How to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Your Email when Traveling Abroad

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There is nothing worse than being overseas and trying to check your email and getting locked out. Unbeknownst to many people that travel abroad, there are several providers, such as Gmail and Outlook, that have extra layers of security in effect for anyone trying to access an account from overseas or out of the country.

The chances are that if you’re overseas with text messaging reception, you can receive the necessary security confirmation code to verify that it’s you accessing your account. However, if you plan on using iMessage or another free overseas program, you may run into some difficulties authenticating your account without SMS access.

Here are some things you can do to avoid the hassle of getting locked out of your email account while on vacation.

  • Plan Ahead – Most providers have a list of printable backup codes. It’s important to print these out when you travel, especially if you might not have access to SMS.
  • Print – Remember that if your phone is in data roaming or you’ve been in the air or on the road for a long time, you may not have enough battery life to access all your codes if you store them on your phone and are using a hotel computer or your laptop to access your email. Print out important codes and information, such as itineraries, etc. If you must use your phone, download your passes in PDF form so that you can use offline apps to access them, such as iBooks or Passport on the iPhone.
  • Automatic Email Forwarding – If Gmail is giving you problems overseas, try creating an email address through another provider that won’t give you problems. Temporarily forward email to that address to serve as a possible workaround should you not be able to access your account while traveling.
  • Designate Device – Some email providers let you designate your computer as a protected device. Make sure that you choose the devices you will be traveling with before leaving.
  • Deactivate Codes– Some email providers will let you deactivate requesting a code if you sign in from your device frequently. While this will lower your security protection, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of doing this before leaving.