phone.

If the damage is minor enough that you can go without repairs, you may want to hold off until you’ve returned home. Sure, a damaged phone can be a major annoyance, but so can trying to find repairs when you’re on the road.

A Minor Headache

At the end of the day, it’s only natural that you’d want to capture memories of your trip, FaceTime your family members, and snap some amazing photos. A broken phone puts a damper on those plans. Ultimately, however, it’s the trip itself that’s the most important. Don’t let a damaged phone get in the way of you and the trip of a lifetime.